I’ve just taken to eating even more flaxseed! Flax eggs are a staple component of my vegan ingredient list, fantastic for baking, binding and pancake making. Flax seed meal is also fantastic for adding a little bit of thickness and nutritious boost to a smoothie. Of course I knew it was good for me but the primary reason I was using flax was most definitely a functional one as a opposed to considering the healthy benefits; these were just a subsequent bodily blessing
So you may have noticed I keep harping on about my first week of classes last weekend, but as of yet I haven’t mentioned any new insightful bits and pieces I may have picked up.
One thing that really stood out to me was the benefits, importance and quantities of Omega 3’s that are bodies require. I was aware flaxseeds were a good source of both Omega 3 and 6 but I wasn’t sure of the comparable amounts in the oily fish that people are being massively encouraged to consume at least three times a week.
In just two tablespoons of flaxseeds we can get over 120% of the recommended daily allowance of Omega 3’s! To get the equivalent from oily fish you would have to consumer at least 200g…I know which I’d prefer!
And so I’ve taken to using them even more, most notably in my pancakes! A flax egg not only adds a nutritional boost to this morning meal option, the healthy fats give it a bit more staying powder preventing you from overly snacking before lunch (though I’m one to always encourage healthy snacking, 6 meals for me have always been better than 3!), and bullet proofs your pancake preventing any potential for breakage
So I’ve been meaning to give Kath’s Oat Pancake a go for a while and when she posted an updated version last week I bumped it up higher on the list of my “must makes”. A flax egg, a little water, oats, half a banana….cinnamon and baking powder and I had myself the quickest and easiest, possibly the thickest and most hearty, single pancake ever!
Topped with the remainder of the banana mashed, a quick raspberry jelly/sauce, a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter and a sprinkling of the much loved bee pollen!
The only thing missing was a little fresh fruit….the last of the fresh strawberries; they’ll begin to taste a bit more like plastic from here on in!
Here’s some other interesting info on flax seeds for anyone that’s interested…
- Among all 129 World’s Healthiest Foods, flaxseeds comes out number one as a source of omega-3s! The primary omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseeds is alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. The ALA in flaxseed has found to be stable for at least 3 hours of cooking at oven temperatures (approximately 300F/150C), which makes it available after ground flaxseeds have been added to baked goods like muffins or breads.
- Most plant foods contain at least small amounts of phytonutrients called lignans. Lignans are unique fiber-related polyphenols that provide us with antioxidant benefits, fiber-like benefits, and also act as phytoestrogens. Among all commonly eaten foods, researchers now rank flaxseeds as the #1 source of lignans in human diets. Flaxseeds contain about 7 times as many lignans as the closest runner-up food (sesame seeds).
- Recent studies and research has shown that flaxseeds have proven to improve metabolic syndrome (a name for a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes; including extra wright around the middle and upper parts of the body and insulin resistance).
- When flaxseeds are compared with other commonly eaten foods in terms of their total polyphenol content (polyphenols are one very important group of antioxidants), flaxseeds rank 9th among 100 commonly eaten foods. Flaxseeds turn out to be significantly higher in polyphenol antioxidants than fruits like blueberries or vegetables like olives.
Fantastic excuse to do some baking experimentation!
What’s your favourite way to incorporate flaxseed in to your diet?
Vegan Oat Pancake
Preparation Time – 15 minutes
Cooking Time – 8 minutes
- 1/2 cup (40g) jumbo oats
- 1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp almond milk
- 1/2 medium ripe banana mashed
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Remaining half banana mashed
- 1/3 cup frozen raspberries + 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp cornstarch + 1/2 tsp water
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 heaped tsp bee pollen
- 1/2 cup fresh strawberries sliced
- Mix together flax and water and set to one side for 15 minutes.
- Add frozen raspberries to pot over a low heat with maple syrup and simmer for 5 minutes, until thawed, soft and a little mushy! Mix together cornstarch and water, add to the pot and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes until it thickens up. Set to one side to cool.
- Mix together flax egg, almond milk and mashed banana. Add in oats, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Place mixture in to a non stick pan, spread to form a nice even round and cook over a medium heat for 4 minutes before flipping over and cooking for the same time on the other side.
- Serve topped with remaining mashed banana, peanut butter, raspberry “jelly” and bee pollen sprinkled over the top (strawberries on the side!)