I like using wheat germ for baking or adding to cooked cereals. I store it in the freezer so I don't have to worry about it getting old and potentially rancid, especially if a long time goes by without me using it. What is so good about wheat germ? It contains a phytonutrient, octacosanol, that helps to increase physical endurance and improve the body's ability to handle stress. Wheat germ contains folic acid, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin E.
I made these muffins using wheat germ and apricots. You can always substitute another dry fruit for the apricots. You can also decrease the caloric content of these muffins by using splenda instead of sugar, apple sauce instead of oil, and egg whites instead of whole eggs. This recipe is adapted from http://allrecipes.com
APRICOT WHEAT GERM MUFFINS
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup orange juice, divided
1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk, (see Tip)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400°F. Use muffin cups or coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
Combine apricots and 1/4 cup orange juice in a small bowl. Cover with vented plastic wrap and microwave on High for 1 minute. (Alternatively, bring to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat.) Set aside to plump. Mix whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, oil, orange zest, vanilla and remaining 1/4 cup orange juice. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Add the plumped apricots and juice and mix just until blended. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake the muffins until lightly browned and the tops spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 25 minutes. Recipe makes one dozen muffins.
Tip: If you don’t have buttermilk you can make “sour milk”: the ratio is 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.
This past weekend I made an artisan bread with raisins. In an earlier posting this summer I provided a recipe from Bonnie Stern. Here is a picture of the loaf I made this weekend. Of course it turned out wonderful.