Cooking with Flaxseed and Wheat Germ: Recipes for Cheesy Chicken Parmesan and Orange-Cranberry Wheat Germ Muffins (Podcast #119)

Cooking with flaxseed and wheat germ can add a nice burst of good nutrition to your family’s diet, and they’re certainly versatile. You can add a tablespoon or two to your batters and breadings or simply sprinkle some on top of your cereal or yogurt. Hey, they even blend in nicely with fruit smoothies! Flaxseed and wheat germ are both good sources of fiber and wheat germ tops the charts when it comes to heart-healthy vitamin E. As for flaxseed, it’s an ALA omega-3 fat superstar.

We talked up the health and flavor benefits of flax and wheat germ on this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast and shared two recipes. The first is a recipe for cranberry muffins that features wheat germ, and the second is our new Cheesy Chicken Parmesan (a recipe in No Whine with Dinner) which illustrates how ground flaxseed and wheat germ can be used in coatings and breadings.

Orange-Cranberry Wheat Germ Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins

According to Cooking Light magazine, where we found this recipe, these muffins are at their best warm, so reheat briefly if you make ahead. Liz’s boys have been eating them for breakfast all week (as has Liz), and the muffins are awesome toasted up and topped with strawberry jam.

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup raw wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (* we used granulated sugar)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through nutmeg) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.

2. Combine brown sugar, oil, rind, juice, and eggs; stir with a whisk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir just until combined. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake 17 minutes, or until muffins spring back when touched in center.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 197 calories(26% from fat), 5.8g fat (sat 0.6g,mono 3.1g, poly 1.6g), 54mg calcium, 33.8g carbohydrate, 149mg sodium, 3.4g protein, 1.2gm fiber

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Cheesy Chicken Parmesan

Makes 4 Servings

  • Four 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • 3/4 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, optional

1. Wrap the chicken breast halves between wax paper or plastic wrap. Place on a cutting board and pound into ¼-inch-thick pieces using a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy saucepan. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.

2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and flaxseed in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Whisk together the egg and water in another bowl, and place the flour on a large plate.

3. To bread the chicken, coat both sides with the flour and shake off excess. Dip in the egg and then coat evenly with the bread crumb mixture.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining oil, flip the chicken, and cook an additional 2 minutes. Work in batches if necessary.

5. Transfer to a baking sheet and top each chicken breast evenly with the pasta sauce and the shredded cheese. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese melts, about 7 minutes. Top with the chopped basil as desired and serve.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 cutlet): 450 calories, 18g fat (5g saturated), 500mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 41g protein, 10% vitamin A, 25% calcium, 15% iron

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If you have a favorite recipe or way to use flaxseed or wheat germ, feel free to share it here.

8 responses to “Cooking with Flaxseed and Wheat Germ: Recipes for Cheesy Chicken Parmesan and Orange-Cranberry Wheat Germ Muffins (Podcast #119)”

  1. Rachel says:

    congrats on No Whine with Dinner release!

  2. Kristin says:

    So can’t wait to get my hands on the book!

    Ok, so I know this may make you shudder, but my kids were dying for buckeyes, the yummy peanut butter chocolate balls. Using dark chocolate for the outside, I used less butter (about half, but couldn’t do canola or they won’t stay together), added graham crackers, natural peanut butter and yes, flax. My kids are LOVING them and I love knowing there is way more nutrition than in a Reeses! 🙂

    • Wow, Kristin, what a fabulous job modifying your recipe to make it healthier! You are a Meal Makeover Mom for sure! These sound really yummy and the fact that your kids love them, even with the changes, is so awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Danelle Solorio says:

    Just wondering if there is any need to hold off with the flax seed or wheat germ until a certain age? My son just turned one, thanks for the info!

  4. Megan says:

    One of my favourite ways to use flaxseed is in my carrot date cookie recipe:

  5. Hi Danelle,

    Our understanding is that in moderation, flaxseed is safe for children. Here is a reference to check out:

    Q. Is flax safe for kids and toddlers?
    A. Flax is a natural plant source of vital nutrition and is considered safe for healthy people of all age groups. We recommend no more than one-quarter tablespoon daily for young children.

    Here’s another good resource:

    Let us know if this helps!

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