12 Ways to Use Flaxseed

Published: April 7th, 2013 |
Author: Sally Kuzemchak

Not sure what to do with this superseed? Try these ideas.


This little seed has a very big following—and for good reason. It contains a hefty dose of fiber, heart-healthy omega-3s, and plant compounds called lignans, which may have anti-cancer properties.

To buy it, look for flaxseed meal, which is flaxseed that’s already been ground up. Or you can buy whole flaxseed and grind it at home in a coffee grinder. Once the package is open or you’ve ground the flaxseed, it’s best to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Now, what can you do with it? Here are a dozen ideas:

  1. Stir it into oatmeal.

  2. Mix it into yogurt.

  3. Blend it into smoothies.

  4. Bake it into homemade granola.

  5. Swap it for oil. Use 3 tablespoons of flaxseed for each tablespoon of oil.

  6. Use it in place of egg. Mix 1 tablespoon of flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes, or until thick, before adding to recipes.

  7. Replace 1/4 cup of flour with flaxseed when baking bread or muffins.

  8. Sprinkle it on top of salads.

  9. Combine 1 teaspoon of flaxseed with your favorite mustard to spread on sandwiches.

  10. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons into breading for chicken or fish.

  11. Substitute it for some of the bread crumbs in meatballs.

  12. Blend 1 to 2 tablespoons into meatloaf or chili.

A couple of things to keep in mind: The suggested daily amount is 1 to 2 tablespoons—more than this could upset your stomach. Also, there are some questions about whether flaxseed is safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and it may interact with some medicines, so ask your doctor if you’re concerned.

How do you use flaxseed?

—Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD

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Keywords: cooking, family, nutrition, recipes