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Feb 10, 2008 11:34 AM

Just bought Flax Seed, now what?

I bought some flax seed to sprinkle on my oatmeal. I tried some right out of the bad to see what they tasted like and while I liked the taste, they got stuck in my teeth and weren't very pleasant to chew. Can I toast them, grind them? I'm doing this for the health benefit and no other reason so I'm not sure if toasting them would have any affect on the health benefits. Also, how much should I be using to get my day's worth of flax seed? Teaspoon, tablespoon?

Thank you

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  1. You definitely need to grind them, as the hull is not digestible- if you don't grind, you don't get the "good stuff".... Toasting is fine too. I put them into bread or muffins I bake, sprinkle on yogurt, add to homemade granola (super easy to make), use in smoothies.

    I don't know what the proper "dosage" is, I just toss ground flaxseeds into whatever seems like a good idea.

    4 Replies
    1. re: cheesemonger

      If you're going to toast them, do you toast then grind or grind then toast? Does it make a difference?

      1. re: karykat

        I have the "dose" from somewhere of 2-3 tablespoons/day. Sorry, can't track down where I originally got it. One thing I do is sprinkle the ground seed on whole grain toast (after spreading it with preserves or what have you).

        I would think toasting before grinding would be a lot easier, and I also understand the omega three oils are less likely to be heat damaged in the intact seed (I may be reading too much into that, it may just be in seed form as opposed to the isolated oil).

        1. re: karykat

          My "rule" of toasting things like spices, peppercorns etc. is toast first, let cool a bit, then grind. If they are too hot when you grind, you might get paste. So I apply that to flaxseed as well.

        2. re: cheesemonger

          What do you grind them in? A coffee grinder? Mini-food processor? Mortar and pestle? Blender?

        3. I tried messing with the seeds, but as others have pointed out, you have to break the hull to get at the good stuff. So after you break the hull, then what? I didn't find any answers I thought I would like to eat every day, so I just switched over to flax seed oil capsules. Highly recommended by my nutritionist!

          1. I buy ground flax seed meal and keep it in the fridge. I go through it quickly enough to keep it fresh. I like to put a scoop (maybe 2-3 tbl) on some yogurt with honey and granola for breakfast. I also add it to quick bread recipes, substituting for some of the oil. I feel like the benefit of eating the ground seeds as opposed to capsules is the added fiber.

            5 Replies
            1. re: WCchopper

              A half cup of All Bran on my oatmeal gives me a LOT more fibre than a teaspoon or so of flaxseed hulls. Go for the gusto! '-)

              1. re: Caroline1

                Just my personal pref. I like yogurt, don't love fiber cereal, it's just me. I use 2-3 tbl spoons of flax seeds so it's a little more anyway.

                1. re: WCchopper

                  I also agree with eating the flax seed as just ingesting the oil as I prefer eating food that is whole.

                  About the whole cooking with flaxseeds, I'm a bit confused about that matter. I've always been taught that flaxseeds get easily rancid with exposure to heat, light and oxygen. Yet this webmd site says otherwise:


                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    There's a huge difference between long term exposure to heat, light, and oxygen, and the sudden heat produced by cooking. It's fine to cook flax seed, whether on top of the stove or in baking. I just prefer not to have to include any one individual ingredient in my widely varied cooking routine. '-)

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      when grinding flax seeds, you should use it within 15
                      minutes as it loses it's potency quickly

            2. After girinding--they are good to add to yogurt, smoothies, used as breading (seasoned as you like) instead of bread crumbs--on salmon, chicken, etc., sprinkled into soup or over a salad, swirled into a hot cereal.

              I pretty much put them wherever I can fit them in to get to 2 - 3 TBS/day.

              1. I like Forti-flax from Whole Foods because its pre-ground. Folks are right that you need it ground up. I've heard you can do it in a coffee grinder. And flax seed isnt just for fiber, its for the Omega-3s too.

                I think you're aiming for 2-3 tablespoons a day. I probably don't get that, but I figure some is better than none.

                I put them in everything -- yogurt, meatloaf, and on salads.

                1 Reply
                1. re: red_zinger

                  Well I've been grinding them with my small coffee grinder and so far I've put it into my oatmeal and hummus. I didn't know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised to enjoy the nutty flavor of the flax seed. Thanks for telling me to grind it, I had no idea! I would've been using it whole and probably given up after a few tries.