Wheat germ is the embryo of the wheat kernel, making up only 2-3% of the entire kernel. Despite its small size, it is one of the healthiest foods in the world, consisting of 23 nutrients. Wheat germ is particularly known for having high amounts of iron, potassium and folic acid, but it also contains plentiful amounts of Vitamins B1, B3 and E, protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium and zinc. It also contains a potent antioxidant called L-ergothioneine, which is not destroyed by cooking. Wheat germ has a mild nutty flavor that will quietly enhance many a dish — and give you an extra boost of vitamins. Here are a few ways you can use it.
Add wheat germ to your cake, bread and cookie recipes. Instead of using the full amount of flour that a recipe calls for, halve the amount of flour and use wheat germ for the rest. You can also add a tablespoon of wheat germ to waffle and pancake batter.
Use wheat germ in recipes that call for bread crumbs. You can either use wheat germ instead of the bread crumbs or make a bread crumb-wheat germ combination.
Sprinkle wheat germ atop casseroles, such as macaroni and cheese, before cooking. Toasted wheat germ makes a nice crunchy crust.
Use wheat germ to line cake, brownie or bread pans instead of flour. Its mild taste will not disturb the taste of the baked good.
Sprinkle wheat germ over cereal, ice cream or yogurt.
Mix a tablespoon of wheat germ into homemade smoothies.
Because wheat germ spoils easily, it should always be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container. It can keep for up to 9 months if properly stored. Never eat spoiled wheat germ as it can make you ill.
References and ResourcesBetter Nutrition: Power Foods; Wheat Germ
Bright Hub: The Benefits of Wheat Germ