Flax Answers - Flax Seed Use & Storage

Flaxseed can be purchased whole, ground and in oil form. Buying flax seed in its whole seed form is perhaps the best way to take full advantage of its nutritious quality.

We have found that it is best to keep your flaxseed whole and grind it in a food processor or small coffee grinder. This way you can grind only what you need for the time and gain a quality, fresh taste. You can also use flax seed whole, similar to how you use sesame seeds on top of breads, etc. This adds interesting taste and texture. Yet, when used whole, any seeds not crushed by your teeth will pass through you undigested. The majority of your use of flaxseed should be in the ground form to get the bonus of all its nutrients.

Ground flax seed adds a nutty flavor to foods such as oatmeal, breads, casseroles, etc. Yet, it does not substantially change the texture or flavor of your favorite recipes that would cause suspicion from those family members who can’t stand the thought that they may be eating something that is wonderfully healthy!

Flax Seed Storage and Handling

  • Store whole nature's gem flaxseed at room temperature (in a closed container) for up to one year.
  • Nature's Gem ColdMilled Golden Flax seed has a 280 day (9 months) shelf life, we guarantee this, stored at room temperature (80 degrees or less).

Flax Seed Substitution Tips

  • Substituting Fat – Use 3 tablespoons (45 ml) ground flaxseed for each 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of margarine, butter or cooking oil. Flax can be substituted for all or some of the fat depending on the recipe. If you choose to substitute all of the fat in the recipe with flax seed, you will need to increase your liquid by 75% of the amount of ground flax you are adding because the flaxseed will absorb moisture. Baking with flax as a fat substitute will cause baked goods to brown more quickly.
  • Substituting Eggs – Substitute a 1:3 proportion of ground flax seed and water mixture for eggs in recipes such as pancakes, muffins and cookies. Use 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of ground flax plus 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of water for each egg. Let this 1:3 combination sit for several minutes together before adding to your recipe.

Quick Tricks

  • Add a few tablespoons of ground flax to your bowl of cooked oatmeal.
  • Add _ cup of ground flax to a fruit smoothie mix, orange juice or even low-fat milk. If you don’t want to introduce some of that texture into your milk, consider adding it to chocolate milk and it seems like a “milk shake”.
  • Stir some ground flax into applesauce for a healthy snack.
  • Top some onto yogurt. Better than the pre-package yogurt mixes that have crunchy toppings!
  • Sprinkle onto your favorite salad for an interesting texture with added nutrition bonus.
  • Soups and casseroles can benefit from its addition. Use in small amounts at first to experiment, than add as you get used to the different flavor and texture.
  • Ground flaxseed can be substituted for some of the flour content in baked goods. It does not have the same glutinous properties as flour, so you may need to experiment with your recipes.
  • Start this change in your diet slowly, so your body can get used to the added fiber and lignans.
  • Remember to stay well-hydrated, as the flax absorbs water (10-14 times its weight). Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is essential, no matter what foods you eat.

For further information on general nutrition requirements, please link to Flax seed Nutrition Guidelines.


NOTE: Information presented here does not replace seeking advice from your physician.