Can you have wheat germ if you're sensitive to wheat?

Many recipes call for wheat germ for it's health benefits. But can you have it if you have a wheat allergy or sensitivity? The easy answer is no - but have no fear! There are great substitutes. 

Wheat Germ contains fibre, protein and B vitamins to name it's most common positive benefits. But for those who want to avoid it here are some excellent substitutes:

Rice Bran (gluten free) - contains good amounts of magnesium and iron. Source of B vitamins, especially B-5 & B-6.  Also an excellent source of fibre of course. Consider your overall arsenic consumption as it relates to rice products when using rice bran as it has been found to contain higher levels of arsenic than whole rice.  

Oat Bran (wheat free) - Similar in texture and nutritional benefits to wheat germ. Contains fibre, iron, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and some B vitamins

Flax or Chia seed ground (gluten free) - contain more fibre, calcium, iron and omega-3 fatty acids and less fat than wheat germ. Similar texture but not quite as sweet as wheat germ. 

Sunflower seeds ground (gluten free) - add texture, protein and fibre to bread and other baked goods. They contain far fewer carbohydrates than wheat germ, but roughly the same amount of protein. They do have more fats but they are high in heart-healthy polyunsaturated fat.

There are probably many other ingredients that people substitute for wheat germ but this is a good start. Any ground nuts or seeds could work too, if you wanted give them a try.

Get creative and go bake!

Posted on October 9, 2015 and filed under Helpful Hints, You asked us.