Flax

I hadn’t had any Mary’s Crackers in ages but in doing some cupboard re-organization, I found a buried box of M.C.

They are so good.


But I think they are almost too fiber-rific for me.

Flax seeds =  Little fiber bombs

Flax seeds and fiber are great and all. Just not when you eat a half of a box of Mary’s in a sitting.

For some reason though, my homemade Mary’s Crackers don’t seem to give me any issues.

You can tweak the spices and flavors to be more sweet (cinnamon, ginger, stevia, etc.) or more savory/spicy (garlic, onion, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, etc.)
They have flax in them, too.  Who knows.  I guess I need to make my own recipe and not buy any more Mary’s, huh.

I also have these No Bake Vegan Flaxseed & Maple Cookies

3 ingredients in them.  Maple syrup drizzle & raisins optional. Easily portable if you skip the maple drizzle.

 

Sometimes I add flax seeds to my Vegan GF Granola

I usually add flax seeds to my No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

There are flax seeds in my Vegan GF Pancakes

 

So there you have it, lots of flaxing going on in my recipes.

From my last post, I am so glad you like the looks of the No Bake Nutter Butter Special K Bars.

And it sounds like there are lots of PB fans in the house, too.  Surprise, surprise.  Blog readers love our nut butters.

Thanks for also giving me suggestions on what kinds of desserts you’d like to see me make nextDirection can be a beautiful thing.

Snack/Dessert Idea: 1 Minute Apple Crumble (Vegan, GF, microwave-friendly)

Sprinkle some flax on top for extra fiber and healthy fat if you’re so inclined.

Questions:

1. Best thing you’ve done or eaten this weekend?

Best thing I ate were the No Bake Nutter Butter Special K Bars.

Best thing I did was spend time with Skylar and do a little window shopping in my neighborhood.

2. Here’s some Flax Seed info (paraphrased from here):

Flax seed is high in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese

Flax Seed is Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids which reduces inflammation

Most of the oil in flax seeds is alpha linolenic acid (ALA)

Flax Seed is High in Fiber: You’d be hard-pressed to find a food higher in fiber — both soluble and insoluble — than flax.  This fiber is probably mainly responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effects of flax. Fiber in the diet also helps stabilize blood sugar, and, of course, promotes proper functioning of the intestines.

Flax seed is high in phytochemicals, including many antioxidants.  It is perhaps our best source of lignans, which convert in our intestines to substances that tend to balance female hormones. There is evidence that lignans may promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms, and possibly help prevent breast cancer. In addition, lignans may help prevent Type 2 diabetes.

Caveats:

Big fiber load

Trace Cyanide.  Like many other foods (cashews, some beans, and others), flax contains very small amounts of cyanide compounds, especially when consumed raw. Heat, especially on dry flax seeds, breaks these compounds down.

Contains phytoestrogens

Oxidation/Rancidity: The oil in flax is highly unsaturated. This means that it is very prone to oxidation (rancidity) unless it is stored correctly. The very best way is nature’s own storage system –- within the seed. Flax seeds not exposed to large amounts of heat stay safe to eat for at least a year.  However, flax meal, and especially flax oil, are a different story. The meal, stored away from heat and light, will keep fresh for a few months, and the oil must be protected by refrigeration in dark containers, preferably being consumed within a few weeks of opening.

I’ve read many times in the past that:

flax seeds should be ground (preferably) right before ingesting them.  A cheapie coffee grinder can do the trick. Or you do run the risk of pre-ground flax meal going rancid, despite what some sources say.

And that flax seeds to need to be ground for us to derive benefit from them because unground flax just passes through us, whole.  If you know what I mean.

And flax oil needs to be stored in the fridge.

Do you have any flax info?

3. Do you eat flax seeds?  Flax oil?  Favorite recipes or ways to incorporate them into your diet?

I showed you some of mine.  And you could also add a tablespoon or two to any of my muffins or microwave oat cake recipes

P.S. If you’re just catching up on Weekend Posts, here are mine since Friday:

Have a great week!

   

67 Responses to “Flax”

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    Leslie — March 27, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Hmm…I might need to do a double take on the flax—been eating A LOT lately, and it’s probably a little old (even though I store my ground up flax in the freezer and oil in the fridge). Cyanide—kind of scary! I guess that’s why you’re really supposed to soak then dehydrate most nuts, like cashews? (I’ve been eating lots of raw cashes too! Eep!) Learning lots of new stuff here….

