Flaxseeds are known for their Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as both soluble and insoluble fiber. In addition to providing healthy digestive tracts, preliminary studies show us that flaxseeds might even help in fighting heart disease, diabetes, and breast cancer. If you’re looking to add this great ingredient to your repertoire, here are a few creative ways to eat more flaxseeds!
The first thing to know is that whole flaxseeds aren’t going to help you at all. Many seeds have protective coatings that are difficult or impossible for humans to digest. This is nature’s way of ensuring a next generation of fruits and nuts! When you see crackers and muffins with whole flaxseeds, don’t even bother. Look for ground flaxseeds at the store or buy whole seeds and grind them in a spice grinder at home!
Running low on eggs but trying to make meatballs, pancakes, cake, or other recipes that use eggs as a binding ingredient? Or are you experimenting with vegan dishes? Well, much like chia seeds, ground flaxseeds mixed with water work as a great substitute for eggs in many recipes. You definitely don’t want to use this for completely egg-based dishes like scrambled eggs, soufflé, or crème brulée, but if you just need another couple of eggs as a binding agent, try this instead.
1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 Tablespoons water. Mix together and let sit for about 15 minutes until set. Here are some great tips to help you get the perfect “flax egg!”
Add to Smoothies
You can toss a Tablespoon or two in your morning smoothie to get an additional burst of fiber and energy. Most of the time, the flax isn’t even detectable in a smoothie! If you’re using strong flavors, like bananas, orange juice, or berries, flax is actually a great compliment. Just a little nutty and slightly grassy, it cuts through some of that sour sweetness and works great in smoothies!
Mix into Oatmeal
One serving of flaxseed is about two Tablespoons, but mixing even just one full tablespoon into your oatmeal will significantly alter the taste and consistency. You can cover up the flavor with fresh fruit, milk, honey, or cinnamon and nutmeg, but that doesn’t always help the consistency. Instead, when you begin making your oatmeal, stir together a flaxseed egg, as we listed above. The consistency will change and even the flavor is muted a bit. Mix this flax egg into your finished oatmeal and the taste and consistency will be greatly improved!
Granola is another place where you can’t even detect the flavor of the flaxseed. Add a few Tablespoons to your homemade granola cereal before baking and you won’t even know it’s there!
Adding flax to your salad is so passe! The dry meal is just not very palatable on a light and fresh green salad, so mix it into the dressing instead! You heard it here first! You can add (preferably toasted) ground flaxseed to your homemade dressings for a slightly nutty flavor. If you’re making a simple Balsamic or Mustard vinaigrette, just add about 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed to 3 Tablespoons of vinegar. You can add more or less as you get used to the flavor.
Mix Into Condiments
Enjoying a roast beef sandwich on rye with spicy whole grain mustard? Mix ground flaxseeds into the mustard before spreading it onto your bread. The dry consistency will be completely masked by the mustard! You can also mix it into your mayonnaise, ketchup, or other condiments to make them just a touch healthier!
Add to Cooked Foods
Your meatballs, casseroles, muffins, and even lasagna can take a dose of ground flaxseeds. Even if you’ve already got eggs, ground flaxseeds can be mixed with the dry ingredients in baking for a healthy boost of fiber, or sprinkled on the creamy cheese layer of casseroles and lasagnas to hide the consistency. If you added just a little flaxseed to every meal, you could easily get a full serving of flaxseed every day!