Flax Seed Meal - Where to Get It and How to Use It

Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Meal
Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Meal. elaine/E+/Getty Images

You've probably heard that flax seeds or flax seed meal (ground flax seeds) are very good for us.  Lots of people are adding flax seeds to their diets for the nutrients and fiber they contain. They are great for people following low-carb diets.

Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Meal

Flax seeds (also called linseeds in some places) are very low in carbohydrate and high in nutrients, and are useful in a lot of low-carb recipes.

They are the seeds of the flax plant, from which linen cloth is made. Flax seed has a pleasantly nutty taste (if it doesn't, it's rancid). The whole seeds keep well, but they need to be ground into meal for us to get their full nutritional benefit. A simple spice or coffee grinder can do this in seconds.

Flax seeds are good for making low-carb baked goods, and adding nutrition to other foods. There's lots of information about flax in this article, and here is a list of recipes and other ways to eat flax.

Where to Find and Which is Best 

Health food stores and specialty stores (e.g. Trader Joe's) carry flax seed, and many regular grocery stores as well. Whole flax seed stays fresh for up to a year if stored safely, however, flax seed meal (ground flax seed) goes rancid more quickly. If you question how long the product has been on the shelves or how it has been stored, it is highly recommended that you purchase whole flax seed and grind it yourself.

It's also less expensive to buy it whole.

The easiest way is with a coffee grinder or spice grinder.  You can also use a blender, but make sure to pulse the seeds or you can end up with a kind of seedy paste.  I have not found that a food processor works well for this, but I don't have a super-duper food processor.

Brown and golden flax seeds have similar nutrient composition, despite the advertising hype you may hear.

Online Sources for Flax Seed

Yes, among other sources, Amazon has lots of options for flax meal and spice/coffee grinders.

Shop for Flax Seed

Shop for Flax Seed Meal

Shop for Spice/Coffee Grinders

Grinding and Storing

I don't think so. I got a super-cheap one and it works fine - flax seeds aren't as hard as coffee beans. In 5-10 seconds the flax is meal. However, I will say that mine only makes about 1/4 cup at a time so I have to go at it several times if I'm making a recipe that uses a lot of flax meal. You might want to consider that when making your decision.

Store it in the refrigerator, or better yet, the freezer.  I just keep the bag it came in in a second zip-type storage bag and keep re-using the zip bag.

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