You don’t have to be in ill-health to enjoy flaxseed or oil. Everyone can benefit from the nutritional and medicinal properties found in this humble seed.
The ancient flaxseed, or linseed, as it is also known, has been a favourite amongst farmers and veterinarians and is now touted as a modern-day super food for humans too.
Research has found flaxseed and oil to be extremely useful for:
- Lowering cholesterol
- Thinning the blood
- Reducing acid reflux
- Inhibiting cancer cells
- Intestinal and digestive issues
- Reducing/ridding constipation
- Internal cleansing
- General disease prevention
It is may also improve health and wellness for people suffering from:
- Heart disease
- Joint pain
- Stomach ulcers
The flaxseed comes from the blue flowering plant, Linum usitatissimum. As well as being very useful to the farmers, the housewives also spun the plant fibre to make high quality beautiful linen, hence the name linseed.
Today, the linseed is popular with the health conscious for its high doses of Omega 3, fibre, lignans and micronutrients and is easily found on the shelves of most supermarkets. Look for linseed bread next time you’re doing the shopping!
LSA is a ground meal made from linseed, sunflower and almond (LSA) and is fantastic as a topping for oatmeal, cereal and muesli; sprinkled on stir-frys, soups, stews, salads or added to smoothies or milkshakes. LSA can also be added to baking: cakes, muffins and breads. It is a valuable source of dietary fibre, protein and essential fatty acids.
TIP: When purchasing whole flaxseed, be sure to crush it to release the oils before consuming.
NOTEWORTHY: Flaxseed oil has a limited shelf life. Keep it in the fridge and be sure to use before the best by date.
CAUTION: Flaxseed contains high levels of lignans. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or being treated for a particular health issue, please consult a health professional before adding flaxseed to your regular eating regime.
FLAXSEED CRANBERRY MUFFINS
This recipe was published in the February 2003 edition of Canadian Living (magazine). I am a keen collector of recipes and I am happy to share this one with you!!
1 cup flaxseed
1 cup each of: flour, wholemeal flour and bran
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp each of: baking soda(bi-carb) and cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 and half cups of buttermilk
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup+ dried cranberries
Set aside 2 TBSP of flaxseed. In a food processor, grind the remaining flaxseed to make a fine meal. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add all the dry ingredients except the sugar. Combine well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, sugar and oil; pour over the flour mixture.
Stir in the cranberries.
Spoon into lined or greased muffin tins; sprinkle with reserved flaxseed.
Bake at 375 F/190 C for 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.