By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
Published: May 30, 2011
A few years ago, we began to hear a lot about flaxseeds. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, these seeds also are loaded with vitamin E, B vitamins and certain important minerals (manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium). Impressed, I’d buy flaxseeds from time to time and add them to breads, muffins or granola. But to be honest, I never much liked the taste.
Then one day I sampled some toasted flaxseeds sprinkled atop yogurt — and that changed everything. Once toasted, they have a delicious nutty flavor similar to that of sesame seeds. I bought a bag of toasted flaxseeds right away and spent a week experimenting with them in the kitchen.
Flaxseeds are harder than sesame seeds, so it’s a good idea to grind them — coarse or fine, depending on the recipe. That way, too, all the nutrition in flaxseeds is more readily available to the body. Keep what you don’t use in the refrigerator or freezer, as the oils in flaxseeds, like those in most nuts and seeds, will oxidize if not kept cold.
Besides using them in this week’s recipes, you can add ground toasted flaxseeds to yogurt, smoothies, granola and baked goods. You can sprinkle them on salads or mix them into salad dressings, or even stir them into mustard, mayonnaise or other sandwich spreads.
Banana Almond Flax Smoothie
This substantial smoothie is perfect following a high-energy workout.
1 medium or large banana, preferably frozen, sliced
2/3 cup yogurt or almond milk
1 tablespoon roasted unsalted almond butter
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
A couple of drops of almond extract or vanilla
1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender, along with a few ice cubes if the bananas have not been previously frozen. Blend until smooth.
Yield: One serving.
Advance preparation: This smoothie is best if served right away.
Nutritional information per serving: 337 calories; 14 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 6 grams monounsaturated fat; 7 milligrams cholesterol; 47 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 175 milligrams sodium; 12 grams protein