Flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. However, when eaten whole, flaxseed passes through the gastrointestinal tract undigested. To obtain the health benefits from flaxseed, it is important to grind it. Pre-ground flaxseed is available in the marketplace, but buying it whole and grinding it yourself will yield a fresher product as flaxseed can become rancid quickly. Once the flaxseed is ground, it can be added to many foods such as cereals, baked goods or salads.
- Coffee grinder or food processor
- Airtight storage container
Ground flaxseed may be stored in an airtight container in the freezer or refrigerator for up to three months.
Whole flaxseed may be stored at room temperature for up to one year.
Consult the operating instructions of your coffee grinder or food processor for the correct usage.
Ensure that your coffee grinder is only used to grind flaxseed. Any leftover coffee residue will contaminate the ground flaxseed.
Pour a small amount of whole flaxseed into your grinder. Filling it too full limits the blade's ability to chop the seeds into a fine powder.
Secure the lid of the grinder and grind the flaxseed into a fine powder. You may be better off -- depending on your grinder -- pulsing the flaxseeds several times until you achieve the desired consistency.
Add the ground flaxseed to your recipe or pour the ground flaxseed into an airtight container and store in the freezer to maintain the freshness.
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Olivia Rose, ND, is a naturopathic doctor and personal trainer who has been writing professionally since 2007. Her work appears in local publications such as "SNAP." She also has a private practice in Toronto. Rose obtained her Bachelor of Science in nutritional and nutraceutical sciences from the University of Guelph.