Smart Substitutions: Wheat Germ Instead of Breadcrumbs in Meatballs
Most meatball recipes call for a small amount of fine breadcrumbs, which make for a silkier texture. Mixed with an egg, breadcrumbs also keep the meatballs from crumbling.
Breadcrumbs are a delicious and handy ingredient in numerous dishes, but they don’t bring many health benefits to the table. Our experiments replacing breadcrumbs with wheat germ in some of our recipes have revealed exciting results.
Wheat germ mimics breadcrumbs in keeping things moist and nutty tasting. It also smoothes out the meat mixture for just the right consistency. We’ve discovered you can replace half, or even all, of the breadcrumbs called for in meatball recipes without sacrificing any of the flavor or texture.
What’s more, wheat germ offers quite a bit more healthy benefits. Fiber content, for example, actually doubles (from 1 percent to 2 percent) while vitamin E goes from trace (about 2 percent of the recommended daily allowance) to a good source (10 percent of the recommended daily allowance). Other nutrients, such as folic acid, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc, are elevated as well.
For more smart substitutions see our post Smart Substitutions: Wheat Germ in Muffin Flour.