In inherited 5 lbs of raw flax seeds. Got any great flax-heavy recipes? Ideally that use it in a way that keeps the health benefits.

  • Posted by: Susie
  • October 18, 2010


Susie October 19, 2010
First thing I did this morning: froze that flax. Thanks for all the useful info....*especially* the warning about not eating too much!
betteirene October 19, 2010
Here's the poop: You need to break the hard outer coating of flax seeds to get any health benefit from them, or else they pass through your stomach and intestines undigested. What a waste! All those omega-3s and lignans flushed right down the toilet. You can break them into rough pieces by whirling them in a blender for a few seconds, smashing them in a mortar with a pestle, or grinding them into meal with a spice grinder.

If you're eating them to "bulk up," however, eat them whole, by all means. Just be sure to drink a lot of liquid because there is so much soluble fiber in flax seeds that they absorb five times their weight in water. Drink plenty so that you don't become constipated. And if you're not used to a high-fiber diet, start slowly.

The oil in flax seeds turns rancid quickly if the seeds are exposed to heat or light, so don't grind the seeds until just before you use them. Store extra seeds in the refrigerator or freezer in a tightly covered container. Flax seeds have a lot of crunch but little flavor. If they taste unpleasant, they've turned rancid. If they smell like paint thinner, throw them out. (Food-grade flaxseed oil is cold-pressed, like olive oil, and you can buy it at any grocery with a decent health food section. If it's not cold-pressed, it's linseed oil and you can buy it at Ace Hardware for paint thinning and clean up.)

Don't eat them by the cupful: They contain cyanogen which is harmless in small quantities, but in large amounts, they can feed a goiter by not letting your thyroid take up iodine.

Bob's Red Mill is my primary source for oddball flours and meals. This link tells you how to substitute flax meal for the eggs or oil called for in your recipes.

This link goes to recipes using flax meal:

These are the kinds of things you learn when you hang out with vegans and people who suffer from celiac disease. Interesting, isn't it. . .

TheWimpyVegetarian October 19, 2010
As long as you grind up the seeds to a powder, you'll get the health benefits. But only grind up what you'll use over a couple months as flax seed is prone to going rancid, with the ground flax going rancid much faster than the whole seed. I keep ground up flax seeds in a container in the frig that I add to all kinds of things from my fruit and yogurt in the morning to my salads, pie crusts and bread. I completely agree with AJ to freeze what you won't use in the next week or two.
AntoniaJames October 18, 2010
Mr. Hirschfeld is right on all the ways to use. But if you have a lot, you should freeze all that you think you won't be using this week, and refrigerate the rest. ;o)
thirschfeld October 18, 2010
add them to smoothies, bread, muffins, oatmeal, really the ideas are endless. Pancakes, waffles...
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