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Huh? Wheat Germ. It’s one of those ingredients I grew up with but later discovered that most people do not keep in their freezer just to have on hand in a moment’s notice. But it’s very handy.

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What is it? No, it’s not germs. It’s a very small portion of the wheat kernel that aids in germination. It is high in protien (28 percent), contains 23 nutrients, and is a great source of vitamin E. Athletes and Health Nuts love it.

That’s all well and good, but what does it taste like? It’s toasty, nutty and slightly sweet. It adds a lovely texture to things like baked goods, breading for fried foods and even creamy things like yogurt.

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My first introduction to wheat germ was a sweet application. My mother would make us ice cream sundaes with chocolate syrup and wheat germ. I’m sure it began as a trick to get us to eat the “healthy stuff” but it was so interesting and yummy that even my friends would request it.

Now, I sprinkle a little in almost any time I use bread crumbs, or sometimes in muffins or pancakes. Check back here for recipes containing wheat germ.

You can buy wheat germ at health food stores or your regular grocery store. It should be on the baking aisle near the flour and other interesting things like yeast, milled flax, and cake flour.

(And yes, I realize the photo clearly shows that my wheat germ is out of date. That’s why I keep it in the freezer. But maybe I should get some fresh.)