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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ground Flaxseed

In an effort to help my youngest daughter become “healthier” (I won’t got into details…trust me, you don’t want to know), I am on a quest. A quest to increase fiber and overall nutritional punch per bite in our family’s diet. I’ve discovered ground (a.k.a. milled) flaxseed on this quest and I’m excited about its potential!

Flaxseed is high in omega-3 fatty acids, a good source of fiber, and can help lower cholesterol due to the presence of lignans. The Mayo clinic has some interesting info on health benefits and uses, like substituting ground flaxseed for eggs in recipes…who would have thought? (Quick side note: Flaxseed oil is very high in omega-3’s but does not have the fiber and lignans.) I’ve used ground flaxseed once in a baking recipe (which I’ll post about tomorrow) with great success. The box says you can add milled flaxseed to all kinds of things, including salads, cereals, smoothies and yogurt.

Which leads me to today’s big question. Do you use ground flaxseed and what do you use it in? Do you ever use flaxseed oil? I’m a flax novice and want your best tips and recipes, so please share!

Quick notes: Refrigerate flax seed after opening. Find more information at


  1. 1

    I put a scoop of ground flaxseed in our fruit smoothies every morning. My husband doesn’t even know 🙂

  2. 2

    I use that EXACT same box of flaxseed. I put it in a protein shake in the morning. It is usually with a banana. I like the grit with the banana flavor. When I can remember, I’ll add it to my cereal, but that rarely happens.

  3. 3

    I add flax seed whenever I make homemade muffins, meatballs and anything that has ground meat. I also add to my morning yogurt & granola and oatmeal cereal.

  4. 4

    My husband puts it in his fruit smoothies – avocado too.
    I want to try it as an egg substitute. I hear it is good as a topper on baked potatoes.

  5. 5

    I use Flax Oil in my smoothies. But, I put the flaxseed on my salad if I head over the the $9 lunch across the street from work!

    I’m planning to make some breads this weekend with flax though. Hope it turns out well!

  6. I throw some ground flaxseed in homemade bread, pancakes, muffins, etc. I have to admit I’m a bit flummoxed as to how it functions as a substitute for eggs. Maybe someone can clue me in?

    Don’t forget to refrigerate! I store mine in a reused jelly jar in the fridge.


  7. 7
    Jane Maynard

    I know, the egg thing seems crazy, right? here’s what the mayo clinic says: To substitute flaxseed for one large egg in a recipe, use 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed plus 3 tablespoons water. Keep in mind that it will somewhat alter the texture of the finished product, making it slightly “gummy.”

  8. I haven’t used ground or milled, but I’ve tossed some of the seeds in cookies before without the kids noticing. Interested on your baking report tomorrow!

  9. 9

    I put ground flax in my bread recipe, as well as my homemade granola and granola bars.

  10. 10

    You should always grind them because the seeds pass through your body undigested. If you buy the whole seeds you can get a counter coffee grinder or spice grinder to grind the desired amount. My Mom puts ground flax in EVERYTHING–just ask my Dad…

  11. 11

    I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Ground Golden Flaxseed (I buy it at our local grocery store) when I make my homemade granola (I use a whole cup of it…with ~9 cups of oats and 6 cups of nuts and seeds) I also substitute about 1/4 cup of the flour called for in my muffin recipe and use ground flaxseed instead. It adds a great nutty flavor and is so healthy for you!

  12. 12

    I use it as my favorite egg substitute, as my daughter has an allergy to eggs. It works GREAT in cookies, casseroles, meatloaf, etc. It is hard to get some cakes to work with it, but what I’ve found is that if the recipe calls for all purpose flour, you’re probably off to a good start. If the recipe uses self-rising….you might want to use eggs.

  13. 13
    Jane Maynard

    very cool, michelle! thank you so much for sharing that…good to know that it really works!

  14. 14

    If your daughter is having “fiber related” issues, you might try PlumSmart juice. It tastes really good so kids don’t know what they’re drinking. Also, Trader Joe’s has some good fiber rich products that taste good and are kid friendly. Good Luck! Hope the flax works, too!

  15. 15

    Thank you for posting on this, I’ve been wanting to add flax to our diets, I’ve heard of it’s great health benefits, but had no clue on how to do it. Thanks to the comments and links I think I’ll have some place to start now.

  16. 16
    andrea p

    I am a big fan of flax seed. Like someone else said, I buy the whole seeds and use a coffee grinder. Just like wheat for flour, the fresher the grind the better for nutrients (from what I understand).

    I add some to oatmeal or cream of wheat. It’s great in baked goods, bread, pizza dough, cookies, cake, pancakes and I use it in the breading mixture for meats. Sometimes I reduce the flour a little and substitute the flax, other times I add a little more moisture to the recipe if needed. The golden flax has the same nutrients as brown flax, but blends in better with some recipes. Really, you can put in in just about anything that you’re cooking, it just has to become part of your lifestyle.

    I read recently that pregnant women should avoid flaxseed oil. I’ve never tried it myself.

  17. 17
    andrea p

    I forgot to mention, you can find some good deals on flax seed through It was cheaper than my grocery store and with the $25 minimum purchase there wasn’t a shipping fee.

