Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Have You Tried Wheat Germ?

Every time a poor kernel of wheat gets processed into white flour - something tragic happens. The germ and bran of the wheat kernel are stripped away - cast from the endosperm, which is quickly whisked away from it's wheaten brethren to become a loaf of Wonder Bread somewhere. But what of the wheat germ?

Won't someone think of the wheat germ?

If you haven't bought a jar of wheat germ to play around with, you don't know what you are missing! Packed with vitamins and nutrients, wheat germ is the PERFECT vehicle to sneak nutrition into your family's meals.

Wheat germ generally comes packed in jars, like this:

When you get it out of the jar, and into your hand, you'll be a little flummoxed by it's lightweight quality. It takes about 60 pounds of wheat to make 1 pound of wheat germ - that's how small it is! There's not much to it - but there is a LOT going on in that small package. Wheat germ contains 35% of your recommended daily allowance of iron, and has 14 grams of fiber per 100 gram serving. Wheat germ has phytosterols, which are actually steroid compounds similar to cholesterol. These phytosterols can lower unhealthy cholesterol and promote a healthy heart.

My husband tilted a little into his hand and tasted it. He deemed it "nutty tasting sawdust." We laughed, but he admitted that he could see it mixed into a breaded coating ( like on fish or chicken ) and you'd never know it was there. Then he walked out of the kitchen . I stared at the man as he left, a bit dumbfounded. He's the natural chef in the family.

If you want the nutrition from whole grains without eating a lot of bread ( or you don't have access to a good CE bread baked commercially ), sprinkle a little wheat germ around.

Try it in yogurt ( that's my personal favorite right now ), in a panko breadcrumb mixture as a coating for chicken, fish, or veggies, in your next meatloaf or meatball batch, or in a protein or whey shake. Bump up a multigrain pancake recipe with some wheat germ. Check out this list of recipes over at
But most of all - try it. This little bit of nutty sawdust will be like a lightbulb going off in your head - and you'll wonder why you didn't try it sooner. It's exactly how I feel...I can't believe I didn't try wheat germ sooner.