Saturday, February 20, 2010

What is wheat germ?

What is wheat germ? Until about three years ago, I had no idea. But, now, it is a staple in my pantry and while I knew it was good for me I don't think I realized just how nutritious it is until I did some research for this blog post.

According to "wheat germ is part of the wheat kernel. The germ is only a very small part of the kernal, approximately 2 1/2 percent in total. The word germ does not have anything to do with bacteria; it simply refers to germination. The germ is the reproductive part that germinates and forms the wheat. "

Here is the nutritional information. Hold on to your hats because this is pretty exciting! "Wheat germ is very high in protein. It contains around 28 percent protein and has more protein than can be found in most meat products. The human body needs protein in order to repair tissue damage and to help minerals and nutrients reach our cells."

"The nutrients that are contained within wheat germ seem endless. It contains more potassium and iron than any other food source. It also contains great qualities of riboflavin, calcium, zinc magnesium and vitamins A, B1 and B3. Vitamins B1 and B3 help to maintain energy levels and maintain healthy muscles, organs, hair and skin."
"Another important vitamin found in wheat germ is vitamin E which is an important antioxidant. It is helpful in preventing the body's aging process and heart disease. Vitamin E is also needed to prevent blood clots and strengthen the body's immune system."
The Sneaky Chef describes wheat germ as a powerhouse of nutrients, offering an excellent source of iron, protein, B vitamins, folic acid and vitamin E. It is one of othe best food sources of zinc, magnesium, manganese and chromium. The B vitamins nourish the whole nervous system and may help prevent fatigue and migraine headaches.

Now, I know you are dying to find out where you can buy this super food. Most health food stores carry it. I have found it in our local Schnuck's store and at Wal-mart. I have posted pictures below of the three brands that I have seen in several different stores and cities. I even wrote a post about where to find the wheat germ.

The Bob's Red Mill is usually found with the other health food and Bob's Red Mill section in the store. The other two brands I have found near the cereal isle. Please note that the Kretschmer's is toasted wheat germ and has a toasted or more nutty flavor than the raw wheat germ. If you are starting out using wheat germ, you might stick to the raw as it has less flavor than the toasted.
Now, you know what it is and where to find it. Your next question may be "what do I do with it?" ANYTHING! Wheat germ can be added to oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream, smoothies and as a replacement for flour in bread recipes. You will notice that I use flour blend in a lot of my bread recipes which is a combination of flour and wheat germ. The possibities are endless and so healthy.
OK, so I was going to list ALL of the recipes that contain wheat germ, but when I looked through my list of recipes it is almost all of them. So, I will just list a few of them:
Please let me know the creative ways that you use wheat germ!

1 comment:

  1. GREAT post... I like the Kretschmer's... add it to muffin, pancake mixes...oatmeal... spaghetti name it I've done it!
    Might try those breafast cookies out this week!!!