Edible Grass for Humans: Tasty Truths Revealed

You don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate the inherent health value of greens. Unfortunately, in a survival situation, you won’t always be able to find top sirloin and a baked potato, but you’re not likely to run out of wild edible grasses. Although you typically only dine on grass seeds, there are plenty of varieties to eat. Whether you’re in a bind, or merely looking to add uniqueness to your salads, the grass is a great go-to. Most people’s uncultivated back yards have more food than they know. It grows quite literally under your feet. Yet every year, people starve while surrounded by a meal. I’ve been learning and teaching people about wild edibles for a while now, and I’m happy to share everything I know about edible grass for humans.

What is considered as being the top edible grass for humans? Amaranth (pigweed) provides the best edible grass for humans.  Its leaves and seeds can be consumed.  Amaranth has been around for cultivated by humans for the last eight thousand years.  It contains a long list of nutrients.  Even though it is not technically a cereal grain, it is just as nutritious as wheat or oats.

Healthiest Edible Grasses for Humans

Before we get started, there’s something vital you need to understand. Grasses are a larger family than you probably think, and the stuff that makes a lawn is not food. Although it won’t kill you to eat most lawn grass, it also won’t help.

You’ve probably heard of wheatgrass, alfalfa grass, barley grass, and oat grass. Luckily, you can eat all these common varieties. However, the majority of edible grasses are mostly what you call grains or cereals. Corn, wheat, barley, and rice are some of the most popular nutritious grasses.

Adding grass to your diet can be extremely simple. Get yourself some Amazing Grass Wheatgrass Powder from Amazon. You can easily add this high-quality wheatgrass powder to smoothies and other blended foods. Wheatgrass is an excellent source of energy and immunity support. Grab some by clicking here.

According to Real Simple, the following list includes many of the healthiest grasses to eat.

Ten Exceptionally Healthy Kinds of Grass

A hundred gram serving of these grains contains roughly two-hundred to about three-hundred-sixty calories. Additionally, they each have basic nutritional necessities like fiber, iron, or b-vitamins. Hence, you can use these grasses to fill in dietary gaps easily, depending on your particular needs, and availability.

  • Amaranth- 46 g Carbs, 9 g Protein, 4 g Fat, 20% DV Fiber, 91% DV Manganese, 38% DV Magnesium, and 29% DV Iron
  • Barley- 44 g Carbs, 4 g Protein, 1 g Fat, 24% DV Fiber, 25% DV Selenium, 12% DV Iron, and 11% DV Thiamine
  • Bulgur- 34g Carbs, 6 g Protein, 1 g Fat, 33% DV Fiber, 48% DV Manganese, 15% DV Copper, and 14% DV
  • Farro- 72 g Carbs, 13 g Protein, 2 g Fat, 42% DV Fiber, 53% DV Niacin, 44% of the DV Zinc, and31% DV Magnesium
  • Freekeh- 65 g Carbs, 20 g Protein, 2.5 g Fat, 40% DV Fiber, 20% DV Iron, plus Lutein, and Zeaxanthin
  • Millet- 41 g Carbs, 2.2 g Fiber, 6 g Protein, 1.7 g Fat, 25% DV Phosphorous, 19% DV Magnesium, 8% DV Folate and, 6% DV Iron
  • Oats- 191% DV Manganese, 41% DV Phosphorous, 34% DV Magnesium, 24% DV Copper, 20% DV Iron, 20% DV Zinc, 11% DV Folate, 39% DV B1, 10% DV B5, plus, smaller amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Quinoa- 39 g Carbs, 8 g Protein, 4 g Fat, 5 g Fiber, 51% DV Manganese, 28% DV Magnesium, 23% DV Phosphorous, 19% DV Folate, and 18% DV Zinc
  • Teff- 12.2 g Protein, 3.7 g Fat, 70.7 g Carbs, 12.2 g Fiber, 37% DV Iron, and 11% DV Calcium
  • Wild Rice- 21 g. Carbs, 4 g Protein, 2 g Fiber, 7%  DV B6, 6% DV Folate, 8% DV Magnesium, 8% DV Phosphorous, 9% DV Zinc, 6% DV Copper, and 14% DV Manganese

How to Eat Grass

The standard four, wheat, alfalfa, oat, and barley grass are all good for humans. I recommend them in smoothies and salads. However, sugarcane, which is a grass, is better as sugar. Although it’s not healthy for you any way you make it, you can suck or chew on the stalks without swallowing the cane itself for a sugar rush.

