Don’t let the tiny flaxseed mislead you. Great things come in small packages. Flaxseed is loaded with both soluble and insoluble fibre, is one of the richest sources of a plant compound called lignans, and is an excellent source of that heart healthy fat omega-3.
We all know that fibre is good for us, but did you know that there are 2 types of fibre?
Insoluble which helps keep you regular and soluble which helps lower total cholesterol.
Flaxseed is a great source of both types of fibre. Heart healthy omega-3 fats are making the news everyday. Studies have shown that people who consume more omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to have a heart attack and if they do, they are less likely to die from one, and yes you guessed it, flaxseed is an excellent source of omega-3 fat.
To round out it’s nutritional profile flaxseeds are the richest source of plant lignans, a type of phytoestrogen, which has been shown to fight against hormone related cancers.
Quite the pedigree! And all contained in tiny reddish brown or golden seed.
Flax comes in several forms: oil, pills, whole and ground. Which is the best buy for your nutritional Looney?
The ground seeds. The fibre, lignans and omega-3’s are readily absorbed from this form. The only way that all of these wonderful things are absorbed to their greatest capacity is in the ground form. If you eat them whole they are really just a laxative. Hello, Good-bye. Grind up the whole seeds to the consistency of coarse sand. Either buy them whole and grind your own in a coffee bean mill or buy them already ground. Store the whole seeds in a cool dark place for up to 1 year and store the ground seeds in the fridge for up to 3 months. Eat 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed everyday. Start off with 1 teaspoon/5 mL And work your way up to 2 tablespoons/30 mL.
For more information on flax go to www.flaxcouncil.com You can add the ground seeds to peanut butter sandwiches, into a smoothie, sprinkled over pasta or try this muffin recipe. Each muffin is equal to 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed.
Super Nutritious Bran Muffins (aka the BM Bullets)
These muffins are loaded with powerfully nutritious ingredients like whole grains, ground flax seed, dates, prunes, buttermilk and dark chocolate. They honestly taste too good to be healthy, but they are and loaded with fibre as well, someone pinch me.
1 ¼ cups (310 mL) whole wheat flour
1 cup (250 mL) wheat bran
2 tbsp (30 mL) wheat germ
¾ cup (175 mL) ground flaxseed
½ cup (125 mL) chopped dates
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped dark chocolate, M & M’s baking bits, or mini chocolate chips
2 Tbsp (30 mL) cinnamon
1 tsp (7 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1 ¼ cups (310 mL) buttermilk
1 omega-3 egg
one – 4.5 oz. (128 mL) jar baby food strained prunes
¾ cup (175 mL) dark brown sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) molasses
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C.) Line a muffin tin with paper cup liners.
2. In a large bowl mix together using a fork or a wire whisk the dry ingredients: whole wheat flour, wheat bran, wheat germ, flaxseed, dates, chocolate, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
3. In a medium bowl beat together all the wet ingredients: buttermilk, egg, prunes, brown sugar and molasses.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix till just combined.
5. Scoop into muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes or until done.
Each muffin contains:
220 Calories, 5 g Total fat, 1 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 170 mg Sodium, 45 g Carbs, 7 g Fibre, 6 g Protein
Do you remember the Muffin Method from Grade 8 Home Ec.?
Mix all the dry ingredients in 1 bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet to the dry and stir until just mixed. Okay, so you’re probably thinking, brown sugar is not a wet ingredient. Well, you would be correct, go straight to the top of the class, your Home Ec. Teacher would be proud. Brown sugar isn’t a wet ingredient, but it does combine for a better muffin when it is dissolved with the other wet ingredients. Just call this the Mairlyn Muffin Method.
Where do I find a jar of baby food strained prunes?
Haven’t had a baby? Never want a baby? Too old to remember your kids as babies? Here’s a baby food clinic; go to the Baby Food section of your local supermarket. Look at all those tiny jars and make sure that you buy the type that has no sugar or starch added.