What grass is used in smoothies?

Smoothies have become an increasingly popular way to get a healthy, nutrient-dense meal or snack in a convenient and portable format. While fruits and vegetables are the most common ingredients found in smoothies, some people have started experimenting with adding greens like spinach, kale, or even wheatgrass to their blended beverages.


Wheatgrass is one of the most popular grass options used in smoothies. Wheatgrass refers to the young grass shoots of the wheat plant, Triticum aestivum. It can be juiced or blended into smoothies to take advantage of its nutritional benefits.

Wheatgrass contains a high concentration of chlorophyll, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Chlorophyll gives wheatgrass its signature green color. This plant pigment has anti-inflammatory effects and may help fight cancer. Wheatgrass is also rich in vitamins A, C, and E which act as antioxidants to protect the body’s cells.

In addition, wheatgrass contains vitamin K, iron, calcium, magnesium, and amino acids. Due to this impressive nutritional profile, wheatgrass is believed to provide health benefits such as:

  • Improving immunity
  • Detoxifying the body
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Aiding digestion
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Stabilizing blood sugar levels

When making a wheatgrass smoothie, it’s important to use fresh wheatgrass juice or powder. The frozen or dehydrated options may lose some nutritional value. A typical wheatgrass smoothie may contain:

  • 1-3 ounces wheatgrass juice
  • 1 cup nut milk or coconut water
  • 1 banana or 1 cup frozen fruit
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter
  • Other herbs or spices like cinnamon or vanilla

Wheatgrass has a strong, earthy flavor that some find unpalatable on its own. Adding fruit, nuts, spices, or other veggies helps mellow out the intense taste. Start with a small amount of wheatgrass until your taste buds adjust.

Barley Grass

Like wheatgrass, barley grass comes from young barley plants. It has a taste and nutritional profile similar to wheatgrass but is gluten-free. Barley grass powder or juice can be used interchangeably with wheatgrass in smoothies.

Barley grass contains vitamins C and B as well as minerals like iron, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium. It also has antioxidants and enzymes that defend against oxidative stress. Some research indicates barley grass may help with:

  • Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Reducing inflammation in arthritis and ulcerative colitis
  • Increasing immune function
  • Detoxifying heavy metals

For those avoiding gluten, barley grass offers the benefits of wheatgrass with the option of a gluten-free green smoothie ingredient. The taste is similar but may be viewed as milder than wheatgrass.

Alfalfa Grass

Alfalfa is another nutrient-dense grass commonly dried and turned into a powder supplement. Sometimes called lucerne, alfalfa contains protein, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Sprouting alfalfa grass helps maximize the bioavailability of its antioxidants. Research indicates alfalfa grass has benefits including:

  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Improving blood sugar control
  • Relieving menopause symptoms
  • Detoxifying the liver
  • Slowing tumor growth

Alfalfa has an incredibly mild flavor, making it almost imperceptible when added to smoothies. The fine powder blends seamlessly into any ingredients. Try starting with 1 teaspoon and working up to 1 tablespoon in your smoothie recipes.

Kamut Grass

Kamut is actually a type of khorasan wheat. However, many people seek it out as a substitute for regular wheat. The ancient grains are higher in protein and some minerals. Kamut contains selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper.

Some research shows Kamut wheat may have more benefits than modern varieties, including:

  • Lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Increasing antioxidant levels
  • Improving energy and digestion

Kamut has a relatively neutral, mildly sweet flavor. The young grass shoots can be juiced just like wheatgrass for a vitamin-packed addition to smoothies. Some people also prefer Kamut over regular wheat due to its generally lower gluten content, however it is not gluten-free.

Oat Grass

Oat grass comes from young oat plants, before the oat grains form. You can buy it as a juice, powder, or supplement. Oat grass contains fiber, protein, lipids, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals like flavonoids and alkaloids.

Research on oat grass is limited but shows potential benefits such as:

  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Increasing GABA levels in the brain
  • Aiding weight loss
  • Combating oxidative stress

Compared to other cereal grasses, oat grass has a very mild, subtle flavor. It mixes into smoothies easily. Start with 1 teaspoon of powder or 1 ounce of juice and adjust the amount as needed.

