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Uses for Flaxseeds: 10 Ways to Add Flaxseeds to Your Diet

Not only are flaxseeds loaded with nutrients, they are also a versatile ingredient that can be used to add crunch and/or mild nutty flavor to everything from oatmeal and smoothies to salad dressings and baked goods. If you have some extra flaxseeds in your pantry and no idea how to use them up, here are 10 ideas on what you can do with these little goodies:

10 Uses for Flaxseeds

1. Incorporate them into your breakfast

Start your day off right with a healthy breakfast featuring protein-packed flaxseeds that will keep you feeling full for hours. You can incorporate flaxseeds into almost any breakfast dish: stir them into hot oatmeal, toss them into yogurt, or sprinkle a spoonful over your breakfast cereal.

2. Sprinkle flaxseeds on salads

Both ground and whole flaxseeds make a wonderful nutty addition to salads. For extra flavor, toast the seeds lightly before adding them to the salad. To do this, simply place the seeds in a hot skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently so that they don't burn.

3. Add them to salad dressings

Another way to incorporate flaxseeds into your salads is to add them to the salad dressing rather than sprinkling them on top of the finished salad. Adding ground flaxseed to a salad dressing is also a great way to thicken a runny dressing.

4. Use them to boost the nutritional profile of baked goods

Use ground flaxseed as a healthy, nutrient-dense substitute for some of the flour in baked goods. Keep in mind, however, that ground flaxseed does not have the same glutinous properties as most flours, so you may need to experiment a little with your recipes to determine the optimal flaxseed-to-flour ratios.

5. Use ground flaxseed as an egg substitute

Did you know that ground flaxseed mixed with water can be used as a vegan egg substitute in baking? That's right – when mixed with water, ground flaxseeds form a gummy gel that thickens batter in much the same way as eggs do. To replace one large egg in your recipe, use a mixture made of one tablespoon of finely ground flaxseeds and three tablespoons of warm water. Let the mixture stand for a few minutes before using.

6. Use finely ground flaxseed to thicken soups and sauces

Thick soups often contain unhealthy ingredients like butter or white flour, but it doesn't have to be that way. One healthy alternative way to thicken a soup or sauce is to use finely ground flaxseed: simply bring the soup or sauce to a boil, and gradually add the flaxseed, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.

7. Add flaxseeds to smoothies

Use flaxseeds to boost the nutritional value of your smoothies. Not only do flaxseeds add fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and protein to smoothies, the oils they contain also help make fat-soluble vitamins more available to your body's cells. If you need recipes for healthy smoothies featuring flaxseeds, check out our flaxy blueberry and banana smoothie, banana and baobab smoothie featuring flaxseeds and ginger-carrot smoothie featuring flaxseeds.

8. Substitute them for sesame seeds in recipes

Flaxseeds make a good substitute for all sorts of seeds in recipes, but thanks to their small size and mild flavor, they are considered to be a particularly good substitute for sesame seeds.

9. Use ground flaxseed as a binding agent instead of breadcrumbs

Thanks to its binding properties, ground flaxseed also makes a great substitute for breadcrumbs in meatballs, meatloaf, burgers, patties, and the like. Some people also use ground flaxseed, typically in combination with breadcrumbs, as a breading for chicken breasts, pork cutlets, and fish fillets.

10. Add them to homemade granola bars

Homemade granola bars are the perfect on-the-go snack! They are full of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals, and if you include some flaxseeds in your bars, they will also supply your body with invaluable omega-3 fatty acids.

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