    The best thing I did this weekend was go to Hot Yoga. Mmmm…felt soooo good, even for this newbie.

    Best thing I ate was your kale chip recipe. Even my husband and two year old gobbled them up! Definitely a re-do!

    Reply

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    hippierunner — March 27, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    The cracker recipe looks great! I bookmarked it and can’t wait to make it. I had a smoothie with ground flaxseed this morning and also threw some into donuts I made earlier.

    Reply

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    Emma (Namaste Everyday) — March 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    I went through a phase where I put flax seeds in EVERYTHING I ate. I’m really not kidding. cereal, soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, casseroles, stir-fries, cookies, all of it. I used to get bad menstrual cramps and since I didn’t want to take Advil twice a day for a week every month, I looked for natural options. It worked for me!

    Reply

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    Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA — March 27, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I loooove flax. I just love the way it tastes! I like putting it in pumpkin to improve the texture.

    Best thing I ate this weekend was this new Dal Mix snack mix stuff I bought from Whole Foods. Best thing I did was go see Sucker Punch with some new friends!

    Reply

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    CH — March 27, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    The no bake bars look GOOD. I gave up chocolate for lent and want some so bad, lol. But I’ms ticking to it in the name of larger sacrifices.

    The one minute apple crumble looks really good too.

    Best things this weekend: squeezed in a 90 minute yoga class yesterday and 6 mile run today; got a lot of schoolwork done yesterday but hardly any today, unfortunately; spending time with USB last night and today, especially snuggling!

    Reply

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    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table — March 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Thanks for the reminder that a) I have a box of Mary’s in my pantry and b) flax seeds are amazing. I’ll be making those raw flax cookies tomorrow!

    Reply

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    Ari@ThE DiVa DiSh — March 27, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I love flax seeds! They can be so versatile :)
    The best thing I ate this weekend was a squash risotto at this new restaurant. BEST thing I have hands down! :)

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    Red Deception — March 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    The best thing I have done this weekend is finish a paper and a presentation! WHEW!

    Reply

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    Stephanie — March 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I really need to try some of your homemade Mary’s crackers. They look soo good. =)

    I love flax seeds. I always grind my own right before I use them because I do find that they go through you whole if you don’t chew them well. I like to put them in my oats with chia seeds… and tons of cinnamon and nutmeg! They make the world go round. I also like to use flax eggs in baking.

    Also phytoestrogens are good for you! They don’t act like animal-based estrogen because they’re plant based, and they help regulate your hormones, prevent breast and prostate cancer, prevent osteoporosis, and reduce your risk of heart disease. They’re even found in broccoli and strawberries. Nothing to worry about.
    I think I read somewhere that plants contain small amounts of toxins, like cyanide (which is also in apple seeds if I’m not mistaken), for self-preservation, so they aren’t consumed to extinction. Smart plants, eh?

    I don’t usually use flax oil. I’m not really a huge fan of oil in general, actually, because of a video I saw with Jeff Novick, but when I do use oil, I use EVOO or raw coconut oil. I’ve also heard that you’re not supposed to heat flax oil.

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — March 28th, 2011 at 3:49 am

      plants ARE smart! and yes, the CN- is to keep away pests and such…a natural pesticide, so to speak (from memory from things ive read)

      and phytoestrogens, i just give the info b/c some ppl for their health/situation they need to be aware of that

      and oil…not into either other than evoo or coconut. same as you.

      Reply

      • Stephanie replied: — March 28th, 2011 at 11:34 am

        Mmm, gotcha.

        Twinsies! Haha =)

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    MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College — March 27, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I LOVE flax seed and I sprinkle them in and on almost everything I eat!!! Your microwave treats never fail to impress me :-)

    Reply

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    Meagan — March 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I had know idea that ground flax seed could go bad. I’ve had some in my cupboard for over a year…just found it last week and have used it several times! Yikes…have to ground some fresh tomorrow.

    PS Averie, what do you drink besides water and smoothies? I’m trying to cut out Diet Coke, but I’m getting bored with just water and smoothies…Help!

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — March 28th, 2011 at 3:52 am

      water, coffee, kefir, kombucha but 95% of my intake is water. i just need it and want it plain, no flavors or fizz. I guess it’s just a habit ive always had.

