Wheat Germ Substitute

Are you searching for a good substitute for wheat germ which you can use for cooking?  Perhaps, your recipe calls for wheat germ to be included, yet you don’t have any in your pantry.

Or, you may be cooking for someone who is allergic to wheat instead, and need another ingredient which you can use in its place.

Whatever your situation, there are some good options you can use with great success in place of wheat germ. To help in your cooking efforts, let’s examine these in more detail below.

Wheat Germ in Bread

Do you enjoy baking your own bread? If so, then it is important to keep in mind, that wheat germ is added for its nutrition alone. It doesn’t affect how the bread rises or is formed or affects the flavor significantly, though does have a pleasant, mild nutty taste.

Whole Wheat Flour

If you’ve run out of wheat germ temporarily, you can simply add the same amount of whole wheat flour instead. Like wheat germ, whole wheat flour is produced from wheat kernels which include the germ, and so has some wheat germ within it.

However, be aware that when using this method, it is easy to end up with a harder, baked loaf in the end! So be sure to shift the flour a few extra times, just to ensure that more air finds its way into the batter.

Ground Flaxseed

Another great substitute when baking bread is to use ground flaxseed. Like wheat germ, flaxseed has a tremendous amount of nutrition, with wonderful compounds such as omega-3 fats, folic acid and lots of other vitamins and minerals.

Just keep in mind that the addition of ground flax will make your bread a bit more ‘gummy’, so it will be chewier overall.

Almond Flour – Gluten Free Option

Do you need something which is gluten free instead? Perhaps you are baking for a friend who suffers from gluten intolerance or even Celiac disease.

If this is the case, even the smallest amount of wheat can cause a strong reaction, and unpleasant side effects. To avoid contamination with gluten you can use almond flour instead.

This is completely free of any type of gluten, and is well-tolerated by most people. Also, it has a naturally sweet taste, making it a wonderful addition to any bread! How much should you include? The rule of thumb is to use 2/3 the amount of almond flour, for the correct consistency.


Wheat bran is similar in taste to the germ, so it is a good fit. However, it is obviously derived from wheat, so it does have the same gluten properties as wheat itself.

If you need a gluten free ingredient instead, you can include rice bran in your recipe. However, this doesn’t hold together quite as well, so you may have problems if you put in too much!

Oat bran is another possibility, yet you need to buy one which is certified as gluten free, as sometimes cross-contamination can occur.

Buckwheat Groats

A final option is buckwheat groats, which are naturally without gluten, and have a wonderful nutty taste. The toasted groats have the most flavor, and you can simply grind them in a small coffee bean or spice grinder right before adding them to your recipe.

Any one of these choices will work well in most recipes, and they can provide added taste too. With these easy to use substitutes, you can make your baked goods gluten free without too much hassle.

Or, if you have simply run out of wheat germ, these backup sources can see you through, until your next order.


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