Mmm, wheat germ!
January 7, 2008 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Wheat germ! I have some! Now, what should I do with it?

We bought wheat germ in order to make some (vaguely successful) granola bars. After that, I haven't touched it. I'm pretty sure I'd love to eat more things with wheat germ in it, but I don't know where to start.

So, what're some good wheat germ recipes? What regular food items would be improved by its addition?

posted by Ms. Saint to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
When I was a kid, I loooooved it on cereal, especially Cheerios.
posted by Bromius at 3:14 PM on January 7, 2008

Cornbread! I regularly add a few spoonfuls of wheat germ to cornbread, muffins, banana bread...anything like that. I leave out a little flour or add a bit more liquid, but it's not too picky.

Once or twice I've put it in chunky spagetti sauce. I liked the result but the others eating the meal weren't big fans.

A lot of people sprinkle it on yogurt.
posted by hippugeek at 3:15 PM on January 7, 2008

Yogurt! Especially plain 1% or 2% yogurt. Mmmm. Kind of like granola, but without the cloying sweetness to interrupt the pure yummy tang of good yogurt.
posted by iminurmefi at 3:17 PM on January 7, 2008

I used to sprinkle it on yogurt! Not just the plain kind, but whatever flavor you like.
posted by kidbritish at 3:21 PM on January 7, 2008

My favorite ever dessert consists of sliced bananas, covered liberally with honey, to which the wheat germ, thus applied, sticks to like glitter on the glue of a kindergartener's artwork.
posted by invitapriore at 3:25 PM on January 7, 2008

Maybe my family was weird, but my mom always put it on mac & cheese. I still think it's delicious.
posted by melissam at 3:31 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

2nding on yogurt and on creme of wheat...oh i havent had that since i was a kid mmmmmmm
posted by meeshell at 3:41 PM on January 7, 2008

i put it in smoothies or protein shakes
posted by jasondigitized at 3:45 PM on January 7, 2008

Lower carb pancakes for one!
They're actually really good.
posted by madforplaid at 4:14 PM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Here's my favourite pancake recipe:

1 1/4 flour (whole wheat or regular)
2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoon wheat germ
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup water

It's really good.
posted by purephase at 4:38 PM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh, mix all the dry ingredients and liquid ingredients separately and then combine them slowly while mixing until smooth. Throw down some margarine on a hot frying pan then ladle some of the mixture onto the pan in pancake size amount.
posted by purephase at 4:40 PM on January 7, 2008

Find this book.
posted by rokabiri at 5:12 PM on January 7, 2008

Middle eastern cuisine use a lot of wheat germ. You can always make Tabouleh with it. Or prepare it like rice and serve it with anything instead of rice on the side. Adding tomatoes and squash to it, also make a great dish. There are really a lot of ways to make it. Check Lebanese cuisine online as a start.
posted by convex at 5:20 PM on January 7, 2008

As rokabiri notes, health food cookbooks from the 1970s are your friend when it comes to finding ways to use up volumes of wheat germ. (Whether the results are palatable to you is another matter entirely.) Please forgive the self-link, but I have a granola recipe (from a 1970s cookbook, natch) that uses 3/4 c. of the stuff. And it's tasty too.
posted by jocelmeow at 5:36 PM on January 7, 2008

I used to just make peanut butter wheatgerm balls when I was a kid. Take cold peanut butter, roll in wheatgerm, refrigerate. Maybe I was a little too weird of a kid, but I thought that was so tasty, and i was so proud of thinking it up all by myself.
posted by piratebowling at 6:14 PM on January 7, 2008

I put it in falafel, instead of the typical bulgar or breadcrumbs. Then I roll the falafel patties in a mix of wheat germ and whole-wheat flour and bake them.
posted by found dog one eye at 6:15 PM on January 7, 2008

my mom used to do what piratebowling did, but also added honey-- super delicious!
posted by Flamingo at 6:36 PM on January 7, 2008

Wheat germ is a staple in my fridge. Put it in muffins, cakes, breads, meatloaf, any receipe you can sneak it into. Nothing like a plain old peanut butter, honey and wheat germ sandwich with a glass of milk. I've been sneaking into my (now grown) kid's meals for 30 years and they never even knew they were eating it. It also tastes good on your morning crispy cereal or even in oatmeal and frozen yogurt. piratebowling has a good recipe up there too. Be careful though because unless you have refrigerated it, it can spoil easily, taste bitter and get moldy. Throw it out if you didn't.
posted by ~Sushma~ at 7:00 PM on January 7, 2008

I agree with Sushma. It needs to be fresh. I love it in yogurt, even though I don't really like yogurt without fresh wheat germ.

It's also great toasted with honey.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:22 PM on January 7, 2008

Sweet wheat cookies:

Preheat oven to 400F and cover two cookie sheets with parchment or silpats.

8oz + 1 tbsp soft butter
2 tsp vanilla
1.5 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ

Mix well until incorporated. The mixture will be fluffy. Put another 1/2 cup wheat germ in a small bowl. Form small handfuls into compact balls and flatten. Roll in wheat germ and lay on sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked through. Cool and store in an airtight container.
posted by Caviar at 7:23 PM on January 7, 2008

My mom used to have us sprinkle it on apple sauce, yum. I'd forgotten until reading this, but she also made us peanut butter sandwiches with and honey with wheat germ!

