Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Flax tip

I'm always trying to find ways to sneak good stuff into food without changing the taste or the look. Greg (my husband) is pretty good about eating almost anything I put in front of him, but he doesn't lean toward eating tofu, cous cous, or anything you'll only find in a health food store! Given a choice between Bryers ice cream and Toffutti, guess which one he'll choose?

I want to keep him around as long as I possibly can, and I hope to hang in there just as long. So, I add bran or other fiber to pancakes, only buy whole wheat, buy free range whenever possible, make sure there are plenty of fruit choices, avoid sugars and fats, etc., etc., etc.

After reading a bit about flax seed, I thought it would be a great thing to incorporate into our regular diets. So, I merrily traipsed off to the store, grabbed a container of flax seed and then tried to figure out what to do with it (my typical method of operation... impulse buy, then figure out the mechanics later).

Those pesky little seeds are not easy to hide in foods. However, I came up with one way to add them to almost anything - I mix the seeds in my pepper mill with the peppercorns. Now, anytime we use pepper, we're getting some flax seed.

Next time I'm at the store I plan to pick up another pepper mill just for the flax seed. I plan to add some to soups and other concoctions just like a spice when I'm cooking.

Anyone else have any great ideas on how to incorporate healthy things into not-so-healthy dishes?

A bit about flax seed in case you don't know about it:

Benefits of flax seed as shown in many studies include lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, it may also help lower blood triglyceride and blood pressure and may keep platelets from becoming sticky therefore reducing the risk of a heart attack. Flax seed oil may be able to heal the inner lining of the inflamed intestines, so those with Crohn's Disease and colitis might want to read up on the benefits.

It has a high content of alpha linolenic acids, which is a type of plant derived omega 3 oil. It also has lignan, a phytoestrogen or anitoxidant and it is high in fiber.

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