If I am to blog about Chia seeds then its mandatory for me to blog about flax seeds. For me flax seeds and chia seeds go hand in hand. They are a very important staple in my pantry as they make it into my smoothies, my oatmeal and my baked treats. They are incredibly versatile and an important pantry staple for any vegan. If it isn’t well it should be.
So a little bit of history. The use of flax seeds per say has been fairly recent as the flax plant had been used for thousands of years for linen. Its cultivation was mainly for the production of clothing. Currently, we still use the plant for linen but the seed can also be used to make flaxseed oil, which has been one of the oldest type of commercially sold vegetable oil. Even though it is made from flaxseed, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the oil is healthy as it has been heated and stripped of its nutrients.
Benefits: Flaxseeds have been grouped as a super food for good reasons.
- Per 1 tbsp of flaxseeds you get 4g of fat of which more than half is the omega-3 fatty acids, ALA which is not even found in salmon.
- Looking more at micronutrients, flaxseeds for their weight are a very good source of manganese and Vitamin B1
- It has a great source of fibre, about 8g for 1 tbsp! So say goodbye to the laxatives and say hello to flax seeds. With this extra fibre, remember to drink more water as the extra fibre without proper hydration may cause some bloating.
Flax seeds are either found as whole brown seeds, ground, or as golden seeds. I love to put the seeds whole in smoothies for the extra crunch, oats (baked or porridge) and as an egg replacer. Yep, you heard that–egg replacer. You can buy the ground flax seeds but I love to just buy the whole seeds in bulk and grind some only when I need it. When soaked in a little bit of water, it creates a gel which has the consistency of egg whites. This is especially helpful in gluten free baking to help the flour rise without using xanthum gum, while making breads, cakes and muffins even more nutritious. An added bonus: you can use less oil because of the natural fat that the flaxseed has. Just remember to refrigerate the powder as it does not have a long shelf-life at room temperature.
With all these benefits who wouldn’t run to the supermarket to get a large bulk of flax seeds?