When I first heard about flaxseed (way back in the day when my grandmother talked about it) I didn’t care much about it Ã¢â‚¬â€ after all, I was like, 7. But as an adult, as I adopted a cleaner eating mindset, flaxseed began to take on new importance.
Flaxseed is important for a number of reasons, but most importantly, it’s an amazing seed that provides a mountain of health benefits. Among them, it has been reported that flax can help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Lucky for us, flaxseed can be found in a lot of commercially produced products these days, but getting your daily intake is as easy a sprinkling a ground-up version in some food.
Why flaxseed is so powerful
The health benefits of flax seed are truly remarkable. Just one tablespoon of flaxseed contains around 1.8 grams of 0mega-3 essential fatty acids which are the “good” fats shown to be heart-healthy. In addition, this little seed contains lignans and fiber, also good for your diet.
How much flaxseed do I need?
While no specific amount is said to be either good or bad, the most common recommendation is 1-2 tablespoons per day. And it’s better to eat ground flaxseed than the seed as a whole because when eaten whole, it’s harder for your body to digest. I recommend buying a bag of the seeds and using an electric coffee grinder to do your own grinding (waaaay cheaper). Plus, whole flaxseed keeps longer than ground, and the cooler and darker the place you’re storing it, the better.
Alright, it’s good for me. But does it taste bad?
That’s sort of relative, right? Like, what I think tastes yummy, you might think is gross. But here’s what I can tell you. Flaxseed has a distinctly nutty flavoring to it and if you include it in recipes, you often won’t taste it at all. The flavor is most obvious when it’s sprinkled on something like oatmeal. If you want to bake with it, substitute part of the flour with the ground flaxseed – start with 1/4 cup and move up to 1/2 cup (as long as the entire recipe calls for 2 cups of flour or more).
Sounds great. Now where are some recipes to get me started?
I knew you’d ask me that! Personally, I’m a huge fan of AllRecipes.com. The honest feedback from other cooks makes it so easy to decide what to try and what to pass up. And just from an initial search, I found 74 recipes with flax as an ingredient. Everything from Flax and Sunflower Seed Bread to Flax Seed Smoothies.
Do you already use flaxseed on a regular basis? What’s your favorite way to use it?
Photo Courtesy of RecipePlex.com