A blog by runners. For runners.

How to add flaxseed to your daily routine

Flaxseeds: how to add the superfood to your daily routineFlaxseed meal – or, simply, flax meal – is a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, dietary fiber (both soluble and insoluble), and antioxidants. You might think flax is just a health fad, but the stuff has been around since it was first cultivated in ancient Babylon. In fact, King Charlemagne felt so strongly about its health properties he passed laws that required his royal subjects to consume it regularly.

Today, experts recommend eating between one and two tablespoons per day to get the maximum benefit. Here are a few ways to add flax to your daily routine:

Smoothie: Add a tablespoon of flax meal to your next smoothie to get a whopping 1.8 grams of plant-based omega-3s. The taste of the seeds is almost imperceptible and – if anything – flax adds a bit of thickening texture. You can also consider swapping out flax meal for flax oil (still one tablespoon), which carries the same health properties.

Baked goods: There are a few different ways to add flax meal to your baked goods. My personal favorite is adding flax to bread recipes to give them healthy bulk. But as a former vegan, I’ve also basically switched from baking with eggs to using flax eggs in most everything I mix together. It’s definitely a new habit that takes some getting used to, but it’s well worth the experimentation.

  • Egg substitute: For each egg in a recipe, substitute in one tablespoon flax meal mixed with three tablespoons hot water. Let sit until it gels — around five minutes. This method works well with cakes, cookies, and other goods. If the recipe is particularly dependent on eggs for the bulk and rise, like with brownies, this substitution might not work quite as well.
  • Flour substitute: You can substitute up to a quarter of the traditional flour in a recipe with flax meal. For example, if you’re making a quick bread or muffin recipe that calls for one cup flour, use 3/4 cup four plus 1/4 cup flax meal instead.
  • Oil substitute: You can even replace some fat in a recipe using flax meal versus oil or butter. You’ll want to use it in a 3:1 ratio, which means if your recipe calls for 1/4 cup oil, use 3/4 cup flaxseed meal. I have yet to try this method myself, but it sounds interesting!

Energy chunks: If you like making your own energy chunks at home (like our No-Bake Energy Bars), consider tossing in a few tablespoons of flax meal. There’s no necessary a right or wrong ratio, just start with a few tablespoons and see where it goes. The flax in this application doesn’t bind or anything, so it’s just like adding chia seeds or nuts in that way.

Written by Ashley Marcin.