As for most other grasses, the grains, you should avoid eating the stems and leaves, also called culms and blades. Instead, you want to eat the seed from these varieties. Some like quinoa, oat, and amaranth are tasty when cooked with a little water, like pasta. However, others like corn are good fresh right from the stalk or cooked.

Additionally, some grass seeds make good drinks, like barley water. Sugar cane adds sweetness to many juices, sodas, teas, and even coffee. However, you might be more familiar with eating grass seeds as flour.

Almost all dried grasses make excellent ground flours. Although you may need to add xanthan gum or play with mixtures to get wheat-flour-like consistencies in baking if you’re not using wheat, don’t confuse these flours with non-grass flours like coconut, bean, and almond. Nut or bean flours are also tasty and nutritious, but they’re not edible grass.

Flavoring Grasses

Sugarcane is probably the most famous example of a grass that ‘works’ more like a flavoring agent for humans. However, there are others. Lemongrass makes for a tasty addition to many meals.

You can test out some incredible organic, non-irradiated Frontier Co-op Lemongrass while you learn to identify it in the wild. Not only does it make a yummy spice in food, but the smell is delightful. You can add it to homemade tea blends for chilly nights. Check out the Amazon reviews right here. 

While these flavor or spice grasses, as I tend to think of them, are good, they don’t make a meal on their own. Sure, they both smell and taste lovely. Yet, neither of these fairly well-known examples have enough nutritional value for people to eat like food.

Are Any Grasses Poisonous to Humans

Grasses native to North America are safe for humans to consume. However, not all the grass that grows here is from the native varieties. There are toxic grasses. You need to learn grass identification before you eat, just like with any wild plant.

Even non-toxic grasses without nutritional benefits work well as bulking agents when dried and ground. Sadly, they don’t provide much more than a feeling of satiety. Still, it’s a safe way to extend supplies like flour when cooking for large groups.

Please be careful and identify the grass before you cook with it. Some, like corn, are easy for beginners to spot. However, like all wild edibles, stick to the rule of ‘when in doubt throw it out.’ Doing so will help keep you healthy.

Grass Problems

Not all grasses are edible to humans. While some are too tough for humans to process as food, others are damaging or even dangerous for us. Hence, I strongly recommend that you learn to identify the grass in your region.

Regrettably, our stomachs and teeth are not adapted to eating grass. The silica present in most grass leaves and stems wears on our teeth. Unless you want to visit the dentist to replace your smile, merely chewing most grass is a bad plan.

Unlike cows and horses, our stomachs are ill-prepared to process the cellulose found in grass. Frighteningly, there’s another major issue with non-native grass. Many imported kinds of grass contain varying amounts of cyanide. Unless you want to poison yourself, it’s essential to stick to greens you’re sure about. Better still grow some yourself.

I recommend the Handy Pantry Organic Wheatgrass Starter Kit for those who want to try it out for the first time. You’ll find everything you need except the water and patience are included. Plus, it makes great cat grass for your pets as well. Learn more on Amazon by clicking here.

Foods That Look Like Grass

There are a couple of human-edible foods that look a lot like grass in the wild. However, they are not. Gardeners will instantly know these foods by sight, but you might recognize them more easily by smell. Break off a stalk and rub it between your fingers to check.

Garlic is the most odiferous option. The thick green tops of the garlic plant look like they could be a member of the grass family. Additionally, onions, green onions, and chives all look quite a bit like grasses. Interestingly, most of these look more like the grass family as we know it than corn or amaranth.

WARNING- Toxic Onion Lookalikes

Some wild onions are a tasty treat, but their lookalikes can kill. There are poisonous lilies that look almost identical to a wild onion. However, the good news is that it’s simple to tell the difference. The stalks of lilies don’t smell much. Alternately, onions smell distinctly like an onion. 

Make sure you always perform a smell test if you choose to hunt wild onions. While they make a yummy and antioxidant-packed meal addition, you don’t want to make a rookie mistake in an emergency and end up dead from your lunch choices.

Edible Grasses – My Conclusions

Unfortunately, not all grasses are healthy for humans, and there is always some risk in foraging. Still, this is one area of wild food that is a smart place to start learning if you’re new. So long as you stick to wild grass you can identify, and check for toxic lookalikes before you taste, you should be safe. Unlike mushrooms or berries, the risk is low.

Ornamental grasses are mostly useless other than for nice looking lawns. You won’t find much nutrition value on the average golf course. However, even in the city, an overgrown yard or patch of untended roadside might hold a meal in a survival situation. It pays to know your grasses on sight.

The grass isn’t the only human food you can find by walking around your neighborhood. Get a survival guide and learn to identify what you can eat with greens near where you live, and you’ll never starve.

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