      Reply

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    Katie — March 27, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I used to use flax in everything. And then I ran out and haven’t thought to buy any more in about 6 months. I really love the taste in banana bread for some reason.

    How perfect that you post that recipe – I have all the ingredients (besides flax of course) and need a new dehydrator fun recipe. Maybe I’ll have to get some flax tomorrow at the store. Or maybe I can think of something to sub for them….ground oats, maybe? I’m on project clean out the cupboards before moving. :)

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — March 28th, 2011 at 3:50 am

      if you dont have flax but have other seeds, they will work too….everything of mine is very loosely interpreted & easily adapted, ykwim?

      Reply

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    Sue @ Sue In Training — March 28, 2011 at 12:47 am

    I like flax seeds a lot. I mostly use them as ‘flax eggs’ in baking, or just mixed into my oats or fruit salads or (soy) yoghurt. I bought a small bag of ground seeds a while ago and keep them in a dark, dry, cool place. They seem to be perfectly fine.

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    Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) — March 28, 2011 at 3:17 am

    i think YOUR flax seed crackers look much tastier! sometimes i stir ground flax into my oats!!

    Reply

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    CathyK — March 28, 2011 at 3:41 am

    i bought mary’s crackers once, to try, and they were really good – but for the price of them $6.99 a box!, they are an indulgence! homemade crackers – much more of a deal, and i like your suggestions for customizing them, flavour-wise!
    i always dump 1 T of flax seeds in my salad beasts.i like the flavour and the nutritionals. i figure 1-2T a day is a healthy addition to my diet, without going overboard!
    happy monday, averie!

    Reply

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    Lisa — March 28, 2011 at 3:47 am

    I’m a big fan of flax, and like to spread the word that they must be ground to get the benefits—Mary’s seems to leave them whole. Maybe that’s the digestion issue?

    Another flax fact: They are high in lignans, which is known to be helpful to women who are experiencing menopause symptoms. 2 Tbsp a day is known to help tone down hot flashes, etc.

    Not that I think you need that info, but it’s an easy way people can get some relief without drugs!

    Reply

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    Kate (Bread & Chocolate) — March 28, 2011 at 3:48 am

    I’m going to have to try those flax seeds cookies – sweet and healthy? Check, check! In the meantime, I can’t get enough “raw” cookie dough ice cream (with banana soft serve). It’s so simple, and reminds me of summer.

    http://bread-n-chocolate.blogspot.com/2011/03/sunday-sundae.html

    Reply

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    Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) — March 28, 2011 at 4:32 am

    I use flax seeds all the time for added fiber, especially in my gluten free baked goods. I actually made some crackers last night in my pizzelle maker for our appetizer dinner. That and the Korean sweet potatoes I had this weekend were my favorites from the weekend.

    Reply

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    Holly @ The Runny Egg — March 28, 2011 at 4:33 am

    We go back and forth between using chia seeds/ground chia and flax. I use it mainly in smoothies. I just get tired of the “gel” type chia texture and switch to ground flax.

    Best thing about this weekend — baking banana bread yesterday and having the house smell phenomenal!

    Reply

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    Elizabeth@The Sweet Life — March 28, 2011 at 4:58 am

    I love Mary’s Crackers! So packed with flavor and nutrients.

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    Toni — March 28, 2011 at 5:34 am

    Love the microwave crumble! I love anything easy like that! Gonna try that later today! Yum!

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    Heather (Where's the Beach) — March 28, 2011 at 5:36 am

    I love those crackers (just not the price). I use ground flax as often as I can. I add it to my pizza dough, to bread dough, oatmeal, veggie/bean burgers.

    Reply

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    Christine @ Merf In Progress — March 28, 2011 at 5:50 am

    I eat flax, chia, or wheat germ on almost every meal! I missed your post about nutter butter something or other? I can’t get there fast enough….!!!!

    Reply

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    marla — March 28, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Gotta say, your crackers look way better than the Mary’s. Gotta get on some of these. Great for my kids lunch boxes too :) xo

    Reply

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    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — March 28, 2011 at 6:11 am

    I sprinkle flax into about everything. ;) I love it!

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    Jen — March 28, 2011 at 6:49 am

    I like flax seeds. I use them sometimes in my recipes ;) btw, your photos look amazing :D

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    Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope — March 28, 2011 at 7:01 am

    I hear you on the Mary’s Crackers. They’re good on occasion, but I definitely have a love/hate relationship with all that fiber and seedy goodness. I haven’t seen your recipe for homemade crackers before… checking it out now! :)

    Reply

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    Susan — March 28, 2011 at 7:26 am

    When I’m home and have access to a blender, I add ground flax to things like oatmeal and toast.

