Obtained from ground flax seeds, flaxseed flour can be used in many sweet and savory home preparations, to give the dishes numerous beneficial properties.
Flaxseed flour comes from ground flax seeds: it can also be self-produced with the help of a pepper mill. The result is a medium coarse grain flaxseed powder, dark yellow (or in some cases brown, depending on the type of seed used) and slightly oily.
This flour has most of the nutritional properties of flax seeds and, in this regard, it has recently been added in various preparations, including some commercial preparations, to give foods the possibility of guaranteeing benefits to our health.
However, flax seeds have been known since ancient times: it seems that they are among the first crops that appeared following the appearance of the first civilization. In the past, this plant was mainly exploited for the production of textile fibers, in the paper industry and in the production of animal feed.
Only recently the recognized nutritional properties of flax seeds have pushed us to use it more and more frequently in our diets, to the point of considering it today a “functional” food or a food capable of helping in the prevention and / or treatment of diseases.
Flaxseed flour: beneficial properties
The properties of flaxseed flour and its seeds have been recognized for a very long time and are useful in preventing various ailments, including cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, autoimmune and neurological disorders.
These benefits are mostly due to the high content of a fatty acid known as ALA (alpha-linolenic acid ) of the omega-3 series, the exceptional amount of dietary fiber and phytoestrogens present in the plant and, consequently, in the flour.
In addition, flax seeds contain several phenolic compounds, known for their antioxidant and anticancer properties. In particular, in flaxseed flour we can find three different types of phenolic compounds: phenolic acids, flavonoids and lignans. If you would like to learn more about the role of these compounds, we invite you to read our article: Polyphenols: what they are and why they are good for you.
As we said, flaxseed flour is good for its high alpha-linolenic acid content. In this regard, many studies in the literature suggest that the consumption of omega 3 fatty acids, including the aforementioned ALA, are useful for supporting anti-inflammatory processes and in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, also improving blood pressure.arterial.
Furthermore, the consumption of 3 g of omega 3 daily was found to be effective in reducing inflammation due to rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, the presence of ALA gives flaxseed flour the ability to reduce tumor growth.
As for phytoestrogens, flaxseed flour mainly contains lignans. They play an important role in the prevention of various types of cancer, especially hormone-dependent ones (such as breast or prostate cancer) probably thanks to the strong antioxidant activity they perform.
Finally, as far as fiber is concerned, flaxseed flour retains all that contained in the seeds and it is estimated that an addition of 10 g in the diet of this can increase the intake of 1 g of soluble fiber and 3 g of insoluble fiber. This last type of fiber is very important for intestinal regularity and to prevent constipation as it is able to increase fecal mass and reduce intestinal transit time.
Soluble fiber, on the other hand, is useful for improving the lipid profile and lowering blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, using flaxseed flour in cooking is an excellent solution to improve the quality of our diet, increasing the intake of fiber and good fats.
Flaxseed flour in recipes: 10 ways to use it in the kitchen
If you have read this far, we are convinced that now you would like to understand how to use flaxseed flour in recipes. We therefore provide you with some practical ideas for using flaxseed flour in the kitchen.
In general, the use of flaxseed flour is not too complicated and can be used a bit like we use 00 flour. Thanks to its thickening power, then, this flour can be a valid vegetable alternative in vegan preparations that require adding a thickener.
However, if you are afraid to try your hand at this ingredient, know that there are products on the market with the addition of flaxseed flour, such as some types of pasta. If you want to test yourself, however, read on.
1. Pudding with flax flour
Flaxseed flour can be used in cooking in several ways. One of these is pudding, a very healthy and complete way to start your day! We can prepare an excellent pudding using the drink we like best, oats or oat flakes, dried fruit and finally add a tablespoon of flaxseed flour. The pudding is prepared quickly and easily and various ingredients can also be used.
2. Added to a soup to make it creamier
As we have said, flaxseed flour can be used in different recipes and, thanks to its thickening power, it is also perfect to be added to soups. In this regard, try to prepare a vegetable soup (eg broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes) and add a tablespoon of flaxseed flour to make it creamier and healthier. Alternatively, it can also be used as a simple thickener, where a velvety cream remains too watery. If so, try adding 1 tablespoon of flaxseed flour!
