Wheat germ is the nutritious heart of the beautiful wheat kernel. The health benefits of wheat germ are plentiful, as these flakes contain plant-based protein, fiber and minerals. Nutrients include folate, vitamin E and thiamin. Plus, toasted wheat germ can easily be added to cereal, smoothies, casseroles and baked goods for a fantastic crunch and mild nutty flavor.
So why isn’t everyone eating wheat germ? Let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of wheat germ and dive into a few products and recipes that will quickly introduce you to this easy-to-eat ingredient.
Health Benefits of Wheat Germ
So, what are benefits of wheat germ? Wheat germ brings with it a wide range of potential health benefits to those who choose to eat it! At just 45 calories and 1 gram of unsaturated fat, a 2 tablespoon-serving of wheat germ offers 2 grams of dietary fiber, 10% of the recommended daily value of folate, 8% of your recommended daily value of phosphorus, magnesium and zinc, 15% of your vitamin E and 10% of your thiamin requirements.
Minerals: Wheat germ contains minerals like phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and iron (which are things our bodies need to keep us strong).
Vitamin E: Vitamin E protects everything from brain cells to cell membranes. Research also indicates that it is important for immune function, detoxing and fighting free radicals.
Fiber: Wheat germ contains fiber! Fiber can be good for balancing our blood sugar, maintaining healthy digestion and controlling our cholesterol.
B Vitamins: Wheat germ offers B vitamins like folate, vitamin B1 (thiamin) and vitamin B6. These vitamins can be good for our hearts and our moods!
Fatty Acids: Wheat germ is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help lower inflammation and cholesterol as well as support the nervous system.
What is Wheat Germ Oil?
Wheat germ oil is extracted from the kernel of the wheat grain. It’s packed with vitamin E and may alleviate inflammation and boost cognitive health. It’s also wonderful for skin and hair when applied topically. Benefits of wheat germ oil also include that it’s a good source of vitamin B6 and folic acid, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Germ Products
From pure wheat germ to high fiber mixes, here are a few Bob’s Red Mill products to get you started.
Our high-quality Wheat Germ can be added to baked goods or used in meatballs. It can be used to coat cookies, top a casserole or replace breadcrumbs. It’s also wonderful when sprinkled over yogurt or cold cereal for an extra boost. Our wheat germ is made from the finest wheat kernels and contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals (including folate, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, vitamin E, thiamin and zinc). It also contains dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.
Whole Wheat Flour
Our Whole Wheat Flour is made from red hard wheat and includes all of the nutrition from the wheat germ, bran and endosperm of the wheat kernels. We still grind our whole wheat flour the traditional way, on slow-turning cool-temperature quartz millstones. What this means is that when one pound of whole wheat berries go into the mill, one pound of whole wheat flour comes out.
Organic High Fiber Pancake Mix
Our Organic High Fiber Pancake Mix includes organic ingredients like stone ground whole wheat pastry flour, Scottish Oatmeal, flaxseed meal, oat bran and wheat germ! It also has a touch of pure cane sugar for sweetness and makes for a fantastic base for fluffy pancakes and waffles. The mix can also be used for recipes like these High Fiber Apple Cinnamon Muffins, which are delicious in the fall when fresh apples are plentiful. If you’re searching for something a little fancier (yet still full of apples), this High Fiber Apple Dutch Baby is another fun way to get that wheat germ and fiber intake. What could be better than a warm oven-baked pancake, full of fiber, topped with sweet and spicy apples?
Wheat Germ Recipes
From breads to muffins, here are some creative ways to use wheat germ in your daily diet.
Barb’s Hearty Herb Bread
This recipe for Barb’s Hearty Herb Bread won first prize in the 2008 Wasco County Fair. It’s made with a mix of Wheat Bran and Wheat Germ, as well as Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour, Whole Wheat Flour and regular rolled oats. To give the bread its signature herb flavor, Barb adds oregano, thyme, marjoram, sage, celery seed, onion and black pepper. This bread is wonderful in the wintertime when paired with a bowl of hearty homemade soup or stew (and a warm beverage). If you’d like, you can even add a bit more wheat germ than the recipe calls for to up your fiber intake.
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Muffins
These Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Muffins are the perfect type of muffin: healthy yet simple. Bake a big batch in the fall so the smells of the season can waft through your home. They have a base of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, Golden Flaxseed Meal, Wheat Germ, Quick Cooking Rolled Oats and pumpkin puree. When mixed with eggs, milk, honey and pumpkin pie spice, this beautiful base becomes all things autumn. After filling your muffin cups, bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm with butter and a cup of coffee (with a sprinkle of pumpkin spice, of course).
Organic Energy Bars with Fruit
If you’re looking for super grain energy bars to take to work, school or anywhere on the go, these Organic Energy Bars with Fruit just might be your new best friend. They boast incredible nutritious ingredients like Organic Hard Red Wheat Berries, Organic Kamut® Berries Organic Regular Rolled Oats, Pumpkin Seeds, Premium Shelled Sunflower Seeds, chopped walnuts and Wheat Germ. They also incorporate Shredded Coconut, dried fruit like cherries, blueberries and raisins, and spices like cinnamon and cardamom. Sweeten the bars with honey and applesauce, and you’ll have a nutritious snack fit for even the pickiest of eaters. We like to package each of these bars separately and store them in the fridge.
Blueberry Banana Bread
Nothing says bliss like a thick slice of warm bread, and this Blueberry Banana Bread is no exception. It’s created with a simple base of Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour, Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, Flaxseed Meal, Wheat Germ and Wheat Bran and flavored with a mix of ripe bananas, blueberries and ground cinnamon. You can feel free to use butter or coconut oil in place of the margarine and add chopped nuts for a bit more protein. This bread makes 10 servings, so if you’re making it for a breakfast or brunch gathering, make two! It will taste fantastic the next afternoon with a mug of tea or a cup of cold almond milk.
Wheat Germ Corn Muffins
These Wheat Germ Corn Muffins make our wheat germ the star of the show. They can be eaten in the morning for breakfast alongside your coffee or served in the evening with chili or soup. In addition to wheat germ, they incorporate cornmeal and Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour. Although they can be made in a standard-size muffin tin, too, kids will enjoy these corn muffins in mini sizes. They’re delightful when served warm with butter and a hearty drizzle of honey and can be made spicy (if that’s more your style). For this variation, add canned green chilis, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and a bit of cheddar cheese.
Banana Orange Smoothie
It might not be the first place your mind wanders when you’re thinking of wheat germ, but smoothies are a great way to enjoy this wonderful ingredient. This Banana Orange Smoothie makes for a satisfying breakfast or a quick mid-afternoon snack. It’s made with just seven ingredients—plain yogurt, wheat germ, vanilla extract, sliced banana, honey and ground cinnamon—and takes all but a few minutes to throw together. If you’re looking for a little extra crunch, try topping this smoothie with a handful of Bob’s Red Mill Classic Granola. We promise it will be the perfect way to start your day.
Whether you’re exploring wheat germ by way of smoothies or energy bars, we hope you’re excited to dive into the world of this tasty toasted nutritional gem!