Wheat germ, the embryo of the wheat plant, is loaded with nutrients. Two tablespoons contain 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and only 60 calories. It's especially rich in B vitamins and vitamin E, and contains phytosterols, compounds that reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels and promote cardiovascular health. Because wheat germ is often removed in modern milling processing, you're probably not getting enough of it; try these easy ways to add more to your diet:
1. Spicy-sweet topping. Combine wheat germ with ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves; store in a spice jar with a shaker top and sprinkle on cold or hot cereal before serving.
2. Crunchy granola. Combine oats with wheat germ, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds, dried figs and apricots; stir in melted coconut oil and honey; bake for 30 minutes at 300°F for granola.
3. Salty snack. Toss wheat germ with nutritional yeast, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, and pepper to taste, and then shake liberally over a big bowl of popcorn.
4. Soups and stews. Add wheat germ to lentil-vegetable soup (store-bought or homemade), or stir into black bean chili, for added nutrients and complete protein.
5. Hearty smoothie. In a blender, combine wheat germ with Greek yogurt, frozen bananas, almond milk, cocoa powder, and a dash of almond extract for a creamy chocolate almond smoothie.
How do you like to work wheat germ into your diet? Share in the comments below!