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There are so many good things found in tiny flaxseed.
Flaxseed is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential to our health. Flaxseed is also high in fiber and may help reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels.
At first I was hesitant to try flaxseed – how the heck would I use this product? But I experimented and purchased just a tiny bit to see if I would like cooking with flaxseed. I recommend purchasing a small amount if this is your first go-round with flaxseed. I bought mine from my local natural foods grocery store from the bulk bins. If you give it a try, make sure you place the seed in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. I left my first batch of flaxseed I ever bought in the pantry, and it turned rancid in a couple of months – live and learn from my mistake!
Flaxseed is very easy to incorporate into your most beloved as well as tried and true recipes. I have toasted flaxseed in a dry pan on medium heat (stirring constantly to avoid scorching), and then sprinkled on morning oatmeal. Flaxseed can also be ground with the best coffee grinder and used as a powder. The powder is a nice addition to baking muffins and quick breads — a tablespoon or two is all you’ll need. The seeds can also be sprinkled on top of homemade whole wheat bread made in a bread machine to create a pleasantly different seeded crust. The recipe below is a simple way to try flaxseed in tonight’s dinner.
Vegetable and Flaxseed Soup Recipe
Makes 8 servings
- 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion medium size, diced (Here are some great onion choppers for you!)
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced, or crushed and diced finely (Here are some great garlic presses for you!)
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1-15 ounce can of beans of your choice, drained and rinsed very well (I use black beans or white cannellini beans)
- 8 cups organic, low sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder*, dissolved in ¼ cup purified water (optional)
When olive oil is heated through, put in onion, carrots, celery, flaxseeds, bay leaves, basil and oregano. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Use the medium heat, as this will allow the vegetables to sweat and release their juices for seven to eight minutes. The medium heat will also toast the flax seeds, adding a toasted and roasted quality to the vegetables. Add garlic and stir for an additional 2 to three minutes, ensuring the garlic turns to a light golden brown and does not burn. The vegetables will be softened, but not broken down.
Add chicken broth, tomato paste and beans. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. The last five minutes of simmering, put in zucchini and arrowroot powder mixture.
*A Note About Arrowroot Powder
I use arrowroot powder as a natural thickening agent in soups and stews. You can find arrowroot powder in any natural foods grocery store. Make sure the powder is dissolved in water before placing it in the soup, or you will have lumps floating around! Arrowroot powder has no taste, so do not worry about the powder affecting the final taste of your dish.
Katherine Randinitis, “Vegetable and Flaxseed Soup Recipe”, Associated Content.
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