Flax Seed

By: Kim Beavers Email
By: Kim Beavers Email

Just for the flax of it!

Flax seed is not a new culinary additive, but it is making a new presence in the grocery store these days.

Flax fortified products found in our local area:

  • Nature’s Path Flax Plus Cereal

  • Private Selection Golden Flax Bread

  • Uncle SAM Cereal

  • Van’s Gourmet Flax waffles (taste a little heavier than regular waffles)

  • Smart Balance Butter Spread with flax oil

Flax seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential Omega-3 fatty acid our body needs but does not produce. In addition, we can produce DHA and EPA from ALA--however, this conversion is not efficient, so it is still a good idea to eat your fatty fish weekly.

Flax seeds are rich in antioxidants and phytoestorgens and is associated with lowering blood cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart attacks and stroke, and lessening the risk of many cancers.

Flax seeds must be broken down in order for the full nutrient benefit to be realized. The whole seeds will go through our gastrointestinal tract undigested. You can buy flax seeds whole and grind them in a coffee grinder to break through the outer hull and add them to your food. Whole flax seeds will keep at room temperature for up to one year.

Flax meal or milled flax is also available to purchase, and this is the most convenient way to add it to the diet (in my opinion). Just store it in the freezer to keep it fresh longer. Flax does contain fatty acids and will go rancid if not stored properly.

Ways to add flax meal to your diet:

  • ¼ cup replaces ¼ cup flour in recipes

  • 3 Tbs. flax can replace 1 Tbs. butter, margarine, shortening or vegetable oil

  • 1 Tbs. milled flax + 3 Tbs. water = 1 egg.

  • Sprinkle it in cereal, or add too dough, casseroles and other cooked food.

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