Flax seeds are tiny oil seeds that originated in the Middle East thousands of years ago. Today they have gained popularity as a health food due to their high content of unique plant compounds, heart-healthy omega-3 fats, and fiber, all of which link to numerous benefits.
With their mild, nutty flavor and crispy, crunchy consistency, flax seeds are an all-around ingredient that can enhance the taste and texture of almost any recipe.
Let’s explore the many ways to savor the health attributes of this potent seed.
1. Add to your smoothies
Put a couple of tablespoons of flax seeds in your blender and pulse for 10 seconds (Or you can buy them ground.)
Now you are ready to boost your healthy fat intake by blending a tablespoon or two into your favorite fruit smoothie.
Use, for example, ½ banana, 1 cup of berries, 1 cup of almond milk, and two tablespoons of flax seeds.
2. Add to granola
Two tablespoons of flax seeds contain 4 grams of fiber. So, boost your fiber intake by mixing two to four tablespoons of flax seeds into your granola.
Try this homemade granola instead of the store-bought: 110 grams of almonds, four tablespoons of peanut butter, one tablespoon of cinnamon, 150 grams of oats, two tablespoons of maple syrup, and three tablespoons of flax seeds.
Bake everything for 12 – 15 minutes.
3. Use instead of oils when you bake
Try replacing oils for ground flax seeds in baking goods in a ratio of 3 parts flax seeds to 1 part oil, which means, instead of 1 tablespoon of oil, use three tablespoons of ground flax seeds.
4. Swap out eggs for flax seeds
Flax seeds create a viscous liquid that mimics an egg. So, if you are out of eggs, mix one tablespoon of ground flax seeds and two tablespoons of water.
Let the mixture rest while you gather the rest of your recipe ingredients.
5. Substitute for meat
Adding flax seeds to a vegetarian burger recipe is a great way to get a meaty flavor. The flax seeds will help bind the ingredients together.
Use ¼ cup of ground flax seeds instead of breadcrumbs.
And a bonus here is that flax seeds are gluten-free!
6. Make yourself a nutrition-packed salad dressing
Swirl ground flax seeds into your favorite salad dressing to make sure you get tons of good minerals like phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium, copper, and iron.
Try this delicious salad dressing recipe:
- One cup of water
- ½ cup of lemon juice
- Two cloves of garlic
- One teaspoon of salt
- One teaspoon of granulated onion
- ¼ cup of fresh basil
- ¼ cup of finely ground flax seeds
Mix everything except flax seeds in a blender until smooth. Then add flax seeds and blend thoroughly.
7. Make a healthier spread
Flax seeds have enough healthy fats to create a creamy and buttery spread. The taste of flax seeds butter on its own may not be as appealing to you at first.
So, the first time you try, add ground flax seeds to your favorite peanut butter or other nut spread.
8. Boost your soup recipes
Swap out part of the butter or cream for two tablespoons of ground flax seeds in a creamy soup. That will create a velvety and nutty finish in soups. Add a dash of whole flax seeds on top for a crunchy finisher for the finishing touch.
9. Use in pancakes
Make delicious flax seed, gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free pancakes
Use ¼ cup of flax seeds, one ¼ cup of gluten-free flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, 1 cup of almond milk, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and two tablespoons of maple syrup.
Serve your pancakes with your favorite fruits.
10. Sprinkle on top
The easiest way to add flax seeds to your daily diet is to sprinkle them on any yogurt or oatmeal, giving you a healthy start to your morning.
Including flax seeds in your diet will give you a tasty experience and provide your body with many health benefits.
The high fiber content in flax seeds may relieve constipation and positively affect your gut microbiome.
Research suggests that flax seeds may be helpful for some people diagnosed with heart and blood vessel diseases. Apart from this, flax seeds may also help blood sugar in some people with type-2 diabetes.
Studies also show that due to the nutrient lignans found in flax seeds, eating these seeds may help decrease cancer growth and lower the risk of several types of cancer.
So, go ahead and give these nutritious seeds a try.
REFERENCES: Dietary Flaxseed as a Strategy for Improving Human Health. Mihir Parikh, Thane G Maddaford, J Alejandro Austria, Michel Aliani, Thomas Netticadan, Grant N Pierce https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31130604/ Flaxseed: its bioactive components and their cardiovascular benefits. Mihir Parikh, Thomas Netticadan, Grant N Pierce https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29101172/ Dietary flaxseed: what we know and don't know about its effects on cardiovascular disease. Mihir Parikh, Grant N Pierce https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30562057/ Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food. Ankit Goyal, Vivek Sharma, Neelam Upadhyay, Sandeep Gill, Manvesh Sihag https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25190822/ Flaxseed: a potential source of food, feed, and fiber. K K Singh, D Mridula, Jagbir Rehal, P Barnwal https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21390942/ Flaxseed and cardiovascular health. Kailash Prasad https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19568181/ Bioprocessing of Functional Ingredients from Flaxseed. Christian Kwesi Ofotsu Dzuvor, Jordan Tauai Taylor, Caleb Acquah, Sharadwata Pan, and Dominic Agyei https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6222892/