When whole wheat is milled, the final product that we get is the wheat germ. Wheat germs are healthy and crunch and offer an awesome taste to baked foods. You might have found yourself in a situation where you want to make a gluten-free meal or you need to bake your favorite dish but you do not have wheat germ. What are some of the substitutes that you can go to to achieve the desired flavor?
1. Rice Bran
This is a gluten-free ingredient that many people are aware of, and use it in baking bread and cookies. Rice bran is light and has a crispy feeling when taken. Unlike wheat germ which is darker in color, rice bran is lighter in color. If you prefer a brown or darker color, you can consider adding honey or a sweetener to give the desired color when baking. You are to use equal quantities for wheat germ and rice bran. Rice bran should not be left in the open, rather it should be stored in air-tight containers and stored in the refrigerator to prevent it from turning.
2. Whole wheat and Honey
Instead of using a full cup of all-purpose flour, you can use a full cup of whole wheat and mix it with a half teaspoon of honey. Layered bar cookies such as date bars are at the advantage of benefiting from this substitution.
3. Ground Flax
This is another close substitute to the wheat germ. It has a nut-like flavor and has a darker color. The good news is that flax seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids, which are of much importance as compared to the wheat germ. Use the same quantity of wheat germ and ground flax. This makes it much easier to use, especially in recipes that call for wheat germ. You can store the ground flax in an airtight and opaque container, and put it in a bag in the refrigerator. This prevents the ground flax from going bad quickly.
4. Oat Bran
People are trying to avoid indulging or including wheat protein in their foods. Oat bran does not have gluten. Baking with this ingredient is not as hard as many people make it to be. All you have to is to substitute the equal amount of oat bran with the wheat germ that is in the recipe. Another advantage of the oat bran is that it reduces cholesterol in the body. However, unlike other substitutes, oat bran does not have a specific flavor. You can add flavor to it by incorporating a fruit extract or a fruit flavoring of choice.
Baking is an art that is done passionately and with a touch of love. However, many people are self-conscious and want to maintain their body weight by indulging in healthy dishes, without having to exercise. You can go for gluten-free recipes and get the desired flavor. In addition to that, some substitutes such as oat bran have no flavor. You can add flavor to them by using fruit extracts.