|The first time I ate flax it was not for the health qualities, it was for the high fiber because I was in Costa Rica and very constipated! Not fun. I started to read up on it when I came home and loved all the health benefits. I then found a cookie recipe with flax! My sister was passing by on a road trip and I gave them to her with the caution of be careful not to eat too many at once or you will be very regular! Well, sisters don’t listen and she had a lot of stops on her trip!! The cookies were so good that she kept eating them and forgot about my warning! So, do eat it in moderation.Flax itself is high in omega 3,6 & 9 fatty acids which are free radical scavengers and can assist in preventing cancer. But, when it is milled with heat or heated or old, and the oils go rancid, it becomes a free radical which has been proven to cause cancer! Flax is also high in fiber, protein and the antioxidant lignans and micronutrients.
Recently, I learned from a well respected doctor and professor, who owns a gluten-free bakery, that flax is very fragile especially when used in baking. The oils can go rancid very easily when heated and after the whole seed is crushed/ground. Although flax can be very healthy when fresh, it can be dangerous when heated or milled with heat.
I met the owners of Premium Gold a farm and mill that specialize in flax and they confirmed that this is true. I asked if I bake with flax, particularly adding it to cookies, how long is the shelf life? They told me it was only….5 days! WOW! That was so eyeopening. They also use a proprietary cold milling method to mill their grains. I was able to smell the fresh flax, and it really does not smell at all when it is fresh. You will know if you smell it and the oils have gone rancid. The taste is a little bitter and nutty and grassy. They make a gluten-free flour that contains flax and some very healthy flours including Quinoa, Buckwheat and Amaranth. However, it still contains xanthan gum, a bacteria/microrganism which I do not use in my recipes. I do think that this alternative/gluten-free flour substitute is one of the best ones I’ve seen on the market.
If you wish to eat and use flaxseed I would suggest that you consider buying organic whole not ground and grind it yourself in small amounts with a spice grinder(pulsing in short intervals to avoid heat) or purchase it online from PremiumGold or a similar company. You can also buy it from a mill that cold mills it, such as Bob’s Red Mill or PremiumGoldflax.com Keep it in the freezer or refrigerator and be mindful of the expiration date. BTW, they are a family owned and operated company by women!