Long before chia seeds, there was flax!
Flax is grown in in the United States as well as Canada, parts of Asia, and parts of Europe. While the entire flax plant has a variety of uses, including linen production, it is the seed of the plant that is consumed as food. Don’t let the tiny seeds of flax fool you-they are packed with nutrients that promote health and prevent disease!
Here are three good reasons to get your daily serving of flax:
Flax is an excellent source of an essential fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The ALA found in flax is converted to the same heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids found in fish.
Flax contains plant compounds known as lignans. Lignans are especially known for their cancer prevention properties.
Flax seed is a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, and has been shown to help reduce cholesterol, especially the“bad” cholesterol known as LDL-cholesterol. In fact, a couple of tablespoons of flax per day may help decrease LDL-cholesterol enough to avoid taking cholesterol lowering medications known as statins.
In order to get all of these health benefits, it’s important to eat the flax seed ground. Whole flaxseed is not digested and will pass through your digestive tract unabsorbed.
Ground flax is known as flax meal. You can grind whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder to make the flax meal, or you can simply purchase flax meal instead of the seeds.
Now that you know about flax, how does it taste and how can it be used?
Flax meal has a nutty flavor and can be enjoyed sprinkled on cereal, salads, toast, or just about any other food. It is especially delicious and filling when cooked in your favorite style of oats. Flax meal also blends very nicely in your favorite smoothie.
Flax meal can also be used as a butter or egg substitute when baking.
As a butter replacement, use three tablespoons of flax meal for every one tablespoon of butter in a recipe.
As an egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of flax meal with 3 tablespoons of water for every egg in your recipe.Let sit for one or two minutes before adding to other ingredients.
Once opened, flax meal is best stored in the refrigerator or freezer for up to six months. However, once you discover how easy it is to add flax to your daily eating plan, it’s hard to imagine you will keep it in your refrigerator for that long before it’s time to buy more!