Friday, March 25, 2011

eat your wheat germ

I think everyone has a laundry list of foods they vow to never eat. I had an aversion to wheat germ that stems from watching 'Rock & Roll High School' where the evil record exec. tries to force Joey Ramone to eat his wheat germ when all he wants is pizza. So what are the chances after buying wheat germ for the first time I managed to bang out in 2 recipes this week that included this once perceived 'icky' ingredient?
The first was Healthy Banana-Blueberry Muffins. I don't like the idea that this recipe tells you these are healthy. It's like in Rock n' Roll High School, being told something is good for you can sometimes take the wind right out of your sails and leave you wanting something better (i.e. not healthy). Well, although these are deemed healthy (as far as muffins are concerned), I give credit that these muffins taste incredible! I think I've justified eating these daily mostly based on the fact that you don't quite feel as though your indulging in cake for breakfast (which is how I view muffins in general). But everyone who's tasted one loves them! The recipe calls for brown sugar which is a flavour that works beautifully and really comes through in these.

The second in my wheat germ spree are these Peanut Butter Granola Bars. I stumbled upon this recipe in this month's What's Cooking Kraft magazine and adapted the recipe to suit my taste. This free magazine is a treasure if you substitute all their product placed ingredients and tinker to your own whims.
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
12 servings, 1 bar (73 g) each
1 cup Light Smooth Peanut Butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup oil
2 cups large flake rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 cups of combined dried fruit (my choices are golden raisins, chopped dried cherries & chopped dried apricots)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend first 3 ingredients in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients.Press into 9-inch square pan and bake until golden (approx. 25 min). Cool completely before slicing.
Since these are basically a homemade granola bar, wrap cooled bars individually in plastic wrap or foil. 

I can't overstate how underrated dried cherries are. If you don't use them in your baking, please try them. They are so fantastic, albeit expensive, but so worth it. Also, I must pass along the good word on golden raisins. I never use those yucky dark Sun Maid raisins, golden raisins are sweeter and more delicious.

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