How to Get More Omega 3 Into Your Diet
Omega 3 is such an important fat. Our bodies needs this fatty acid in order to function properly. Foods high in Omega 3 are Cold water fish, like salmon, herring and mackerel and flax seed. If you haven’t yet, read the article Fantastic and Incredible Fats, We Need Them! It explains exactly why this fatty acid, along with all the other fats, is so important to have in our diets.
Getting enough Omega 3 can be challenging if you are not a big coldwater fish eater. So, let’s take a look at how we can make flax seeds a delicious addition to your diet. The following recipes came from Laura Dolson at about.com. There are many more.
Whole flax seeds will go right through you, so the best way to eat them is if you grind them into a meal. Simply put seeds into a coffee grinder and grind for about 7-10 seconds to grind them as fine as possible. Grind as many batches as you need to make your recipe. Don’t grind extra, because once you grind the seeds they start to lose some of its potency.
This is a crunchy and tasty. Good with dips, spreads, or plain.
- 1 cup flax seed meal
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water
- Heat oven to 400 F.
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Spoon onto sheet pan which is covered with a silicone mat or greased parchment paper.
- Cover the mixture with a piece of parchment or waxed paper. Even out the mixture to about 1/8 inch. You can roll it out with a straight edge, like a ruler, or a rolling pin. The important thing is not to let it be too thin around the edges or that part will overcook before the center firms up. So after you spread it out, remove the paper and go around the edges with your finger and push the thin part inwards to even it up.
- Bake until the center is no longer soft, about 15-18 minutes. If it starts to get more than a little brown around the edges, remove from oven. Let cool completely – it will continue to crisp up.
- Break into pieces.
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 scoop sugar free protein powder (look for one that uses Stevia as a sweetener)
- 1/3 cup frozen berries, (you can use a mix of berries if you like)
- 2 Tablespoons Flax Seed Meal
- 1/2 – 1 cup water (less if you want it thicker)
- Stevia sweetener to taste. (If you use a stevia sweetened protein powder, you may not need more sweetener)
Put everything in the blender and blend.
I call this "focaccia" because it is baked in that style — flat on a sheet pan, and then cut up into whatever sized pieces you want. It works for toast, sandwiches, and other bready uses. It is "rough" in texture like heavy whole grain breads. Since it isn't made with wheat, it doesn't have the same kind of grain as wheat breads. There is a video of this bread being made. View the video here.
- 2 cups flax seed meal
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 Tablespoons sugar equivalent from Stevia
- 5 beaten eggs
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup oil
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare pan (a 10X15 pan with sides works best) with oiled parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Mix dry ingredients well — a whisk works well.
- Add wet to dry, and combine well. Make sure there aren't obvious strings of egg white hanging out in the batter.
- Let batter set for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken up some (leave it too long and it gets past the point where it's easy to spread.)
- Pour batter onto pan. Because it's going to tend to mound in the middle, you'll get a more even thickness if you spread it away from the center somewhat, in roughly a rectangle an inch or two from the sides of the pan (you can go all the way to the edge, but it will be thinner).
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until it springs back when you touch the top and/or is visibly browning even more than flax already is.
- Cool and cut into whatever size slices you want. You don't need a sharp knife; I usually just cut it with a spatula.
Creatively Using Flax Seed
Remember: Flax seed is very high in fiber. Drink lots of fluid while eating flax. Whole flax seed will sail right through you – to get the benefits, grind flax seed into meal (or purchase it that way). See links at the bottom of the page for more information about flax seeds.
Easy and tasty ways to add flax seed meal to your diet:
- Put it On or Mix it In With Other Foods
- Yogurt and fruit
- Cottage or ricotta cheese and fruit
- Yogurt or ricotta with a little maple syrup
- Smoothies and shakes
- Mix it into pancake or muffin batter, or other baked goods (you'll probably need to add a little more water)
- Make a Sweet or Savory Instant Porridge or "Mush"
The idea here is to pour boiling water over flax seed meal to make a kind of porridge that can be flavored in many ways, both sweet and savory. The amount of water will vary according to taste, but about twice the amount of water as flax seed meal is a good starting place. I also like to add a pinch of salt, and if I am going to the sweet side, a little sweetener as well. Let it thicken for a couple of minutes while the seeds absorb the water. If it's too thick and "gel-like", add more water. Here are some ideas for "mix-ins" for flax meal.
- Peanut butter and cinnamon
- Any nut butter
- Cinnamon, sweetener, and butter
- Chopped Nuts
- Chopped apple and cinnamon
- Chopped peaches
- No sugar added jam
- Unsweetened coconut
- To make it deluxe, add sugar-free chocolate with the coconut
- Coconut milk and no sugar added jam (raspberry is good)
- Shredded cheese
- Shredded cheese and chiles (or pepper cheese)
- Cheese and chives
- Cheese and garlic
About.com flax seed recipes and information.
Fantastic and Incredible Fats, We Need Them! Explains how our body uses fats to keep us healthy. Also helps identifying all the different types of fats and why we need to eat them all, even saturated fat!
Good Fats Gone Bad The companion article Fantastic and Incredible Fats, We Need Them! Explains how fats become damaged and why we need to balance fats properly.
Video of Mary Toscano, certified nutrition educator, explaining why pregnant mothers must eat enough Omega 3 fats.