Just the Flax, Ma'am.

One of my earliest memories of my Gida was of him coming in from the field on his old tractor, covered in flax seeds. They would be in his hat, in his pockets, and in the bib of his overalls. He would let me eat some, raw and fresh from the field. That was good stuff.

Thirty-odd years later, I am learning about just how good that stuff is.

The whole seeds are nutty and delicious in a porridge or bread. Nutritionally speaking, though, whole flax seeds are better for you when they are ground. (“milled.”) Flaxseed oil, released through grinding, is rich in alpha linolenic acids (ALA) and may lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and blood pressure. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory within arteries and has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. For more about the health benefits of flax, click here.

Ground flaxseed is high in soluble fiber and can be used a substitute for eggs and for other, less nutritious oils in baked goods. So far, I have baked ground flaxseed into cakes, bread, muffins, pizza crust and cookies. It is easy to sneak into spaghetti sauce and has gone undetected in stews. Pancakes take on a lightly nutty flavour that is kid-approved when some flaxseed meal is stirred in.

Peanut butter cookies rich in ground flax provide a tasty dose of this good stuff. The boys love cookies no matter how we bake 'em! 

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