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Flax – one of the oldest crops cultivated ever since early civilization; a food which is plan based by nature. Among the numerous benefits of flax seeds are its considerable contribution of helpful fats, antioxidants and fiber. It has also been addressed as a functional food implying that we can consume flax seeds to boost our health and immunity levels.

People grew flax as a crop in ancient Egypt and China; in Asia it has had a role to play in Ayurvedic medicine since thousands of years now. Flax seeds are usually brownish in colour, with a smooth and shiny texture with a mucilaginous substance in their outer layer which makes them sticky when wet. Today, flax seeds are available in the form of seeds, oil, powder, tablets, capsules and flour. Besides having a mild nutty flavour, flax seeds can be easily blended into our day-to-day recipes – in both sweet and savoury foods.

Top Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

  1. Flax seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, fiber but low in carbs.
  2. Flax seeds are completely gluten-free, making it a versatile component.
  3. Flax seeds promote and assist weight loss.
  4. Flax seeds help to lower cholesterol in our system.
  5. Flax seeds have a high share of anti-oxidants.
  6. Flax seeds help to lower blood pressure and helps people with hypertension.
  7. Flax seeds form an amazing addition to enhance the health of our skin.
  8. Flax seeds are also good for healthy and strong hair.
  9. Flax seeds promote the digestive health in our body.

Some Culinary Uses of Flax Seeds That Complement the Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

In addition to the awesome health benefits of flax seeds, they can merge very well into our cuisine.

  1. Flax seeds are a good choice of seeds to keep handy at home – you can add it to your health shakes, smoothies and energy drinks.
  2. Ground flax seeds can be blended into baked goodies like breads, muffins and cookies as well for a varied taste and healthy approach.
  3. Powdered flax seeds can be easily added into our daily chapati or roti dough as well – ideally, start with a teaspoon of flax seed powder for 1 cup of wheat flour.
  4. If you are looking for substitutes for egg, flax seeds are amazing- you can use 1 tbsp. flax seed powder combined with 3 tbsp. water and use in place of 1 egg.
  5. Add flax seeds to granola or health bars and they also make a good addition to a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.
  6. Roasted flax seeds can be added to salad bowls, chutneys, dressings, marination and stuffed into chicken breasts etc with spinach and herbs.
  7. Flax seeds also go well in the milled form and add on into flours for bakery and confectionary. Spread peanut butter on a toast and sprinkle some flax seeds on it for a combination to go with eggs for a breakfast.
  8. Flax seeds can also be added to dips like mayonnaise, hung curd, greek yogurt, hummus, muttabbal and other middle-eastern dips that can be served with lavash.
  9. Pancakes and waffle batters for a live station can also have an add-on of flax seeds and they turn out wonderfully well once served with choicest toppings and fruits.

Daily Diet Recipes to Enjoy the Benefits of Flax Seeds to the Fullest

1. FLAX SEED & ROASTED TOMATO CHUTNEY

flaxseed roasted tomato chutney themindline

Ingredients

Flax seeds-2-3 tbsp.

Tomatoes- 3-4 med sized, roasted on a live flame or in the oven and chopped roughly.

Red chilies- 4-5 no. dried

Urad dal- ½ tsp

Chana dal- ½ tsp

Salt to taste

Oil/ghee- 2 tsp

Garlic- 2-3 cloves sliced

Curry leaves- 4-5 no

Tamarind pulp-1-2 tsp

For tempering the chutney:

Oil-2 tsp

Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp

Hing-1 pinch

Method:

1. Prepare all the ingredients for the delicious chutney recipe.

2. Heat ghee/ oil in a kadai and add in the curry leaves, garlic, red chilies, chana dal, urad dal and allow them to splutter for a few seconds.

3. Add in the roasted roughly cut tomatoes, flax seeds, and salt saute for a few seconds add tamarind pulp and simmer for 8-10 mins.

4. Once it all comes together turn off the flame and pulverize it to a coarsely smooth chutney and remove into a jar/bowl.

5. Heat oil and crackle the mustard seeds and add hing to the hot oil and finally add them on top of the prepared chutney and mix, cool and store in the fridge for around 1 week.

2. NUTTY DATE & FLAX SEED LADDOO

benefits of flax seeds

Ingredients

Seedless dates- 1 cup chopped

Ghee/ butter- 2 -3 tsp

Flax seeds-1/4 cup

White sesame seeds-2 tsp

Cashews/almonds/ assorted nuts-2 -3 tbsp.

Elaichi powder-1/4 tsp

Desiccated coconut-1/4 cup

Method:

1. Dry roast the nuts in a pan and allow to cool, powder them, keep aside.

2. Dry roast sesame and flax seeds separately for a minute or so and powder them together.

3. De-seed and chop dates and grind them a coarsely smooth paste with a little water if needed.

4. Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan add the dates and cook on a low flame for around 3-4 mins until soft and mushy.

5. Add in the nuts, elaichi powder, coconut, seed powder and mix it all up well into a mixture and using little warm ghee form into a mass.

6. Divide the mixture into 8-10 equal portions and using little ghee on the hands shape them into laddoo shape and roll them in sliced or powdered nuts, coconut etc and serve them.

