5 Best Wheat Germ Substitutes. There are many wheat germ substitutes, some healthy and some less so. As gluten-free diets become more and more popular, it can be important to know which alternative products you’re using to better understand the origins of each ingredient you’re using in your meal.

With the rise of gluten-free diets, these substitutes are becoming increasingly important. Wheat germ is the core of a seed that’s normally removed, along with the fibrous husk when wheat is processed for flour. It’s used in many healthy recipes in order to add some of the missing nutrition derived from refined flour. Since wheat germ is from inside the seed, it may be full of protein, vitamins and minerals, which are all stored to help this very tiny seed germinate.

Wheat Germ Substitutes

Because wheat germ is high in gluten and carbohydrates, it’s not appropriate for low-carb diets. However, there are other easy substitutes that you can use to make the dish flavorful and nutritious. Ingredients like flaxseed, bread crumbs, bran, and ground seeds will easily do the trick.

Wheat flour is full of carbohydrates, which is no longer recommended for low-carb diets. It is also high in gluten and has become harder to find due to the growing number of people following a gluten/wheat-free diet. There are several easy substitutes though – flaxseed, bread crumbs, bran, and ground seed – that can help.

Flax Seed

Flax meal is an excellent substitute for those who are looking to make their recipes healthier. They’re packed with omega-3s, folic acid, vitamins, and minerals. It also has that nice chewy crumb that muffins often need. Here are some recipes you can check out for flax meal.

Made from ground flax seeds, Flax meal can easily be used in place of bread crumbs in baking recipes. They’re packed with folate and minerals, quick to make, and gluten free. It will also give your muffins a chewy texture that’s perfect for batch cooking.

Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is made from whole kernels of ground-up wheat, with the secret ingredient being a healthy dose of wheat germ. The protein packed grain makes for quite the fluffy and light flour, which can sometimes be dense and clumpy. To get rid of any clumps, sift the flour before using on your recipe!

Whole wheat flour can be a great natural substitute for white flour. It’s made by grinding and sifting the whole kernel, so it’s light and fluffy while still being dense as white flour. Sift it before using, but you won’t have to worry about clumps this way.

Bread Crumbs

Sometimes, wheat germ can be a hard substitute when in making breading. However, the alternative is simple breadcrumbs. These crumbs will hold up to hot oils without being soggy and the taste will correspond as well. This substitution only works for savory recipes; do not use it in sweet dishes.

If you are avoiding gluten, but want breadcrumbs in your cooking, some other substitutions may be the best option. For instance, bacon or ham scraps can stand up to cooking oil without losing their structure and flavor. The taste will be similar as well. This substitution will only work in savory recipes; do not use this alternative in sweet dishes.


If you’re looking for a gluten-free flour, try rice, oat or wheat bran. Rice and oat bran flours may be used interchangeably in most baking applications. Wheat bran has a very mild flavor and will produce a soft texture with strong crumbiness.

Bran is usually sold as wheat, rice, or oats. Wheat Bran has a flavor similar to wheat germ. You can avoid wheat with one of these two products: Rice Bran or Oat Bran. They’re both helpful when you want a soft texture and strong crumbliness in your baked goods.

Ground Seeds

Crushing seeds offers many benefits. Most of these benefits are immediately noticeable in health, as the essential vitamins and minerals that can be found in the flour instantly boost the nutritional value of anything you’re cooking with it. Be careful not to over-grind a seed like sesame or tahini will become a real mess.

Seeds are nature’s powerhouses. They can give you the nutrients you need to grow a healthy, happy body without supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals you don’t like. Seeds are great source of protein, but our favorite is ground flax because of its Omega-3 content. It also contains calcium, iron and phosphorus! Though it won’t replace a balanced diet, seeds make scrumptious meals like pancakes and brownies even more delicious.