Know Your Ingredients - FLAX SEEDS
Today on Know Your Ingredients, we are going to be talking about Flax seeds. Flax Seeds (Linum usitatissimum) are an ancient ‘’Superfood” that is most commonly used as an vegan egg substitute in baking and has also sparked interest by researchers for it's health benefits.
Flax seeds are brown or golden brown in color are are commercially available as whole seeds, ground flax seeds or flax meal and flax seed oil.
Flax seeds are one of the richest source of plant-based omega-3-fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. Omega-3-fatty acids are these essential fatty acids that our body can’t produce and needs to be obtained through your diet.
Studies have shown that Flax seeds may help reduce the risk of heart disease and reduce overall inflammation in the body. The ALA in flaxseeds can also benefit our skin and hair.
Flax seeds are a great source of dietary fiber, which is one of the reasons why it has gained popularity. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber and therefore helps maintain good digestive health. It can also help reduce the symptoms of constipation.
TIP: Flaxseeds are best consumed ground, as our bodies cannot assimilate the nutrients found inside the seeds if they are eaten whole. Whole seeds will mostly pass through our Gastro Intestinal system undigested, so it’s always best to grind them or to use ground flaxseed meal to get the most benefits of flaxseeds.
5 WAYS TO USE FLAX SEEDS IN YOUR DIET
Ground flaxseeds can be incorporated into smoothies, yogurts, granola, oatmeal, desserts, snacks, soups, stews, salads, and sprinkled on pasta!
Flax seed oil can be used in salad dressings
Top your roti/ chapatis with ghee and sprinkle some flax seeds on it for a quick and nutritious after-school snack for kids. I suggest NOT adding flax seeds to the chapati dough as flax seeds are heat-sensitive and roasting the chapatis on the tawa can destroy some of the nutrients in them.
Flax seeds can be used as an egg replacement in baking. To make 'flax egg', use the following proportion: 1 egg = 1tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp water. Allow it to soak for 5-7 minutes until it forms a 'gel' like consistency.
Make a healthier spread by topping your avocado toast with ground flax seeds or by adding flax seeds to your peanut butter or almond butter and smothering it on your toast for a nutritious snack!
Flax seeds can turn rancid pretty quickly due to the presence of sensitive omega 3 fatty acids. It's best to store ground flaxseed in the freezer to keep it fresh for a longer period of time.