3. Preparation of bread sticks
Flaxseed flour can also be used as a substitute (mixed with other flours) in the preparation of baked goods, such as breadsticks. Generally add only 20% of flaxseed flour on the total flour of the recipe and proceed as usual! You will get a similar product, but with an improved nutritional composition and incredible beneficial properties!
4. Added in yogurt
Do you want a good and refreshing snack? Flaxseed flour is very versatile in cooking and can also be used as a simple addition, for example to yogurt. Prepare yourself a bowl of fresh plain yogurt, add some fresh fruit pieces, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of chopped flax seeds and mix everything. You just have to taste!
5. In desserts instead of the egg
Thanks to its thickening power, flaxseed flour is a good substitute for egg in recipes. So, if you need to prepare an egg-free dessert, you can mix 1 tablespoon of flax flour with 30 g of water. Replace this egg dough for dessert and proceed with your recipe! In addition to flaxseed flour, there are several other solutions to replace eggs.
6. To add to bread
As we have seen, flaxseed flour in recipes improves its nutritional profile. Do you have the habit of making your own bread at home? You can try adding 20-30% flaxseed flour to the flour you normally use. The bread will be tastier and richer in fiber and therefore will have a significantly improved nutritional composition.
7. Gnocchi with flaxseed flour
We have told you about the pasta with flax flour on the market. If you want to prepare a first course with this flour at home, the simplest way is gnocchi. We advise you to try adding this flour to both traditional potato gnocchi and chestnut and pumpkin gnocchi, with which this flour goes perfectly.
8. Cookies with oatmeal and flaxseed
Flaxseed flour also lends itself well to the preparation of desserts. If you like to have a sweet breakfast, but would still like to improve your habits at the table, try making breakfast biscuits at home. Combine flaxseed flour, richer in proteins and fats than normal ones, with another flour such as oat or spelled flour. Also add raisins or dark chocolate chips to make them tastier and prepare yourself some excellent homemade “desserts”!
9. Pancakes with flaxseed flour
Also in this case we offer you a not too sweet dessert, which is suitable for both breakfast and snacks for the most hungry. Make pancakes with a mashed banana, an egg and a couple of tablespoons of flax flour mixed with 40-50 g of water or vegetable milk. Once you have a homogeneous mixture, cook for a few minutes in a non-stick pan and you will have prepared excellent pancakes with the addition of flaxseed flour.
10. Meatballs of legumes with flaxseed flour
Flaxseed flour fits perfectly into a vegetarian or vegan diet. For example, for a vegan or vegetarian dinner you can prepare homemade meatballs with legumes, vegetables to taste and flaxseed flour, added to the extent of 20-30% in place of other flours. Flaxseed flour will give your meatballs a stronger taste and increase the share of good fats in your diet!
The possible contraindications of flaxseed flour
Flaxseed meal, as well as flaxseed, contain anti-nutrients that could also have a negative effect on our well-being.
In particular, some of these release hydrogen cyanide in the intestine which is a powerful respiratory inhibitor, while others negatively interfere with the absorption of iodine by the thyroid and other minerals in the intestine. However, all of these antinutrients are easily destroyed through autoclaving and microwave roasting.
In any case, if you have intestinal problems or autoimmunity, we advise you to agree on the intake of flaxseed flour with your trusted nutritionist. Beyond this contraindication, no adverse effects of flaxseed flour are known.
Where is flaxseed meal found
At this point we just need to understand where to buy flaxseed flour. First of all, we advise you to also look on the shelves of the supermarkets that you normally frequent: as we mentioned, it is a product that is spreading more and more!
If you haven’t been able to find it, you can try it in organic shops, but also in pharmacies and some herbalists. Generally the price of flaxseed flour can vary between 10 and 15 USD per kg of flour, but there are also more expensive products (about double) that are obtained by cold grinding the flax seeds. As a last resort you can look online: many internet sites (both retailers and manufacturers) offer the opportunity to buy this flour!