Horsetail Grass

Horsetail grass refers to the field horsetail plant, Equisetum arvense. It has been used in herbal medicine dating back to ancient Roman and Greek times. Horsetail contains silica, fluorine, aluminum, phytosterols, and alkaloids.

Some of the purported benefits of horsetail grass include:

  • Strengthening bones, hair, and nails due to its high silica content
  • Supporting kidney health
  • Relieving urinary tract infections
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Lowering blood pressure

Horsetail can be consumed as a tea, tincture, or powder. For smoothies, dried horsetail grass powder is the easiest form to use. Horsetail has an earthy, mineral-like flavor. Start with just 1/4 teaspoon and watch for any side effects like diarrhea or low potassium levels.


Lemongrass is a tropical grass that adds a delicious zesty flavor to smoothies. Although technically an herb, lemongrass contains many beneficial compounds like flavonoids, phenols, and volatile oils. Research shows lemongrass has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

Adding lemongrass to your smoothies may help:

  • Fight bacterial and fungal infections
  • Reduce pain and swelling
  • Lower fever
  • Settle an upset stomach
  • Relieve headaches

Use chopped fresh or dried lemongrass to add unique flavor to your smoothies. Lemongrass pairs especially well with coconut milk, ginger, turmeric, and tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, or oranges.

Considerations When Adding Grass to Smoothies

While grass can add a boost of nutrients to smoothies, there are some important factors to consider first:

  • Taste – Not all grass tastes good, so start slowly. Wheatgrass and barley grass have very strong flavors.
  • Texture – Certain grasses can make smoothies gritty. Use powders or juices for a smoother drink.
  • Safety – Wheatgrass is usually safe, but some sensitive people get headaches or nausea. Horsetail can cause potassium loss.
  • Supplements – Get grasses like wheatgrass, barley, and oat from reputable suppliers to ensure supplement safety.
  • Allergies – Grasses like rye and barley contain gluten and are unsafe for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

When consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, adding grass to smoothies can be a great way to incorporate new flavors and increase your intake of nutrients like chlorophyll, antioxidants, fiber, minerals and more. Give a few different types a try to find your favorites!

Smoothie Recipes with Grass

Green Revitalizer Smoothie

This nutrient-packed smoothie gets its bright green color from wheatgrass and spinach.

  • 1 cup coconut water or almond milk
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon wheatgrass powder
  • 1/2 cup ice

Mean Green Smoothie

Kale and wheatgrass provide a nutritional powerhouse in this blend.

  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon wheatgrass juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup ice

Blueberry Oat Grass Smoothie

For a nutrient-rich but more mild-flavored smoothie, try oat grass.

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon oat grass powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Chocolate Avocado Barley Grass Smoothie

Avocado gives this smoothie a creamy richness, balanced by antioxidant-rich cacao powder and barley grass.

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon barley grass powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup ice

Lemongrass Detox Smoothie

Lemongrass adds natural citrus flavor along with detoxifying properties.

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple
  • 1-inch knob of fresh ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, coarsely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup packed spinach
  • 1/4 cup ice

Types of Grass Used in Smoothies

Type Key Nutrients Potential Benefits Notes
Wheatgrass Chlorophyll, antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, K, iron, calcium, magnesium Immunity, detoxification, energy Strong flavor
Barley Grass Vitamins C, B, iron, copper, phosphorus, magnesium Heart health, anti-inflammatory Similar to wheatgrass but gluten-free
Alfalfa Grass Vitamins A, D, E, K, calcium, folate Lower cholesterol Very mild flavor
Kamut Grass Selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron, copper Heart health, antioxidant support Lower gluten grain
Oat Grass Fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids Anti-inflammatory Subtle, oat-like flavor
Horsetail Grass Silica, phytosterols Bone strength Earhy mineral flavor
Lemongrass Flavonoids, phenols, oils Anti-microbial, aids digestion Citrus flavor


While green, leafy vegetables often steal the show in smoothies, don’t overlook the potential for adding nutrient-packed grasses. Wheatgrass, barley grass, and oat grass provide chlorophyll and antioxidants. Mild-flavored choices like alfalfa and lemongrass smoothly blend into the mix.

Grasses can add a range of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to boost smoothies’ health benefits. But start slow with small amounts and adjust recipes based on taste preferences. With the right balance of ingredients, grass can upgrade smoothies from a tasty treat to a true nutritional powerhouse!

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