    I agree with Marla, your crackers look far better than Mary’s (and that’s sayin’ something because hers are gooood!).

    Reply

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    Jess (In My Healthy Opinion) — March 28, 2011 at 7:36 am

    I love flax.. I’ll throw some into recipes here and there to up the fiber content. That’s some interesting information about it though — yikes! I need to be careful. Those no bakes look delicious! Best thing I did this weekend was hang out with my husband. :)

    Reply

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    Erin @ Big Girl Feats — March 28, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Averie, will you please just come to my house and cook for me 24/7? I will provide child care for Skylar and all the flax seeds in the world with which you can make those amazing crackers. I am SO grateful for your blog during my pre-treatment diet since I have to make everything myself. Your recipes are quick, delicious and healthy. Love, love, and gratitude to you!

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — March 28th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      what i wouldnt give to have free childcare in exchange for a few goodies…it would be a win-win!

      Reply

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    Grace @ Personal Trainer Chicago — March 28, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Hi Averie, flax seeds sure do have amazing health benefits. :) Those healthy recipes are awesome, thanks for posting them. Window shopping will always be one way to spend the weekend, right?:D

    Reply

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    Natasha — March 28, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I have never tried Flax seed but I hear nothing but good thing about it. Also your no bake protein bars look amazing! I am going to have to try them! :)

    Reply

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    Amber K — March 28, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Well my plans for the taco meat failed since I realized I actually didn’t have half the ingredients for it! Talk about dropping the ball, lol. But I did make your raw vegan brownie and it was delicious! I definitely prefer the texture after it being stuck in the freezer.

    I have tried using flaxseed in recipes, but my digestion does not approve. It gets quite angry with me. I have never used flax oil, so I don’t know if it would be the same. But chia seeds did the same thing to me. It was uncomfortable.

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — March 28th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      I cannot handle tons of flax/chias either.

      Taco meat, darn but glad the brownies were a good backup plan :)

      And thank you for the super sweet comment you left on Caitlin’s blog today about me…a friend alerted me to it…it made my day, Amber!! :)

      Reply

      • Amber K replied: — March 29th, 2011 at 6:58 am

        Oh you’re welcome! You were the first person I thought of. Because you’re awesome, and apparently I’m a stalker as it seems to be my mission to make all of your recipes ;)

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    Stephanie @ Thorns Have Roses — March 28, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I didn’t realize that about the flax going bad. I mostly use it in my oatmeal. :)

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    Sable@SquatLikeALady — March 28, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I LOVE flax! I substitute flax eggs for real eggs whenever I can in recipes so I get A LOT of flax from doing that… and my fave recipe to use them in is my banana flax bars (http://squatlikealady.blogspot.com/2011/03/banana-flax-bars-and-7-things.html) I just LOVE the combo of the banana and flax!

    Reply

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    J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — March 28, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Ilooooooooooove Mary’s Gone Crackers! And flax seed, too. I bought 4 large bags of Bob’s Red Mill golden flaxseed when I was doing grain-free, it’s so good!!

    Some people that can’t tolerate gluten are sensitive to quinoa; do you think Mary’s Gone Crackers could have that effect on you??

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — March 28th, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      good thinking about the quinoa…I do think it’s the flax and in quantity. Seriously I eat like 4 ‘servings’ of those M.C. at a time and that’s the culprit i think. Fiber bomb dropped.

      Reply

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    Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day — March 28, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Your crackers look so good!

    I love flax when used judiciously! I think one of my favorite ways to use it is in dressings. It thickens them with so few calories.

    Reply

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    kate@ahealthypassion — March 28, 2011 at 10:55 am

    LOVE marys crackers need to make my own though they are so expensive! I use flax in everything it is such a great source of so many things :)

    Reply

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    Sam @ the neurotic yogini — March 28, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I usually add a spoonful of flax seeds to my smoothies! It’s nice to add something to chew on.. :) I also take flax oil supplements (when I can remember to!).. my eye doctor recommended I take fish oil (nope!) because my tear ducts are overly dry… but instead I decided to sub the fish w/ flax. :)

    Reply

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    Claire @ Un Bello Aperitivo — March 28, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Wow, great info on the flax…I’d heard somewhere that there were potential carcinogens in them when they were ground, but I guess that’s only if they’re going rancid. Good to know; thanks Averie!

