I was recently given the opportunity to review Kretschmer Wheat Germ.
On one hand, I was excited because we are trying to eat foods that are better for our family, and it was something new and different for us.
On the other hand, I had no real clue what wheat germ was. I kept thinking of those chunky bits in 12 grain or artisan breads, you know? I am NOT a person who likes hard bits in my bread. I guess I have this thing with textures and bread, but I was, admittedly, slightly nervous about what was in store for me.
Luckily, wheat germ is NOT those nutty pieces in breads (but it can be used in bread). Before I go too much farther, let me talk to you about what wheat germ is. Basically, wheat germ is kind of like the embryo of wheat. It’s the part that grows into the plant (think: germination). It is full of vitamins and nutrients, is high in fiber, and is a good source of protein and healthy fatty acids.
The bad news is that, although it is exceptionally good for you, it is also taken removed/taken out of things like processed white flour (that’s why they have to “enrich” things like cereal and flour because they take the good stuff out of the wheat and are required to put *something* back into it to make it nutritionally “acceptable” for sale). It seems so sad to me that food companies remove the healthiest part of a food before processing, but that’s another story for another entry.
As mentioned, I had always heard of wheat germ, but didn’t really know much about it. You can use it in bread recipes to take place of a portion of the flour you use, if you wish (and it adds a heartiness, but NOT an extreme texture), but what really interested me is how versatile it is in ways I didn’t expect. Through friends’ suggestions, I added it to smoothies, to my bowls of cereal, to cottage cheese (with jam–so good), and it was especially good with vanilla yogurt (I topped it with wheat germ and pumpkin).
But what I liked best of all is that I could use it as a substitute in my meatball recipe. I’ve made meatballs for this blog before. I don’t do a lot of things well, but I really do like the meatballs I make, and I was curious how the wheat germ would affect my “famous” (at least to my family) meal.
I subbed wheat germ for the full amount of the bread crumbs.
The finished product was heartier than my usual meatball recipe. It wasn’t bulky like I thought it might be, and, in fact, it seemed to add a richness to the taste that I really liked. My picky children even ate second helpings. Overall, I admit to being pleasantly surprised at how versatile this product is. It wasn’t “wheaty.” It had a bit of sweetness to it, and a nice, subtle crunch. Honestly, I prefer it to my plain bread crumbs! I’m looking forward to using it to make my own granola, too!
Want to try some for yourself? Kretschmer is graciously offering a jar of their original toasted wheat germ to one of my lucky readers. To enter, just follow these easy instructions:
1) One entry is earned if you like my Facebook page and leave a comment HERE letting me know you have done so.
2) Another is earned if you comment here and let me know that you shared this post on Facebook.
3) A third is earned if you share this post on Twitter.
4) A fourth is earned if you follow my blog via email (the option is on the right of your screen).
Four chances to win! Open to U.S. residents only. Contest winner will be picked via random.org. I will verify the winning entry’s validity. Winner will be announced here, on Facebook, and by provided email address and has 48 hours to respond before I pick another winner. Contest ends on 11:59pm on 10/24/13.
Disclaimer: I was provided a product to review and giveaway for this entry by a third party. However, the review is 100% honest.