Flaxseed meal, or ground-up flaxseeds, is more of a silent partner than a big bold star in plant-based cooking, but it’s incredibly valuable because of its nutrition and texture.
Flaxseed meal is one of the most commonly recommended vegan egg substitutes in baking, because if you mix flaxseed meal (1 Tablespoon) and water (3 Tablespoons) and let it sit a few minutes, the mixture takes on the viscous consistency of an egg. You can also add a tablespoon of flaxseed meal to smoothies or oatmeal, or a few tablespoons to a pot of soup for the same thickening effect.
How to Use Flaxseed Meal in Recipes
Recipes that call for flaxseed meal as an egg substitute will provide instructions on how and when to combine it with water and add to the rest of the ingredients. If you have recipes that call for eggs, try substituting flaxseed eggs (1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal and 3 Tablespoons water for each egg – mix them together and let them sit 5-10 minutes before adding to the rest of the ingredients).
The reason to find ways to eat flaxseed meal is that it’s so nutritious. Flaxseeds contain fiber, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids that are very good for your health.
Omega-3 essential fatty acid sare "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects.
Lignans have plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities.
Fiber is great for the colon and for helping to prevent chronic diseases.
Note that unground flaxseeds can go straight through your digestive tract without breaking apart, meaning that these wonderful nutrients are not released and absorbed. I just buy flaxseed meal already ground.
Where to find it
Flaxseed meal is now sold in most grocery stores, including many bulk sections—that’s the most cost-efficient way to buy it. It is definitely available in natural food stores.