First it was Acai berries, then it was quinoa. Next on the list of popular super food diet staples: Flax seed. This small, granular seed is much more than an extremely low-carb grain originally known for its use in paints and cattle feed delivers quite the nutrient punch for its size.
While a lot of super foods boast a profile composed of antioxidants, high-protein and low-carb content, this plant food is one of the most powerful on the planet containing all of the above and more: Evidence shows that consuming flaxseed reduces your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and even diabetes. Did I mention that it’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids? And if you hadn’t heard, flax seed is not only a low-carb, health-fat, high-fiber option perfect for dieters, but it also is jam-packed with B vitamins which helps DNA repair, reduce cholesterol, lowers risk of heart disease, birth defects colon-cancer and mental health disorders. Whew! Here are the top five ways you can get your daily dose of flaxseed today:
1. Blend it: Berry protein shake.
To sip the ultimate shake that includes a healthy dose of fiber most smoothies or green juices lack, simply dump a serving of flaxseed meal in and blend together.
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (the kind in cans)
- 1 scoop low carb protein powder (I used “Designer Protein” for my calculations), vanilla or plain
- 1/3 cup frozen berries (I used strawberries for the analysis)
- 2 Tablespoons Flax Seed Meal (or see above)
- 1/2 – 1 cup water (less if you want it thicker)
- Sweetener to taste (I like to use liquid forms of Splenda – no carbs (see below)
Preparation: Put everything in the blender and whiz it together.
Nutritional Information: 11 grams of carbs; 6 grams of fiber; 24 grams of protein; 429 calories.
2. Boil it: Flax meal peanut butter hot cereal.
For a high-fiber, high-protein easy to make breakfast, this flaxseed-based porridge is the winner! Simply pour boiling water over flaxseed meal and sweeten up with chosen flavors like the combo below.
Prep time: 3 minutes
- 1/4 C flax seed meal
- 1/2 C boiling water
- 2 T peanut butter
- 1/4 t cinnamon
1) Pour boiling water over flax seed meal and stir well.
2) Stir in peanut butter and cinnamon.
3) Let thicken for 1 to 2 minutes. Eat.
Nutritional Information: 5 grams of carbs; 10 grams of fiber; 14 grams protein; 29 grams fat; 351 calories.
3. Sprinkle it: Orzo, lentil and flax soup.
Prep Time: 15 minutes. Cookie time: 1 hour 20 minutes.
- ¼ cup Butter
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk finely chopped
- ½ green pepper, finely chopped
- 5 cups boiling water
- ⅓ cup low sodium chicken soup base
- 2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 28 oz tomatoes with herbs and spices; break up tomatoes
- ⅓ cup orzo pasta or any small soup pasta
- ⅓ cup dried lentils, rinsed
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup stabilized ground flaxseed
- In a large pot, over medium to medium-low heat, melt butter.
- Add onion, carrot, celery and green pepper. Gently saute over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add boiling water, soup base, granulated garlic, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes with juice, orzo and lentils. Stir.
- Slowly simmer for 1 hour with lid ajar, stirring occasionally until lentils are soft.
- Add sugar and stabilized ground flaxseed. Stir and serve.
Nutritional Information: NA.
4. Bake it: Apple flax muffins.
This sweet, scrumptious treats are high in fiber and gluten-free. The recipe substitutes flour for a combination of flaxseed meal and baking powder spiced up with a chopped apple and pecans. Yum!
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 and 1/4 cup flax seed meal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Artificial sweetener equal to 3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup can be flavored sugar-free syrup)
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/2 cup liquid (flavored syrup or water)
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1 medium apple, chopped fairly finely
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 12-muffin tin very well.
1. Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the rest of them.
2. Let batter stand 10 minutes, then put into the muffin pan and bake for about 18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean and muffins just barely start to pull away from the sides of the tin.
Nutritional Information: 5 grams fiber.
5. Sear it: Zucchini and feta fritters.
For a crispy, tangy and (naturally) salty appetizer, simply shred zucchini, mix coconut flour (as a gluten-free option) along with spices and flaxseed meal and mold into perfectly sear-able patties!
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 10 minutes.
- 2 cups finely shredded zucchini
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup golden flax seed meal
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground marjoram
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tbsp coconut oil or butter
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt for garnish (optional)
1. Place zucchini in a fine-mesh sieve and sprinkle with salt. Toss a few times and let drain 1 hour. Then press on zucchini to release as much moisture as possible. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine flax seed meal, coconut flour, oregano, marjoram, pepper and salt. Stir in feta and scallions, then stir in drained zucchini and eggs until thoroughly combined.
3. Form mixture into patties about 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. You should get 12 to 14 patties.
4. In large skillet, heat half of the oil or butter over medium high heat until shimmering. Place half the zucchini fritters into the pan and cook until browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
5. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with remaining oil and remaining fritters. Serve warm.
Nutritional Information: Two fritters yield 6.3 grams of carbs; 3.3 grams of fiber.