3. FLAX SEED TOSSED LEMON RICE

benefits of flax seeds

Ingredients

Basmati rice- 2 cups boiled, cooked.

Flax seeds- 3-4 tsp

Ghee/oil- 2 tsp

Hing-1/4 tsp

Curry leaves- 8-10 no

Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp

Red chilies-1-2 slit

Green chilies-1-2 slit

Urad dal-2 tsp

Salt to taste

Turmeric power-1/2 tsp

Lime-1 no juice to be added

Coriander leaves-2 tbsp. chopped

Peanuts- 3-4 tbsp. fried/roasted.

Method:

1. Assemble all the ingredients for the flax seed tossed lemon rice.

2. Heat ghee/oil in a kadai and add in the ingredients for tempering from hing to curry leaves, jeera, mustard seeds, urad dal, flax seeds chilies and saute them up to 1 minute.

3. Add in the turmeric and salt along with coriander leaves and peanuts and mix well. Add in the rice and lemon juice and give it a nice toss.

4. Allow the rice to cover and simmer for 6-8 mins and then dish out the rice garnish appropriately and serve hot with a bowl of curd/ salad.

4. FLAX SEED TOSSED MIX BEAN SALAD

benefits of flax seeds

Ingredients

For the base of the salad:

Assorted salad leaves/ white or purple cabbage-1 cup

For the body of the salad:

Boiled assorted pulses/beans- 1 cup- chana/rajma/chauli.

Cucmber-1 no cubed

Tomato-1 no cubes

Green chilies-1 tsp chopped

Green/yellow/ red capsicum-1 no cubes

For the dressing:

Flax seed oil-2 tsp

Salad oil-1 tsp

Lime juice-2 tbsp.

Mint leaves- 10-12 no

Raisins-2 tsp chopped

Date puree- 2 tbsp.

Chaat masala-1/2 tsp

Roasted crushed jeera-1/2 tsp

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish of the salad:

Toasted flax seeds-2 tsp

Micro-greens/ olives/ cherry tomatoes/herbs-2-3 tsp.

Method:

1. Prepare all the ingredients for the salad recipe.

2. Place the base of the salad in the serving bowl/salad plate.

3. In a mixing bowl combine together the ingredients for the dressing and mix well, keep chilled.

4. Just before serving the salad combine the body and dressing together give them a nice toss and serve on the base of the salad.

5. Garnish with tossed salad appropriately and serve immediately to relish completely all the flax seeds benefits.

5. MIXED VEGETABLE FLAX SEED PARATHA

benefits of flax seeds

Ingredients

For the paratha dough:

Whole wheat flour-1 cup

Maida-1/4 cup

Flax seed powder-2 tsp

Ajwain-1/2 tsp

Oil/ghee-2 tsp

Salt to taste

Warm water as needed to make the dough.

For the mixed vegetable and flax seed stuffing:

Oil/ghee-2 tsp

Ginger-1 tsp chopped

Green chilies-1 tsp chopped

Onion-1 small chopped

Assorted mixed vegetables-1 cup- carrots/beans/peas/sprouts etc to be cut into small pieces and blanched for 3-4 mins.

Salt to taste

Boiled mashed potato-1/2 cup

Garam masala powder-1/2 tsp

Chaat masala-1/2 tsp

Mint and coriander leaves-2 tbsp. chopped

Flax seeds-2 tsp toasted.

Oil/ghee as needed to cook the parathas.

To serve with: achar/ papad/ raita.

Method:

1. Prepare all the ingredients for the paratha dough and stuffing.

2. Prepare the dough, cover and keep aside for resting under a damp kitchen towel for around 20 mins.

3. To prepare the stuffing, heat oil/ghee in a pan add in the ginger, chilies and onions and saute until pink.

4. Add in the blanched veggies, salt to taste, all masalas to taste and cook for 2-3 mins.

5. Add in the toasted flax seeds, mashed potatoes, coriander and mint leaves and mix well.

6. Remove from the flame and allow to cool completely. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and divide the stuffing to into 4 parts.

7. Roll out the dough into a chapati and stuff it with the filling and reshape and roll into a half inch thick paratha.

8. Using oil/ghee on a tava/ non-stick tava cook the paratha well on both sides and cut and serve hot.

6. MINTED FLAX SEED CUCUMBER RELISH

benefits of flax seeds

Ingredients:

For the curd mixture:

Curd/ yogurt- 2 cups beaten.

Salt to taste

Crushed black pepper to taste

Flax seed powder-1/2 tsp

Roasted crushed jeera-1/4 tsp

For the cucumber mixture:

Cucumber-1 no peeled and cubed

Mint leaves- 5-7 no

Flax seeds toasted-2 tsp

Chaat masala-1/4 tsp

Roasted crushed peanuts-2 tsp

Method:

1. In a mixing bowl combine together the ingredients for the curd mixture and keep chilled.

2. Add in the cucumber, mint, flax seeds, chaat masala, roasted crushed peanuts into the curd mixture and mix well, chill for at least couple of hours.

3. Serve the relish (fully loaded with all the amazing health benefits of flax seeds) with lavash/ crackers/ savoury cheese straws etc or also can be enjoyed with parathas or alongside a meal as well, as a variation we can also add ingredients like onions, tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, apples etc.