Fabulous Flax – Grind Your Own!
Flax seeds (aka linseed) are an inexpensive nutritional champ you may want to consider eating on a regular basis. (Pun intended!) We’re here to help make it easy to add it to many meals.
The Facts on Flax
Flax is high in protein (~15% by calories) and features vitamins like thiamin, vitamin B6, folate and choline. It’s also a great source of minerals like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper as well as a source of selenium, iron and calcium. Here is the detailed breakdown on NutritionData.
It’s perhaps best known for the wealth of alpha-linolenic acid (or ALA) omega 3 fatty-acids, which are commonly deficient in diets. ALA is needed for our bodies to synthesize EPA and DHA, and a lack of ALA results in a deficiency in EPA and DHA. (Learn more about these here.) As a comparison, per 100g chia has 5.7 grams of omega 3’s; hemp has about 10g of omega 3’s; walnuts have 9g — and flax? A whopping 22.8g/100g – about 50% of the fat is omega 3’s. Get your ALA, kids!
Flax is also exceptionally high in fiber and contains many anti-oxidants, especially lignans. Flax is also strongly anti-inflammatory, and all of this aids our health in a myriad of ways.
TIP: Flax meal (ground flax) is great as an egg replacer in baked goods. Simply mix 1tbsp flax meal with 3tbsp water for each egg. (Allow to coagulate with the water for a few minutes prior.)
We encourage sourcing organic flax seed, as it is a common GMO crop.
Flax meal is simply ground flax seed. Since flax seeds have such a tough outer layer (the husk adds to their fiber), you need to consume ground flax in order to absorb its nutrients.
You can purchase flax meal (ensure it isn’t processed or de-fatted) or preferably, make your own! It’s easy and we show you how below.
Flax meal doesn’t have a strong flavour, and is easy to add to many dishes. It can be mixed into oatmeal, smoothies, nut butters, yogurt and cereal. You can sprinkle it on grains like rice or quinoa. It can also be added to salads, or sprinkle it on your veggies. It’s easy to get 3-4 teaspoons per day, which is the amount you need to meet your ALA requirements.
Grind Your Own
We suggest grinding your own: it’s easy, it’s cheaper, it’s fresher and more nutritious!
Ideally you’ll find flax seeds in the bulk section of your grocery or natural foods store.
You can use a blender, or we recommend dedicating an old coffee grinder to your new habit (check your local thrift shop!) It takes just 5-10 seconds to grind a small batch to a powder.
In just a minute, you’ll have more than a week’s worth of flax ready to go!
We like using these glass nut butter jars for storing our flax – be sure to use a sealed container. It’s also important to store flax seeds and flax meal in the freezer to preserve the nutrition, and will last weeks or months this way. Freezing doesn’t affect its ease of use.
Although fundamentally not as nutritious as flax meal, if you’re short on time flax oil can be utilized (and is really tasty on popcorn!) It won’t have any protein or fiber, but still offers the omega 3’s and other elements. Only purchase flaxseed oil that’s stored in the fridge, and keep it in the fridge at home.
Don’t Slack on Flax!
It’s easy to prepare and offers quite the nutritious punch, so don’t slack on flax!
Let us know your experiences making and using flax meal! What have you discovered are your favourite foods to add it to?