How to grind flaxseed?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How to grind flaxseed?” and will discuss the proper steps to grind flaxseed properly.

How to grind flaxseed?

Flaxseeds can be ground in different ways. a blender, food processor, coffee grinder, and by hand are different ways of ground flaxseed. Owing to the high content of linolenic acid in flaxseed, it is generally believed that milled flaxseed has a limited shelf life, which is shorter than whole seed (1).

Grinding by food processor

Grind the flax seeds in a food processor or blender. At least one of these appliances may be found in most homes. Grind 1 cup (149 grams) of flax seeds in the blender until they are ground to your preferred consistency, perhaps a few minutes.

Add 1 cup (149 grams) of flax seeds to a food processor and pulse until they reach the appropriate consistency. This might take a while. Using a blender or food processor, on the other hand, takes a long time and necessitates grinding huge quantities all at once. Smaller amounts may be ground using other techniques.

Grinding by coffee grinder

The most convenient approach to crush flax seeds is to use a coffee grinder. Coffee grinders are not only fast and efficient, but they are also economical.

To use a coffee grinder particularly designed for grinding flax seeds, place the entire seeds in the chamber and turn the grinder on. Only a few seconds should pass until the seeds have been pulverized into fine powder. Using a coffee grinder also means you can only grind as much as you need, which helps reduce waste.

Grinding by hand

Hand-grinding flax seeds are also possible with the right instruments. Flax mills are the most common kind of flax mill, which is a specialized kitchen appliance for grinding flax. It has the appearance of a pepper mill. In reality, if the pepper grinder has been cleaned and emptied of any pepper residue, it may be used to ground flax seeds.

Finally, a mortar and pestle may be used to manually ground flax seeds. To ground the flax seeds, use the pestle (the club-shaped item) to smash them against the mortar (the bowl). A spoonful of flax seeds may be ground at a time using these alternatives. In contrast, using a coffee grinder is faster and more efficient.

Flaxseed Storage

Regardless of the technique, if you choose to crush the flax seeds, they may be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container. You should thus only grind what you expect to use during that period. Flour made from ground flax seeds should have an earthy, nutty flavor. It is best to toss them away if they have a bitter flavor since they are most likely rotten.

While some studies suggest that processing, such as milling, decreases the shelf life of flaxseed, a study showed that milled flaxseed was stable for 4 months at room temperature. Milled flaxseed samples were stable over 128 d of storage at 23 ± 2°C as measured by peroxide values, free fatty acids, conjugated double bonds, volatile components, and sensory evaluation. These findings suggest the presence of endogenous antioxidants in the milled flaxseed that prevented oxidation of the unsaturated fatty acids and the corresponding development of off-flavors. However, the presence of immature seed in the sample could cause significant increase in free fatty acids due to oxidation. Total volatiles increased with storage in the mixed variety sample but showed minimal change (1).

What are flaxseeds?

Also known as common flax or linseed, Linum usitatissimum is a flowering plant of the Linaceae family. As a food and fiber crop, it is grown in temperate locations across the globe. In Western nations, linen refers to textiles manufactured from flax, which are historically used for bedding, underwear, and table linen. Linseed oil is the name given to the oil produced by this plant. Additionally, the term “flax” may be used to refer to the flax plant’s unspun fibers. Only one domestication of the wild Linum Bienne, also known as pale flax, is documented for this plant species. In contrast, the “flax” plants of New Zealand belong to the Phormium genus.

Flaxseed, of origin in Mesopotamia, has been cultivated since 5000 BC, being used until the 1990s principally for the fabrication of clothes and papers. Today it is cultivated in over 2.6 million ha and the important linseed growing countries are India, China, United States, Ethiopia. Canada is the world’s largest producer of flax and accounts for nearly 80% of the global trade in flaxseed (2).

The advantages of flaxseeds

Flaxseed is a nutrient-dense and health-promoting substance. These seeds provide several health advantages, including high quantities of dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids (ALA).

Research reveals that they may aid in the reduction of dangerous triglyceride levels, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, inflammation reduction, and even the risk reduction of certain forms of cancer. Moreover, flax has been linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular and pulmonary illness via many research studies.

The combination of omega-3 ALA, fiber, and lignans in seeds is mostly responsible for the health benefits.

Omega-3 fatty acids are well-known for their health benefits. Preventing the hardening of arteries and stopping the plaque from depositing in arteries has been shown through research. Maintaining a healthy heart is another benefit. Skin, hair, and nail health are all enhanced by the presence of fatty acids. 

Numerous studies have shown the ability of increased omega-3 fatty acid intake to help regulate and reduce blood pressure in persons who have been diagnosed with hypertension. Furthermore, a diet low in saturated fats and rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed, can reduce heart disease. Studies also demonstrated that dietary flaxseed can inhibit atherosclerosis through a reduction of circulating cholesterol levels and, at a cellular level, via anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory actions (2).

PLUS Flaxseed’s ALA omega 3 is an ‘essential omega 3’ that our bodies cannot make on their own, therefore we must get it from our diets. The daily fiber requirement may be met with as little as two tablespoons of ground flaxseed.

Flaxseed’s lignans also contribute to our well-being. Those with type 2 diabetes may find lignans helpful in lowering their blood sugar levels. Plant-based estrogen found in lignans helps maintain a healthy hormonal balance in our bodies. 

Plant lignans are phenolic compounds whose carbohydrate conjugate is removed by intestinal bacteria to form the bioactive mammalian lignans, enterodiol, and enterolactone. These lignans are absorbed in the small intestine and conjugated in the liver. Flaxseed is the richest known source of the main mammalian lignan precursor, secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, which may affect the cancer incidence by altering production and metabolism of steroid hormones and their action at the cellular level (3).

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “How to grind flaxseed?” and discussed proper steps to grind flaxseed properly.

References

  1. Malcolmson, L. J., R. Przybylski, and J. K. Daun. Storage stability of milled flaxseed. J Am Oil Chemists’ Soc, 2000, 77, 235-238.
  2. Bernacchia, R., R. Preti, and G. Vinci. Chemical composition and health benefits of flaxseed. Austin J Nutri Food Sci, 2014, 2, 1045.
  3. Simbalista, Renée Leão, et al. Effect of storage and processing of Brazilian flaxseed on lipid and lignan contents. Food Sci Technol, 202, 32, 374-380.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.