Friday, September 23, 2005

Flax







Flax seeds are great for health but are better absorbed in the body if they are taken in a ground or powdered form. They can be sprinkled on a salad, a baked potato, or on cereal, but if one is cutting down on the amount of grains they eat, a tablespoon a day right out of the bag will do. Taken with a favorite tea or with juice, it isn't too bad to chew and swallow. It blends well with a morning fruit smoothie. It helps prevent or heal things like Crohn's Disease and colitis, and sometimes is recommended for fertility, pms and menopause problems.

Eating flax meal instead of certain breads and fats, can help with weight loss.

You probably know that flax meal is related to the flax that is grown for making the cloth called "linen." Some people might even have some of the plants growing outside if they have spilled any bird seed from their bird feeders, as sometimes there are flax seeds in the mix.

My favorite brand is Bob's Red Mill flax meal, http://www.bobsredmill.com/pressrel5.php and there is a recipe on the back of the bag for muffins. Flax can be substituted for the fat required in biscuits and pastries. Even though it looks like a flour, it actually bakes in the recipe just like oil or butter. I've tried with with scones and it makes them very flakey and light.

Look for a recipe for "Walnut Flax Muffins" on the web.


Flax Seed Cracker Recipe

flax seed
1/4 cup
50 mL
ground flax seed
1/4 cup
375 mL
all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups
2 mL
baking powder
½ tsp
2 mL
salt
½ tsp
20 mL
margarine or butter, softened
4 tsp
125 mL
skim milk
½ cup


In a bowl of a stand-up mixer, add flax seed, ground flax, flour, baking powder, salt and margarine or butter. With the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in milk and mix until mixture forms a soft dough. (You can also mix the dough by hand.) Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill 10 minutes. Divide the dough into quarters. Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Roll out very thin to a rectangle 2 mm (1/16 inch) thick. Cut into 6 cm (2 ½ inch) squares. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with the remainder of the dough. Preheat oven to 160° C (325° F). Bake 20 minutes until crisp and golden.
Variations:
Onion: 15 mL (1 tbsp) powdered onion soup mix.Cheese: 250 mL (1 cup) grated cheddar cheese.Italian: 15 mL (1 tbsp) oregano and 250 mL (1 cup) grated mozzarella cheese.
Yield: 24 crackers
Serving Size: 1 - 6 x 6 cm (2 ½ x 2 ½ inch) cracker



I believe the flax meal is better than the flax oil or the whole flax seeds.

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