How to Eat Flax Seeds
Flax seed, though small, is packed full of nutrition. An excellent source of essential fatty acids, flax seed has a nice nutty and toasted flavor, One tablespoon of whole seeds contains 55 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, and about 2,300 milligrams of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fat. ALA has been shown to help decrease the risk of certain inflammatory diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. Flax seeds are also an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, and thiamin and a good source of selenium. They also contain gamma-tocopheral, a form of the antioxidant vitamin E.
Flax seeds are a magical health food that we hear a lot about but don’t always know what to do with, so in this article we will show you some the best ways to eat these magical seeds.
Boiling Flax Seeds
Boil whole flax seeds in a small amount of water to make flax gel. Use a 1-to-3 ratio of whole seeds to water. Add the seeds to the water and bring it to a rolling boil. Boil until the seeds soften, which is roughly 10 minutes. Strain the liquid into a heat-safe container, removing the seeds and setting them aside for another use or throwing them away. Cool the liquid to room temperature or in the fridge before using the gel in a recipe.
Flax gel may be used as an egg substitute for vegan recipes, where it helps bind ingredients and keep them moist. A 3-tablespoon serving of the gel is equivalent to one large egg. When used as an egg replacement, flax gel, unlike moistened flax meal, does not cause baked goods to brown more quickly as the hulls of the seeds are not used. Flax gel also may be used as a nutrient booster, adding extra soluble fiber to food such as smoothies or soups.
Sprinkle over Cereal
Another way is to sprinkle the seeds over your cereal, granola or any other breakfast you consume. Adding flax seed into first meal of your day boosts your energy levels and makes you feel full for a longer period of time. It will also provide essential benefits and vitamins for your day forward.
Blend into Smoothie
Wondering how to eat flax seeds in lunchtime? Mix some in your smoothie for extra goodness along with your veggie or fruit mix. One great way to get the 5 portions of veggie and fruits every single day is by replacing one meal of your day with smoothies.
Grind the flax seed
The Omega-3 fatty acids present in flax seed are located inside the seeds and therefore the seeds need to be opened to access the nutritional value. You can grind the flax seed using a coffee or spice grinder to ensure that you are reaping the benefits of flax seed. Ground flax can be kept for one week in a room temperature setting or for up to two months in the refrigerator.
If you like eating yoghurt or curd, then flaxseed raita is a delicious option you must try. Add one cup of grated lauki, one cup of dahi, one and half tablespoon of roasted and coarsely ground alsi, half teaspoon of black salt and sugar in a bowl. Mix all these ingredients, refrigerate for one hour and serve chilled.
Flaxseeds not only provide a rich taste and flavour to vegetarian dishes but also give a unique taste when added to non-vegetarian dishes like chicken. You can sprinkle one tablespoon of flaxseed powder while preparing your dish or add this powder to garnish the food. But remember not to add the powder directly to hot oil, as it may ruin your dish or cause an unusual flavour.
Flax in Your Ice Cream
Aside from fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds are also a great source of lignans, potassium, and magnesium, says Danielle Omar, a registered dietitian at a private practice in Washington, D.C. “I suggest buying the seeds whole and storing them in the fridge, then grinding them yourself to preserve freshness,” Omar says. “You can also purchase ‘cold milled flax’ seed, which can increase the shelf life of ground flax.”
To incorporate them into your diet, Omar suggests sprinkling ground flax on cottage cheese, ice cream, and applesauce.
Add It to Dip
Ground flaxseed retains a lot of its oil, so it stays pretty moist. It’s not a “dry” ingredient in the same way we typically think of them. Adding a tablespoon or two to most dips will thicken them and add flavor without just drying it out. Below is a recipe for overdrive mustard dip that specifically calls for flaxseed to get you started, but don’t be afraid to start with a teaspoon in any dip, mix, or taste, and see where it takes you.
Sweet or Savory Instant Porridge or “Mush”
The idea here is to pour boiling water over flax seed meal to make a kind of porridge that can be flavored in many ways, both sweet and savory. The amount of water will vary according to taste, but about twice the amount of water as flax seed meal is a good starting place.
I also like to add a pinch of salt, and if I am going to the sweet side, a little sweetener as well. Let it thicken for a couple of minutes while the seeds absorb the water. If it’s too thick and “gel-like”, add more water.