Flaxseed meal is a great way to add more fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids to your diet! But what is it, exactly?
In this article, we’ll explore what flaxseed meal is, how it’s made, and some of the ways you can use it in your cooking and baking. So let’s dive in!
What is flaxseed meal?
Flaxseed meal (also called flaxseed flour or linseed meal) is made by grinding up whole flaxseeds into a fine powder.
On a commercial level, flaxseed meal is made by first cleaning the flaxseeds to remove any impurities or debris. The cleaned flaxseeds are then ground into a fine powder using specialized equipment such as a hammer mill or a roller mill. Some commercial producers may also use additional steps such as sieving or air classification to ensure a consistent and high-quality product.
What’s the difference between flaxseed meal and regular flour?
The main difference between flaxseed meal and regular flour is that flaxseed meal is made from 100% ground-up flax seeds, while regular flour is made from wheat and may contain other ingredients.
Those tiny little seeds are high in fiber, protein, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, so flaxseed meal is often added to recipes to boost their nutritional value, while all-purpose flour is a staple ingredient in baking – but lacks nutrients.
Benefits of flaxseed meal
One of the biggest benefits of flaxseed meal is its high fiber content, which can help regulate your digestion and promote feelings of fullness.
Flaxseeds are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Plus, flaxseed flour has a lower glycemic index than all-purpose flour, meaning it won’t cause sharp spikes in your blood sugar.
Flaxseed meal can be added to a variety of recipes, from smoothies and baked goods to soups and salads, making it an easy way to boost the nutritional value of your meals.
Flaxseed meal nutrition facts
|Flour (¼ cup)||Calories||Carbs||Fiber||Sugar||Fat||Protein||Glycemic Index|
|Flaxseed meal (flour)||140||8 g||6 g||0 g||9 g||6 g||Flaxseed = 35|
|All-purpose flour||120||24 g||1 g||0 g||0.5 g||4 g||85|
How to bake and cook with flaxseed meal
Use flaxseed meal as a binder in low-carb baking, or as an egg substitute by mixing one tablespoon of flaxseed meal with three tablespoons of water and let it sit for a few minutes until it becomes thick and gel-like. This mixture can then be used in place of one egg in recipes.
As a replacement for all-purpose flour, swap just 25% of all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend for flaxseed meal, and adjust the liquid as needed. This is because flaxseed has a higher water absorption ability and a much stronger flavor than all-purpose flour.
I love adding flaxseed meal to oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, or even used as a coating for meat or fish. It can also be used as a binder in meatloaf or meatballs, or added to soups and stews to thicken them up.
Popular flaxseed meal baked goods and dishes
Flaxseed meal is great for adding crunch, nutty flavor, and extra nutrition to any of these popular dishes:
- Bread and baked goods
- Egg substitute
- Adding to smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal
- Coating for meat or fish
- Binder in meatloaf or meatballs
- Pancakes or waffles
- Homemade granola or energy bars
How to make flaxseed meal at home
Making flaxseed meal at home is a simple and easy process, and can be done using just a few steps:
- Purchase whole flaxseeds from a grocery store or online.
- Use a blender or coffee grinder to grind the flaxseeds into a fine powder. You can also use a mortar and pestle if you don’t have a blender or grinder.
- It’s best to grind the flaxseeds just before using them as ground flaxseed meal can quickly become rancid due to the high oil content.
How to store flaxseed meal
Flaxseed meal is best kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Flaxseed meal typically has a shelf life of about 3-6 months.
You can store any leftover homemade flaxseed meal in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer, and label it with the date it was made. Use it within a few weeks or a few months if kept in the freezer.
What are the best substitutes for flaxseed meal?
Chia flour is the best substitute for flaxseed meal, especially as an egg replacement or binder in vegan baking. Both types of flour are made from seeds that are high in fiber and healthy fats.
Psyllium husk (a type of fiber) is a good gluten substitute that acts as a binder and adds volume to low-carb bread. It’s also sometimes added to smoothies for extra fiber.
Lastly, quinoa flour is another amazing gluten-free, high-protein substitute that’s easy to bake with!
Flaxseed meal is 100% ground-up flaxseed. You can also buy whole flax seeds, which have not been ground up.
Whole flaxseeds may be better for preserving the omega-3 fatty acids due to the protective outer shell, while flaxseed meal is more versatile and easier to digest. It ultimately depends on personal preference and how you plan to use them.
People who have a history of bowel obstruction, digestive issues, or allergies to flaxseed should avoid consuming flaxseed meal. Additionally, pregnant and breastfeeding women should speak with their healthcare provider before incorporating flaxseed meal into their diet, as it may have hormonal effects.