My friend Trish is a cool Catholic mom who happens to be a nutritionist. She is passionate about good health and nutrition, and has generously offered to share some of her expertise with all of us here with occasional tips, news, and nutrition education.
Today’s lesson? FLAX SEED!
Flax seed is a seed that is loaded with fat (the good kind omega-3s), protein, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and folic acid. You can sprinkle it on food, mix it into soups, stews, sauces, meatloaf, and meatballs, and you can even pop flax seed in a pan with oil, just like popcorn.
It is important to note that flax seed needs to be ground up in order to obtain its nutritional benefits–if left whole, it just goes through the intestines whole and the nutrient in the seed can not be absorbed by the body. Ground flax seed can be obtained at any grocery store in the baking section or health food section. It should be stored in the freezer because the seeds are oily (omega-s) and will go rancid if left at room temperature. I find it easiest to buy it already ground but you can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder (very messy).
Flax seed can also be used in baked goods substituting ground flax seed for flour anywhere from 1/4 -1/2 cup. For more recipe ideas see here or look for The Amazing Flax Cookbook by Jane Reinhardt-Martin, RD, LD at your local library.