About five years ago we started adding flax seeds into our diets. At first I bought them already ground and kept it in the freezer to make sure it retained its freshness. When we moved to Texas I received a coffee grinder as a gift, so now I grind my own (flax seeds that is). The grinder is dedicated to herbs only – no coffee.
My understanding of flax seed is that in the “seed” form it can sit on the shelf just fine (or refrigerate it). When it has been ground it has a very limited shelf life (losing its nutritional properties) and will also go rancid very quickly (learned that one quickly), but you can keep it in the freezer to retain its nutrients. The other bit about flax seed is when it is in the ground form it is easier to digest and absorb all its nutrients, but when it is in the seed form, unless you are really chewing your food (like we are suppose to be) the seed just passes through you, undigested and you don’t get the nutrients from it.
I grind enough to fill a small jar. The whole flax seeds go into another jar to sit on the shelf in the pantry.
Initially we were really good about sprinkling the ground flax seed on things we ate throughout the day. It seems we have gotten out of that habit. Right now I mainly use it in all the bread that I make and the granola bars that I make. But there are so many ways it can be used and I need to get us back in the habit of that.
Ways to use ground flax seed:
- sprinkle on cereal or oatmeal
- sprinkle on yogurt
- add to any baked goods – muffins, cakes, pancakes, bread, etc.
- add to your smoothies
- sprinkle over salads, or if you make your dressing you can add it in when you make it
Really, when you start to think about it, ground flax seed can be used at every meal, somehow (just sprinkle it on something – that’s easy). It is full of great beneficial nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. It also is packed with B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese to name a few.
I need to get back into the habit of taking it out of the freezer at each meal and start incorporating it back into our meals.
Somewhere along the line I heard that “it takes 21 days to break a bad habit.” In this case I want to start a habit – a good one! One thing I do to get me going it by taping a note up in a place I will see it. So a note will go up in the kitchen on one of the cupboards to help remind me.
Do any of you have other ways you are using flax seed?
Check out Jane over at Hard Working Homestead is doing with flax seed!