If you are having bread make it especially healthy with cheesy cheddar and bacon quick bread by adding nutty and nutritious wheat germ.
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This loaf is an easy quick bread recipe. Flavored with sharp cheddar cheese, crisp pieces of bacon and a little green pepper. It is a tasty side when served for dinner and great sliced and toasted for breakfast with eggs.
Not only is this easy quick bread tasty, it also has the added benefit from the wheat germ that is part of the ingredient list. Unfamiliar with wheat germ? Here is what I learned about this tiny part of the wheat plant.
What is wheat germ
Wheat germ is part of the wheat kernel that is removed when wheat is ground into flour. It is the part of the grain that’s responsible for the development and growth of the new plant sprout. And it is a nutritional powerhouse.
The wheat plant
The wheat plant is a long grass that has a spike at the top. The spike contains wheat berries, anywhere from 20 to 100 berries per plant. Each wheat berry has three parts: the bran, endosperm, and the germ.
The bran is the skin on the outside of the wheat berry. The endosperm, what makes up most of a wheat berry, is inside the bran. The germ is the part of the wheat berry that sprouts to grow into a new plant. When wheat is being refined into white flour, usually the bran and the germ are removed.
The healthiest part
However, the germ is the healthiest part of the wheat berry. Though just a small part, the germ contains many nutrients. It’s an excellent source of thiamin and a good source of folate, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. The germ also contains protein, fiber and some fat.
Wheat germ has high levels of vitamin E. This vitamin is an antioxidant that helps to protect fat-containing substances in the body. Some examples of these substances are brain cells, cell membranes, and cholesterol. Vitamin E protects them from damage that can be caused by free radicals in the body.
Incorporating wheat germ into your diet
Wheat germ is not a food that is eaten on its own, but there are several ways that you can incorporate it into your diet.
- Add 1 or 2 tablespoons to your hot or cold cereal or yogurt.
- Add it into muffins, casseroles.
- Blend into smoothies.
- Add to your meatloaf or meatballs.
- Mix it into pancake or waffle batter to boost the total nutrient quality.
- Incorporate it into bread and muffin recipes, like zucchini or banana bread.
- Sprinkle over your next PB & Jelly sandwich.
- Stir it into pizza crust he next time you make a homemade pizza.
Storing wheat germ
If not stored correctly and left at room temperature, the oils inside wheat germ can quickly become rancid and sour. Once the wheat germ has been opened it requires immediate cold storage to preserve freshness. Be sure to purchase wheat germ that is fresh and well within its expiration date. Wheat germ may not be a high-turnover item at your local grocery and thus may sit on the store shelf for a long period of time.
Store wheat germ tightly sealed in the refrigerator. Heat, humidity and exposure to air contribute to its spoilage. Transfer wheat germ to a different container if the original container is not resealable. Store for 6-8 months in the fridge or up to a year in the freezer.
Here is how to make cheddar, bacon, and wheat germ quick bread
Grate 4-ounces of sharp cheddar cheese and chop 4 slices of crisply cooked bacon. Seed and chop jalapeno pepper.
TIP: The next time you are chopping jalapeno or bell peppers, chop up extra and wrap in 1/4-cup measures. Tuck the individually wrapped packages into a freezer-safe bag and freeze. You will save time and money and enjoy the convenience of having them ready when needed.
In a large mixing bowl, add 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup wheat germ, 1/4 cup sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Whisk the dry ingredients until evenly combined.
Stir in the 4-ounches grated cheddar cheese,
Toss in the chopped bacon and jalapeno pepper and stir together.
In another bowl, whisk the 1 1/4-cups buttermilk, 2 eggs and 1/4-cup vegetable oil until combined.
TIP: Don’t have buttermilk? Here is an easy substitute: Measure 1 Tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice or 1 Tablespoon vinegar into a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup total liquid. Stir to combine and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. The mixture will begin to thicken and curdle. Use as needed in recipe, or cover and refrigerate until needed.
Since this recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups of buttermilk , just add a splash more vinegar and fill measuring cup to 1 1/4 cups.
Pour the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients.
Mix together just until moistened being carful not to over-mix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the loaf for 50-55 minutes. Remove from pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool.
Cheesy cheddar and bacon quick bread with nutty and nutritious wheat germ is an easy recipe. Tasty side or sliced and toasted for breakfast with eggs.
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Cheddar, Bacon and Wheat Germ Quick Bread
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces (about 1 cup) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 slices crisply cooked bacon
- 3 tablespoons chives, chopped
- 1/4 cup jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
Stir in the cheese, bacon and jalapeno pepper.
In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs and vegetable oil until combined.
Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together just until moistened.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 50-55 minutes.
Remove from pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool.
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