5 Things to do with flaxseeds
Flaxseeds are tiny seeds resembling sesame seeds. They are a good source of fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B1 and the essential omega 3-fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). They are also rich in lignans—estrogen-like chemical compounds with antioxidant qualities.
If you’ve never tried them, you’re missing out on their many health benefits, including: protection from cancer, lowering cholesterol, preventing hot flashes and improving blood sugar.
So what do you do with them? Well, first you want to make sure you’re eating them in the ground/milled form because your body has difficulty digesting the whole seed. Your local grocery store most likely sells them in both forms. Here are some simple ways to get you eating more flax in no time:
- Stir into your jar of peanut butter.
Don’t you just hate having to stir your peanut butter? The oil gets all over the place and makes a mess! Of course I’m talking natural peanut butter, where “peanuts” (and maybe salt) are the only ingredient. I found that if I mix a little ground flaxseed into the jar, it soaks up the oil! Give it a try…just be sure to refrigerate after mixing.
- Sprinkle over oatmeal.
Just a couple of tablespoons will add extra fiber to your already fiber-rich oats.
- Blend into smoothies.
I always like to add a little healthy fat to my smoothies for “staying power.” Sometimes I use peanut butter. Sometimes I use flaxseeds. Sometimes I use both!
- Use as a coating for fish or chicken.
Just substitute for breadcrumbs and you have a healthier alternative to breading.
- Make banana bread!
Have some over-ripe bananas? Bake them into a delicious Flax Banana Bread! Here’s my favorite recipe:
Flax Banana Bread
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup low-fat buttermilk
¼ cup fat-free egg substitute
3 Tbsp canola oil
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup pureed ripe bananas
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a nonstick 8×4 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
2. Whisk together sugar, buttermilk, egg substitute and oil.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the flours, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Don’t over mix.
5. Stir in bananas and pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
6. Allow the pan to cool slightly, then remove the loaf from pan.