Now that you know all
about how flax seeds can promote health from my post on the health benefits of flax, you have hopefully purchased
some flaxseed meal from your local grocery store. In the last post, I
suggested consuming 1-2 tablespoons regularly. Now you’re probably
wondering “how am I supposed to eat this?”
Not to worry… cancer dietitian to the rescue! Here are
some ideas on how to use flaxseed. First you need the basics of buying
and storing them, and one precautionary note:
Buying and Storing Flaxseed
- You can buy the ground up seeds, known as
flaxseed meal or buy the seeds whole. If you buy them whole, grind them
in a coffee grinder. Whole flax seeds are definitely cheaper, but I
choose the ground ones for convenience.
- Once ground, store them in the freezer so that they do not go bad.
- You should not eat whole flax seeds if you have digestive problems
including irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s
Disease, and other small and large intestine conditions. If you have
any of these conditions, you may be able to eat VERY FINELY ground
flaxseed. Start with 1/2 teaspoon per day into your diet, and see how
you tolerate it. If you have any pain or bloating, you should stop
Here are some foods that you can add flax to:
- fruit smoothie
- frozen yogurt or other desserts
- fresh or frozen fruit
- soups and stews (stir in flaxseed after cooking is done)
- Try cold cereals that contain flaxseed. Look for these products in the health food section of your grocery store.
Baking with Flax:
Flax is also great to bake with. Ground flaxseed can be substituted for
shortening or cooking oil at a rate of 3 to 1 in baked foods. In other
words, 3/4 cups of ground flaxseed can replace 1/4 cup of butter in a
recipe. Feel free to try the substitution in your bread or brownie
recipes. I would start with replacing half of the butter or oil and see
how it goes.
Here’s a flax muffin recipe for you to try!
Whole Wheat Flax Banana Muffins:
- ¼ cup ground flax seed
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 2 chopped bananas
- 3 Tbsp Canola oil
- ½ cup skim milk
- Blend dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl combine egg, Canola oil and milk.
- Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and stir until just blended.
- Fold in bananas (Batter will be thick.) and fill well-greased muffin cups ⅔ full.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until top springs back when touched.
Nutrition info: 145 calories, < 1g saturated fat, 24g carbohydrate, 3g protein, 2g fiber.