Now I have to go buy some. Thanks for asking this!
posted by sarahmelah at 7:38 PM on January 7, 2008

As already mentioned, spaghetti sauce and yoghourt. It works well in vegetable soups, too.

Wheat germ + sliced bananas covered in milk makes a nice wee breakfast.
posted by kmennie at 8:17 PM on January 7, 2008

Whenever I make bread (with white flour), I spike it with about 10% whole wheat flour and 5% wheat germ. This increases the flavor quite a bit, simulating a less "pure" white flour as one might find in a traditional European-style white bread.
posted by rxrfrx at 9:20 PM on January 7, 2008

In 7th grade, we extracted DNA from wheat germ. It was freaking cool. Here's a description that looks like what we did. Basically you need wheat germ, rubbing alcohol, liquid dish soap and some lab materials you can probably improvise.
posted by MadamM at 9:51 PM on January 7, 2008

Oooh... unless your wheat germ is toasted. That mean the experiment won't work.
posted by MadamM at 9:52 PM on January 7, 2008

We often had it in the fridge growing up. I'd always sprinkle a thick layer on whatever cereal I was eating (Cheerios was the best, like Bromius says. Grape Nuts was pretty good). Adding honey to that was nice too. But after a while I'd sometimes just eat it AS the cereal. Big bowl o' wheat germ, milk, spoon. I liked to let it soak up milk for a while and then add a bit more milk if needed to get it back to normal cereal-to-milk ratio. Then I liked to take giant spoonfuls of this mush and just squoosh it around in my cheeks as I chewed. So nice.
posted by kookoobirdz at 10:24 PM on January 7, 2008

Yogurt with fresh blueberries or razberries, mmm.
posted by amfea at 8:54 PM on January 8, 2008

Toast + peanut butter (the good stuff) + sliced banana + wheat germ sprinkled on top.

Breakfast of champions.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:11 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Okay, it's finally time for a follow-up, I suppose.

I've been encorporating wheat germ into my foodstuffs somewhat regularly, but there are two suggestions from here that I specifically tried out.

First, was madforplaid's pancake recipe. I'd suggest not thinking of the product as pancakes, so much as.. well, a delicious fried thing. They're good. They have a more savory taste than regular pancakes, and they're denser, but I liked them.

Second, I found this book. It's The Art of Cooking with Love and Wheat Germ (And Other Natural Foods) by Jane Kinderlehrer. I was suspicious from the appearance of the cover, but... It was only 30 cents at Amazon, so I figured it was worth checking out.

For emphasis, let me bold the following sentence: THIS IS NOT A GOOD BOOK.

The first indication one gets that this is not a good cookbook is the fact that it boasts on the front cover, "More than 140 recipes".... In a book with 330 pages (not including appendix, conversion charts, and so forth).

The reason there are only 140 recipes in a book with 330 pages is that the author isn't just concerned with giving recipes, so much as she also wants to impart her wise philosophy and advise for life. Thanks, Kinderlehrer. The book is directed specifically towards women who are responsible for the diets of their families throughout life. Sure, it's a book from 1977, but, taken from a post-feminism perspective, it's hilariously insulting to women.

The first chapter in the book is for new mothers, dealing with breast-feeding and related nutrition issues. Yes, rejoice, young mothers, at such fantastic recipes as "Crispy Liver" and "New Mother Soup" (seaweed, hamburger or canned tuna, soup stock, and parsley)! We then continue through all the stages of one's child's life, until they are moved out (and, thanks to Kinderlehrer, you will have plenty of sage advice for when they must now plan their diets on their own!).

There's so much that can be said about this book, but I don't really think it's too worth putting in a follow-up six months after the original post... So, allow me to just share one of the most awesomest passages, starting pg 188, in a chapter called "Head Off the 'Forties Blues'":

If you are the sedentary type, if you wince and turn the page everytime you see an item about the importance of physical activity, or if you have been trying to trim down to bikini size, go to the phone right now. Call your 'Y' or community Center and register for gym and swim or yoga or slimnastics or belly dancing or folk dancing. No matter the weather or distractions, let nothing deter you from going at least the first three times. Then it will be a habit programmed into your personal IBM and you will begin to realize some wonderful benefits. You will also make many new friends. Invite a few to dinner. Serve them a great vegetarian meal, or an all-natural meal based on love and wheat germ recipes. Spread your knowledge of nutrition. You'll enjoy it and do more good than you know.

Just the other day, I read a long newspaper story about treating "depression," called the most common of all diseases. But it's hard to recognize and hard to treat as such, said the story. The one universal symptom of every depression is the loss of pleasure and joy in those thing and activities that, under normal circumstances, make life worth living. Things that used to give pleasure, don't anymore. A man who used to play tennis suddenly stops playing; a woman who used to enjoy bridge stops making dates to play.

I say, maybe they're depressed, but maybe they've just outgrown tennis and bridge.

The recipes are as fantastic as her mental health advice!
posted by Ms. Saint at 2:29 PM on June 17, 2008 [4 favorites]

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