Intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) is a perennial, cool-season grass found in pastures, and has been bred for large seed size and yield so that it can also be used as a grain crop on farms throughout the Upper Midwest.
IWG has a large root system which helps the plant more efficiently use water and nutrients, and alleviates soil erosion risks. The dual-use of intermediate wheatgrass as a forage and grain are currently being researched at both the University of Michigan and University of Minnesota, and breeding work continues at the Land Institute in Kansas. However the trademark intermediate wheatgrass variety Kernza has spread its roots beyond experiment stations, its grain being used to make beer, baked goods, and breakfast goodies. There’s been a lot of excitement around the culinary utility of Kernza as of late. This recent Washington Post article written by Sandra Black touches on some of this enthusiasm and promise surrounding Kernza grain in various food and beverages. A Huffington Post blog posted last month highlights Long Root Ale, a beer released by Patagonia Provisions and brewed by Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland, OR, that is made with Kernza.
Now, who wants to add a little Kernza flour to their holiday pie crusts?