Sunday, October 31, 2010

Flax Seed

I have been curious if I can eat my Flax Seeds whole or should I be grind them????

It is recommended you grind the seeds (or buy ground flaxseed) because whole seeds simply pass through the body. Grinding the seeds just before using them best preserves flavor and nutrition, but pre-ground seeds are more convenient. Keep them refrigerated. There are no nutritional differences between brown and yellow seeds.

We have 2 coffee grinders, so I am going to use the blade grinder just for my flax seeds (the guide to my burr coffee grinder suggests not using it to grind anything except for coffee beans as the taste may transfer back and forth between the beans and the seeds).  So, thank goodness we have 2.  :-)

Health experts recommend an intake of 2 to 4 tablespoons per day. Please note, however, that flaxseed is high in fiber—you should generally start with about 1/2 to 1 tsp per day, and gradually add more until you reach the recommended amount. Give yourself about a month to get to the recommended amount per day. When adding fiber to one's diet, it is important to drink an adequate amount of fluid—about eight glasses of water per day. 


Most people eat 1/8 cup to 3/8 cup per day (20 to 70 grams) depending on age, weight and health objectives. It is recommended to  use a stainless steel 1/8 cup measuring scoop and take 1 to 3 scoops per day.

Sprinkle ground flax seed on your cereal and salads.

Substitute flax seed mixture for eggs in home baking such as muffin and pancake (1 tbsp milled flax seed, plus 3 tbsp water = 1 egg). Final products will have less volume and taste gummier.

Include in other recipes when a nutty flavor is preferred

1) Put it On or Mix it In With Other Foods Terms...

Such as:
•Yogurt and fruit
•Cottage or ricotta cheese and fruit
•Yogurt or ricotta with a sugar-free syrup or agave syrup
•Smoothies and shakes
•Mix it into pancake or muffin batter, or other baked goods (you'll probably need to add a little more water)

2) Make a Sweet or Savory Instant Porridge or "Mush"
The idea here is to pour boiling water over flax seed meal to make a kind of porridge that can be flavored in many ways, both sweet and savory. The amount of water will vary according to taste, but about twice the amount of water as flax seed meal is a good starting place. I also like to add a pinch of salt, and if I am going to the sweet side, a little sweetener as well. Let it thicken for a couple of minutes while the seeds absorb the water. If it's too thick and "gel-like", add more water.

Here are some ideas for "mix-ins" for flax meal.
•Peanut butter and cinnamon
•Any nut butter
•Cinnamon, sweetener, and butter
•Chopped Nuts
•Chopped Apple and cinnamon
•Chopped Peaches
•Sugar Free Maple Syrup
•Other sugar-free syrups
•Sugar-free jam
•Unsweetened coconut (not from a can)
•To make it deluxe, add sugar-free chocolate with the coconut
•Coconut milk and sugar-free jam (raspberry is good) (not from a can)
•Shredded cheese
•Shredded cheese and chiles (or pepper cheese)
•Cheese and chives
•Cheese and garlic

3) Flax Seed Recipes
Flax seed meal can be the basis for some yummy recipes.  Click yummy recipes to recipes for the items listed below.
•Flax Seed Focaccia-Style Bread
•Flax Seed Pizza Crust
•Miracle Brownies
•Apple Flax Muffins
•Chelsie's Cinnamon Flax Cranberry Muffins
•Low-Carb "Doughnut" Muffins
•Garlic Parmesan Flax Seed Crackers
•Flax Seed Peanut Butter Hot Cereal
•Hot Pumpkin "Cereal"
•Satisfying Breakfast Shake
•Berry Protein Fiber Shake
•Flax Meal Breakfast Microwave Pudding 

Milled means ground.
It's sounds like next time I am buying already ground.....less work for me.  :-)  But whole seeds can be used in breads, cookies, salads, yogurts and cereals and I do like the flavor.  It just makes sense, as tiny as the seeds are I am not crunching every single one of them, meaning my body cannot process the ones I eat whole.

For more recipes you can buy "The Amazing Flax Cookbook" by Jane Reinhardt-Martin or her first book "Flax You Way to Better Health."   
Should I Eat Flax During Pregnancy?

Flax seed is a phytoestrogen, which is a plant estrogen.

Pregnant mothers and their children are especially sensitive to hormones. Human studies have not been done on the effect of flax and pregnancy, however animal studies have been completed. High estrogen levels are needed by the mother to prepare the uterus for the growing fetus, on the other hand, too much estrogen given to pregnant animals can reduce litter size and the birth weight of the offspring. Therefore, until human studies have been completed, I would advise to refrain from eating flax when pregnant.


Remember: Flax seed is very high in fiber. Drink lots of fluid while eating flax.

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