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10 Creative Ways to Incorporate Flax Seeds into Your Diet

10 Creative Ways to Incorporate Flax Seeds into Your Diet

Flax seeds, originating from the Middle East thousands of years ago, have gained popularity as a health food. Packed with unique plant compounds, heart-healthy omega-3 fats, and fiber, flax seeds offer numerous benefits. With their mild, nutty flavor and crispy, crunchy consistency, they can enhance the taste and texture of almost any recipe. Let’s explore ten delightful ways to incorporate these potent seeds into your diet.

1. Swirl into Smoothies

Add a couple of tablespoons of freshly ground flax seeds to your blender and pulse for 10 seconds. Boost your healthy fat intake by blending a tablespoon or two into your favorite fruit smoothie. For example, blend ½ banana, 1 cup of berries, 1 cup of almond milk, and two tablespoons of flax seeds.

Enjoy these recipes from our kitchen:

Chocolate Superfood Protein Smoothie 

Beet Blast Smoothie 

Strawberry Coconut Protein Smoothie

Chocolate Superfood Protein Smoothie

2. Add to Granola

Two tablespoons of flax seeds contain 4 grams of fiber. Boost your fiber intake by mixing two to four tablespoons of flax seeds into your granola. 

Try this easy and delicious homemade granola recipe:

  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) of peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups of oats
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons of flax seeds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almonds, peanut butter, cinnamon, oats, maple syrup, and flax seeds. Mix well to ensure everything is evenly coated.
  3. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet in an even layer.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the granola is golden brown and crispy.
  5. Allow the granola to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container.

Enjoy your homemade granola as a nutritious snack or breakfast topping!

3. Use Instead of Oils When Baking

Replace oils with ground flax seeds in baking goods using a ratio of 3 parts flax seeds to 1 part oil. For example, instead of 1 tablespoon of oil, use three tablespoons of ground flax seeds.

4. Swap Out Eggs for Flax Seeds

Flax seeds create a viscous liquid that mimics an egg. If you’re out of eggs, mix one tablespoon of ground flax seeds with two tablespoons of water. Let the mixture rest while you gather the rest of your recipe ingredients.

Flax Eggs

5. Substitute for Meat

Adding flax seeds to a vegetarian burger recipe enhances the meaty flavor and helps bind the ingredients together. Use ¼ cup of ground flax seeds instead of breadcrumbs. Bonus: flax seeds are gluten-free!

Try this recipe from our kitchen:

Lentil Burger with Grilled Pineapple and Mixed Greens 

6. Make a Nutrition-Packed Salad Dressing

Swirl ground flax seeds into your favorite salad dressing to add minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium, copper, and iron. Try this delicious salad dressing recipe:

  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup of lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated onion
  • ¼ cup of fresh basil
  • ¼ cup of finely ground flax seeds

Mix everything except flax seeds in a blender until smooth. Then add flax seeds and blend thoroughly.

7. Make a Healthier Spread

Flax seeds have enough healthy fats to create a creamy, buttery spread. The taste of flax seed butter on its own may not be appealing at first, so mix ground flax seeds with your favorite almond butter or other nut spreads.

8. Boost Your Soup Recipes

Swap out part of the butter or cream in a creamy soup for two tablespoons of ground flax seeds. This will create a velvety, nutty finish. Add a dash of whole flax seeds on top for a crunchy finisher.

9. Use in Pancakes

Enjoy these nutritious and tasty flax seed pancakes, perfect for a healthy breakfast or brunch.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of flax seeds
  • 1 ¼ cups of gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Flax Seeds: Grind the flax seeds into a fine meal using a coffee grinder or blender.
  2. Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the ground flax seeds, gluten-free flour, and baking powder.
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, mix the almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the vinegar to react with the baking powder, creating a light and fluffy batter.
  4. Combine Dry and Wet Ingredients: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Avoid overmixing to keep the batter light.
  5. Cook the Pancakes: Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour ¼ cup of batter onto the skillet for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  6. Serve: Serve your pancakes warm, topped with your favorite fruits.

Enjoy these delicious flax seed pancakes as a healthy and satisfying meal!

Raspberry Pancakes

10. Sprinkle on Top

The easiest way to add flax seeds to your daily diet is to sprinkle them on coconut yogurt or oatmeal, giving you a healthy start to your morning.

A Note on Buying Flax Seeds

It’s best to buy whole flax seeds rather than pre-ground flax seeds. Whole flax seeds have a longer shelf life and retain their nutrients better. Once ground, flax seeds can quickly become rancid due to the exposure to air, light, and heat, which can degrade their omega-3 fatty acids and other valuable nutrients. To get the most health benefits, grind whole flax seeds at home using a coffee grinder or blender just before use.

Takeaway

Including flax seeds in your diet offers a delicious way to reap numerous health benefits. Their high fiber content can help relieve constipation and positively impact your gut microbiome. Research indicates that flax seeds may benefit individuals with heart and blood vessel diseases, as well as aid in blood sugar control for those with type-2 diabetes. Furthermore, the lignans in flax seeds have been shown to potentially decrease cancer growth and reduce the risk of several types of cancer.

So, go ahead and incorporate these nutritious seeds into your meals!

Resources

Dietary Flaxseed as a Strategy for Improving Human Health. Mihir Parikh, Thane G Maddaford, J Alejandro Austria, Michel Aliani, Thomas Netticadan, Grant N Pierce [Link]

Flaxseed: its bioactive components and their cardiovascular benefits. Mihir Parikh, Thomas Netticadan, Grant N Pierce [Link]

Dietary flaxseed: what we know and don’t know about its effects on cardiovascular disease. Mihir Parikh, Grant N Pierce [Link]

Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food. Ankit Goyal, Vivek Sharma, Neelam Upadhyay, Sandeep Gill, Manvesh Sihag [Link]

Flaxseed: a potential source of food, feed, and fiber. K K Singh, D Mridula, Jagbir Rehal, P Barnwal [Link]

Flaxseed and cardiovascular health. Kailash Prasad [Link]

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