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5 Ways to Get Ground Flaxseed Meal into Your Family's Diet
America's new staple in the pantry, Ground Flaxseed Meal
Ground flaxseed is a staple in our house now. I started using it in my own meals to get more Omega-3's in my diet and found it an easy thing to also add into my very picky 8 year-old's meal plan. First of all, ground flaxseed meal (or sometimes referred to as a flour) does not in of itself contain omega-3s. It contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which our bodies then convert to omega-3 fatty acids. You can find these same omega-3s in the oilier varieties of fish, however it is not recommended that people eat too many of these fish in a week's time due to the high possibility of consuming too many pollutants and/or mercury. Plus, if you are a parent of a picky eater, fish may be out of the question entirely!
You can use ground flaxseed meal as a substitute for flour, use it for baking or frying. You can sprinkle it on foods and even use it as a substitute for egg! (This has come in very handy when I thought we had a full dozen in the fridge and I'm in the middle of making a recipe!)
The flaxseed is ground so fine, that is can be barely detectable to those little ones (or big ones, for that matter) who are sensitive to tastes, texture or visual changes in their food.
There are some possible side effects from the use of flaxseed meal that you should be aware of so if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have diabetes, or gastrointestinal issues make sure you do your research. This article is a good start, but please talk to your medical professional if you have any concerns before using ground flaxseed meal. The article also talks about the benefits of the use of flaxseed in your diet. http://myhealthbynature.com/flax-seed-benefits-and-side-effects/ which include boosting metabolism and fighting metabolism. On a recent trip to my hairdresser, she confirmed another benefit of eating flaxseed meal regularly, that it was also making my hair thicker! http://www.top10homeremedies.com/how-to/how-to-get-thicker-hair-naturally.html
5 Ways to get flaxseed meal into your kids food.(without being detected!)
I have to keep my goings-on this department very hush-hush, lest my little man think that something is up! So I have listed 5 ways that I use the ground flaxseed in meal preparations.
1) Substitution for Egg
When frying, or baking, if the recipe calls for egg, I use the flaxseed meal as a substitute. The recipe for this substitution is usually listed somewhere on the packaging. I have seen it on several different brands but the most popular one found in the supermarket is Bob's Red Mill. It is usually in the baking section, but you can ask customer service where it is in your particular market. The recipe varies by brand but there will be some ratio of the meal flour to water as the equivalent to one egg. I just mix it in the bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Sometimes you have to temper the water to meal ratio to get the consistency you are looking for, but it is easy enough to do by eye. One thing I would like to mention is that if you are using flaxseed meal as a substitute for egg in baking, you could wind up with a little moister cake, muffin, bread etc. I have used it successfully in boxed cake mix and brownie mix however I have not tried it with cookies.
2) An Additive to Baking
Just substituting the flaxseed meal for egg isn't really enough of the ALA to make much of a difference in your diet in my opinion, typically only using 2 tablespoons of the flour to bake a couple dozen cupcakes. I will always invariably sprinkle in another few tablespoons into the batters dry. It doesn't seem to affect the texture at all this way, so if you want to skip the egg substitution, and go right for the flaxseed sprinkling method, go ahead.
3) Sprinkle into any foods.
The reason I sat down to write this article tonight, is that I successfully sprinkled the flaxseed meal into buttered egg noodles with parsley and parmesan cheese, one of my son's absolute favorite recipes, at tonight's dinner. That being said, here is a list of other foods that I used the sprinkle method on and it went undetected by my Picky Pete.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
- Pancakes - any kind. Plain, blueberry, chocolate chip, banana, etc. Just sprinkle into the batter.
- French Toast
- Meatballs (sprinkle and egg substitution!)
- Bagels with cream cheese
- Toast with butter and jelly
- Make your own granola bars
If you are breading something for frying, chicken, pork chops etc, It is easy to add to whatever you are using for the crust. See below for my Flaxseed Parmesan Crusted Chicken Recipe
This is my absolute favorite method, but that is the one part of breakfast or snack that I can add a whole host of good stuff into! I put fiber powder, high protein yogurts, fruits, herbal tonics and of course flaxseed meal into them and they are delicious! I secretly high five myself in my mind when I see an empty smoothie cup in the sink. Just sprinkle as much as you think you can get away with into the blender. ;-)
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Parmesan with Flaxseed Meal
- 1 TBSP King Arthur Flaxseed Meal
- 5 TBSP Water
- 1 Pound Boneless Chicken Breast Tenderloins, trimmed and rinsed
- 1 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs
- 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 tsp Dried Basil
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 TBSP Garlic Powder
- 3 TBSP King Arthur Flaxsee Meal
- 1 1/2 cups Tomato, Spaghetti or Marinara Sauce
- Parmesan Cheese, to garnish
- Whole Fresh Basil Leaf, to garnish
- 1/2 cup Frying Oil
- In a small bowl, prepare egg substitute as described on package. For this recipe we mixed 1 TBSP of flaxseed meal with 7 TBSP of water. Mix well with fork and set aside.
- In medium bowl, prepare breading mixture. Combine bread crumbs, dried herbs, garlic salt, parmesan cheese and flax seed meal. Mix all dry ingredients together until well blended.
- Heat frying oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, heat up marinara sauce in a small saucepan until hot.
- Begin to prepare chicken by first dipping it into the flaxseed wash (egg substitute) and then coating well in breading mixture. Add pieces individually and carefully to hot oil. Cook until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes then turn over and finish cooking on other side for another 4-6 minutes making sure that chicken bounces back to the touch to ensure it is cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat, to paper towel lined plates to remove extra oil.
- Move chicken to plate and pour marinara sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and garnish with sprig of fresh basil.