    Reply

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    Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit — March 28, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I love sprinkling flax on my toast in the morning, the shelled kind is the BEST! I’m more of a chia girl (can’t live without it). I use flax instead of eggs quite often for my baking to get a bit of extra fiber in my diet.

    Reply

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    Michelle @ Find Your Balance — March 28, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I put ground flaxseed in my smoothies, in salads, everywhere!

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    Christina — March 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    We love flax in our house! My fiance basically puts it on everything, he even adds it to his eggs lol. I tend to add it to my cereal and oats :)

    I’m stuck on chia seeds for the moment though, I wonder if I should combine the two!

    Reply

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    charlotte — March 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I do eat flax. I used to eat a ton of it but have since chilled a bit since I learned the Omegas were ALA and not DHA. I still like it, I just don’t put it in everyhting like I used to! Those crackers look delish…

    Reply

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    Hayley — March 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I love Mary’s crackers. They are just so addictive! Too bad the flaxseeds are not ground though…in most products where flax is added, they don’t bother grinding it up, so you miss out on a lot of the nutrients. Also, when flax is left whole, I’m assuming that might be more irritating to your GI tract because the seeds are not broken down in your body.
    I add flax to oatmeal and granola. I haven’t tried flax oil yet, but I hear that it is a good oil to use in salad dressings or drizzle on top of food. It should never be heated, it is very delicate and oxidizes easily, and is not heat stable. It will form free radicals when heated. My friend used to use her flax oil as a cooking oil, and she was really mad when she found out she was destroying it…that stuff is expensive!

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — March 28th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      right on the money with this “Also, when flax is left whole, I’m assuming that might be more irritating to your GI tract because the seeds are not broken down in your body.”

      And yes, flax oil has a low smoke point and the destruction begins at very low heat. Great point as well.

      Reply

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    Sabina — March 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    hey averie!

    thanks for the flax post. flax has to be ground to be consumed as it will just pass right through us. true story: my friend’s dad was hospitalized with what was thought to be kidney stones. the actuality? it was a whole flax seed, not a kidney stone!

    it’s cheaper to buy whole flax seed and then grind it as needed (this drastically reduces its oxidization). i have a kitchen aid spice grinder that works awesome! i think it’s now discontinued, but cuisinart makes one that’s quite similar. when looking for a spice grinder, pick one that has a detachable bowl (waaay easier to clean and keep clean).

    xo

    sabina

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — March 28th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      yes I mentioned in the post about using a coffee grinder but a spice grinder would work. Something el cheapo.

      That’s awful about your friend’s dad…how they get from flax in the intestines to kidney stones though…totally different organ systems. Doesnt give me much faith in modern medicine!

      Reply

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    Christine (The Raw Project) — March 28, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    The crackers look good, but the homemade ones look better. So do the cookies, great post since I found a ton of flax seeds while cleaning our pantry yesterday.

    1. Saw a movie and grilled artichoke I think.
    2. Sure, they’re really gummy and can stress even the Vita-Mix if you’re trying to blend too much at once.
    3. Yes, but not as much as I should be lately because they’re in a lot of dehydrator recipes and I just haven’t been using mine enough.

    Reply

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    Get Skinny, Go Vegan. — March 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    It’s so funny that there are commercials on tv about taking supplements for fiber!! Sometimes I feel a little too fiber “iffic” too! It’s simple to get your fiber if you just eat fruits, veggies, grains, nuts. Chia seeds & Flax!! Love those crackers, the flax kind. Sometimes I have a house full of them and then go months without making again. I freeze them!! But they are never in beautiful perfect little squares like yours!!

    Reply

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    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — March 28, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I eat bread, crackers, etc. with flax in it, and I used to grind flax and use it in smoothies and on yogurt, but I haven’t done that in ages.

    What are you doing with all the cheese you won? Have you cut into any of it!!?? I am dying to hear about the cheese :-) Hehe!!

    Reply

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    MarkH — March 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I grind flax seed up together with seeds of sesame, hemp, pumpkin and sunflower. It keeps really well in an airtight jar in the fridge. I mostly use it to mix up with a really good quality extra virgin olive, and use it as a spread on toast or sandwiches. It tastes amazing.

    Reply

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