Flax Seed – How do You Eat the Stuff Anyway?


Flax seed. You’ve read about it here, you’ve seen it at the health food store, and you know it’s good for you. But what on earth do you do with it? A previous post of mine, Feeding Your Children Healthy Fats, mentioned flax as a good source. In the Comments, Elizabeth asked me for some fun ways to give your kids flax. While not all the following ideas are necessarily fun, they will all get the flax into your children (and you), without upsetting your family’s peace (“But I don’t liiiiike tiny seeds!”).

I remember reading somewhere that the ancient Greeks or Romans used to snack on flax seed as is. I’ve tried it, and they are good little buggers, tasting like walnuts. Some kids enjoy eating something like that. The seeds are unique and slippery, and I have to assume they’re fun to play with. But since flax is a pretty darned good source of fiber, don’t let your kids eat too much, especially in the beginning – or you’ll be lined up at the bathroom door. A teaspoon at most to begin with.

A friend of mine actually grinds up flax and puts them in some marvelous homemade cookies. You can certainly add flax to all sorts of recipes. I do remember her saying it took awhile to get the ratio of flax to flour correct, as the flax prevents the dough from sticking together. (I’ll have to see if I can beg the recipe from her for publication. You’d love them!)

Other options for flax are adding a teaspoon or so to that all-star green smoothie You can also sprinkle it on oatmeal or cold cereal, sneak it in spaghetti sauce, put it in muffins, and – phew! The list is endless! Just make sure to grind them first in a coffee grinder. They have a hull on there that needs to be broken. Otherwise the flax won’t digest and you’ll miss out on all the benefits!

Oh, and one last use for flax: Feed it to your dogs. My two mini doxies get ground flax seed in their food every day, and their coats really shine! Dogs should get about 1/2 a teaspoon of flax a day per 10 pounds of dog – build up to that level or you may be cleaning up more in your house than dog fur. But you’ll have a dog with fur that feels more like a cat; even better, fleas don’t like healthy fur and skin.

There’s something about flax that makes me all wordy as you can see. Omega 3′s, major brain food, keeps things regular. I’m sure I’ll think of 12 more uses for flax by the end of the day, but we’ll stop for now so I don’t get typer’s cramp.

Now if you don’t mind, I’m going off to dream about those cookies…

12 Comments

  1. Diane,

    I hadn’t thought of using flax seed for my little Sheltie. Thanks for such a great tip. My question is this…what about feeding flax seed to my hubby? Is this something that can be thrown into wild rice, or into oatmeal? Or anything else? I would also need to know how much to use.

    Kindest Regards,

    Kathryn

  2. I like this list. I just got some flex powder and I plan to use it on many meals. Thanks for the ideas.
    Lucia

  3. Thanks for mentioning you have to grind flax to get the benefits- I ate the seeds on my salad for the longest time before hearing that most of them weren’t being chewed – thus I wasn’t digesting them! Darn, the money I wasted! I’ve been into almonds lately for some reason, but I need to get some more flax too!
    By the way, I once tried the flax oil with the cinnamon flavor to it- can’t remember the brand- and it was really good in a chocolate shake (a healthy chocolate shake, you know what I mean)!

  4. I use flax seed on my oatmeal every morning it’s like a morning ritual. It’s the versatility of milled flax seed that keeps me using the kernels as a dietary supplement–I use its sprinkles on pastries, smoothies and even along with soy milk. A few tablespoons of its granules sprinkled over the meals of the day and I can be assured that I’m getting the right amounts of Omega 3 nutrients that will keep my heart healthy and strong. Forgot to grind the flax seed?…well, it’s not a total waste of money, you still benefited from the dietary fibers found on its husk.

  5. [...] did a post awhile ago on how to eat flax seed, and it’s been quite the popular little post. I wanted to provide you with some flax recipes [...]

  6. Happy New Year ! , I like a lot your blog post expecially the article for homemade dog foods and your post regarding Flax Seed – How do You Eat the Stuff Anyway? , it looks very interesting. I found you on yahoo while searching for homemade dog foods . I just Stumble it on Monday !

  7. Great post!

    My only addition to your excellent recipe using flaxseed is, for myself, I use Rejuv! for my flaxseed meal. It comes easy to measure and has added value of flax hull lignans which are concentrated. Great antioxidant and packed with Omega-3s. Easy to cook with. I order it exclusively from http://www.rejuvnow.com

    It is cold-milled (which is better than grinding it at home) and all natural/organic.

    I use it daily in my smoothies. I’ve done the research and it is the best and superior to the flaxseed meal you get at a local health food store or enlightened grocers.

    Thanks again for the great post.

  8. It’s really good on yogurt!

  9. I just bought flaxseed in a bag and i like eating them like that but a i read it sounds like im suppose to grind them,i dont have a grinder,can you buy them already grinded and is it better to buy the flaxseed oil pills ,do they have the same effect,thankyou Breda

  10. we recently discovered flax tortillas at costco. even enjoy ground powder with a bit of salt, bit of paprika mix this with cooked rice. heating will convert the omega 3 to 6, so avoid heating if possible.

  11. If I sprout flax seed in water, is it o.k. to eat it without grinding it? Vicki

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