What is Wheat Germ?

Hi Everyone, Fact: tell me to go into a health food store to buy a food item or product and I’ll roll my eyes.

Fact: if said product appears on my regular supermarket shelf, I’ll definitely take a second look and try it.

Fact: if a manufacturer sends me a sample of the product to test, I will.

Fact: would I write an unbiased view of the product? Yes – if I believe in the product. And so is the case with the Maid Marian brand of Wheat Germ.

Now, I don’t want you to roll your eyes because I am not about to give you a science lesson. This is simple.

The entire kernel or seed from a grain such as beans, corn, rice, wheat and oats, is made up of three parts. The outer part is called the bran and this contains most of the fibre and is a good source of the B vitamins. The germ lies at the base of the kernel and it is the source of vegetable oils, hence it is a rich source of Vitamin E and complex B-Vitamins. Just so that it is clear, the word germ does not have anything to do with bacteria; it simply refers to germination. The third part of the kernel, the endosperm is mainly starch; this is where most of the protein can be found along with some minerals and vitamins. Wheat Germ then, is a part of the wheat kernel.

Wheat Germ (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)

Wheat Germ contains many nutrients; it is very high in protein and we need protein because it forms the basic material for our body such as skin, hair, blood, muscles as well as our teeth and bones. The Vitamin E found in Wheat Germ acts as an antioxidant helping to prevent blood clots and strengthening our immune system. The bottom line: Wheat Germ is good for us.

How do we go about using it? Oh let me count the ways… okay, the ways are too many so let me tell you a few of the ways I’ve been using Wheat Germ.

Whenever I make Smoothies – blended fruit, milk, ice and sweetener, I add a tablespoon or two to the mixture.

I don’t like whole-wheat roti(s) of any kind, so whenever I make roti with all-purpose flour, I’d toss in some Wheat Germ for good measure.

Kernel of Wheat (Courtesy of the Wheat Foods Council)

When I make granola, I add about ¾ cup Wheat Germ to the mix.

I eat oat bran most of the time for breakfast making it like porridge and I add Wheat Germ to it – fibre upon fibre!

If I bake bread, buns, sweetbreads, or biscotti, I add Wheat Germ.

The other day I made some split-pea soup with spinach and beef and yep, I added some Wheat Germ.

Listen, I could go on with a list but I think you’ve got the idea. The label also gives you suggested ways to use it such as in salads, casseroles, tossed with vegetables, fruit etc. Honestly, it is one of those things that you can sprinkle and add to many things. Though it may not always be visible in your food, at least you know its there and you feel good about it being there.
Now a key thing to note – store the Wheat Germ according to the package instructions. If Wheat Germ is not stored in the right conditions it can perish quickly. I keep mine in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

I have one grouse with this product, well, it’s the packaging really. I want the photograph of the woman with her behind in my face removed and I want that “Men love it!” phrase removed as well.



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