  18. 18

    Yes, stir it into yogurt, oatmeal, breads, muffins, etc. She won’t even know it is there..ha!

  19. 19

    I buy whole flax seeds in bulk and use an electric coffee bean grinder to grind them each morning. I grind just what I need because the nutritional value is greatly decreased the longer they are ground and just sitting there. Plus, it is cheaper and you know it is fresh. I put it is my smoothies, baked goods, yogurt, etc. My mom fed me flax since I was a wee tyke…it is great. Good luck with packing more nutrition into your culinary punch.

  20. 20

    yep, i put it into smoothies & all baked goods. I’ve heard it can turn rancid pretty quickly. i don’t bake a lot, and we go thru times when we don’t want smoothies for a while, so i keep it in my kitchen freezer rather than the fridge.

    when i do bake, i reduce some of the flour and add part flax meal & part oats that i’ve run thru the food processor.

  21. I just bought some ground flaxseed and am excited to start using it. Great timing on this post!

  22. I am LOVING all these comments and tips – thank you everyone! keep it coming!

  23. 23
    angie f

    I went on a flaxseed experimenting kick this summer. (yes my husband thinks I’m weird). You can substitute ground flaxseed–1 T + 3 T water for each egg, with little discernible taste change–it’s a bit nuttier, that’s all. You can also substitute a great deal of fat with flaxseed–1 T butter, etc = 3T flax. The trick here is there needs to be another source of liquid in the recipe, otherwise you end up turning whatever recipe you’re using to granola (I’ve had great success with cookie and brownie recipes putting half flax and half the fat in the recipe). has some other ideas and substitution help. They make the ground flaxseed I buy–at Costco–and they swear that their cold milling process means I can store it in my pantry opened for 22 months. We’ll see.

  24. 24

    I use flax seed oil in my salad dressing: dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, flax seed oil and creme fraiche. It is delicious! I echo what some other commentors have said in that it goes rancid quite easily and you really do need to keep it fresh and refrigerated. Also, be sure to buy it in dark, opaque bottles as light (in addition to heat) can contribute to rancidity. I get mine at Whole Foods.

  25. 25

    Hey jane- I throw ground flax seed in most anything, especially – oatmeal, all kinds of muffins, homemade bread, smoothies, even cookies! We keep it in the fridge or freezer. I just read in another comment that you can buy it at Costco, I’ll have to look for it next time.

  26. 26

    I use in in a ton of our food. Most recently I sprinkled it on steamed broccoli. Worked great. Oh, I keep mine in the freezer.

  27. Trader Joes has a great packagage of ground flax that contains ground dried blueberries. It is very inexpensive. I add it to plain yogurt, cereal, granola, breakfast “cookies” (have a great recipe if anyone wants it), and have even put it into meatloaf (you could not taste blueberries).

  28. 28

    I use a lot of ground flaxseed. I “spike” everything with it….throw a handful in cookie dough, pancake batter, homemade granola bars, smoothies, in PB&J sandwiches (sprinkle on the PB), in yogurt, sprinkled on cut up fruit (with a little whipped cream)……We love it…And it helps my son be “healthier” too

  29. yes, tara rison, of course we want you to share the cookie recipe! 🙂

    love love love all your tips…thank you all again!

  30. 30

    So glad to see folks talking about the practical side of using flax.
    In the name of convience, I grind up a cup or two of seeds in the blender and store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month. You can smell it when it goes bad, even frozen. I think I got this idea from the Canadian Flax Council’s web site.

  31. 31

    In homemade granola, toasted/roasted with honey, almonds, dried fruit, and sunflower seeds. She will never notice the flax, or the ground goji berries, or (occasional) sub of ground acai berries.

    She would definately notice if you made yogurt with live active cultures and subbed that for milk (Try making yogurt in your slow cooker!). And if you want to join my planet of crazy you can make your own jam/preserves from whatever fruit you purchase at the farmers market during the summer and add that as sweetener.

  32. 32

    Can anyone tell me if flaxseed is considered a “nut”? I’m wondering because several of you have mentioned it has a nutty flavor. My son is severely allergic to eggs so I’m going to start substituting with this but he also happens to be severely allergic to nuts so I need to make sure it’s okay.

  33. 33
    Jane Maynard

    I’m not an expert or a doctor, but from what I read on widipedia ( looks like it’s a plant, and the seeds come from inside the fruit of the plant. no mention of nuts or a relation to nuts, so you’re probably safe…probably best to confirm with a doctor or allergist, but my bet is it is not related to nuts. and sounds like a great substitute for those allergic to eggs!

    I totally feel your allergy pain…we’ve got them all over our family. they stink!

  34. 34

    After my morning run I eat 1 C. of plain yogurt (yes, a full cup) with 1/4 C. flaxseed, chopped fruit (peach, nectarine, pear, mango, papaya, etc.) and a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder. I mix everything together before my run so the flaxseeds absorb some of the water and have a tapioca-like consistency.

  35. 35
    Jane Maynard

    very cool “recipe” gaby – thank you for sharing!

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