How to Use Flax Seeds in Smoothies
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If you’re looking for a way to add some extra fiber and nutrients to your smoothies, consider adding flax seeds. Flaxseeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and lignans (PHytoestrogens) – all of which can offer health benefits. They also add a slightly nutty flavor to your smoothie.
Flax seeds are a great way to add healthy fat and insoluble fiber to your diet, so the next time you whip up a smoothie, why not try a flax seed smoothie?
What are Flax Seeds?
Flaxseeds are tiny, nutrient-rich seeds that have been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. Flaxseed oil is especially beneficial, as it is high in omega-3 fatty acids and lignans (antioxidants). Adding flaxseeds to your diet can provide numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and reducing your risk of cancer. That’s a lot for a tiny seed!
Ways to Use Flax Seeds in Smoothies
Flaxseed can be added to smoothies in a number of ways:
- Ground flaxseed (also known as flax meal) can be mixed in with the other ingredients before blending
- Whole flaxseed can be soaked before adding to the blender
- They can be added whole to a smoothie that is blended with a high speed blender
- Flaxseed oil can be used in a smoothie or drizzled on top of the smoothie after blending
- Whole or ground flaxseed can be used on top of a smoothie or smoothie bowl for texture
Ground flaxseed is preferable, as it will blend more easily and you will get the most nutrients from it. However, if you don’t have a grinder, you can also buy ground flax seed in most grocery stores. Just make sure to store it in the fridge or freezer to keep its nutrients intact.
Can you put raw flax seeds in smoothies?
Yes! Raw flaxseed makes an excellent addition to smoothies. If you have a high powered blender, you can add the raw flaxseed straight to the blender as it will get ground into flaxseed meal while blending. If your blender isn’t a high powered one, try grinding your seeds in a coffee or spice grinder first. According to experts, whole flax seeds often pass through the digestive tract undigested. Our bodies can much more easily digest flaxseed in ground form.
Should I soak flax seeds before adding to a smoothie?
If you don’t have a high powered blender, another way to help your blender break open the tiny seeds is to soak the seeds first.
This is very easy to do, but does require a bit of advanced planning, although not nearly as long as soaking nuts. Chia seeds and flax seeds typically only need about 10 to 15 minutes of soaking time, so before you prep for your smoothie, place your flaxseed in a bowl, cover with water and wait 10-15 minutes.
Then, when you are ready to blend your smoothie, drain the water and use the soaked seeds.
Tips on how to use flax seeds in smoothies:
1. Grind the flax seeds before adding them to your smoothie if you don’t have a high powered blender. This will help increase the absorption of their nutrients. You can use a coffee grinder or food processor to do this. You can also soak the seeds and drain the water before using.
2. Add ground flaxseed to your smoothie recipe gradually, starting with 1-2 tablespoons and increasing as needed. Too much flaxseed can give your smoothie a slightly bitter taste.
3. If you don’t like the taste of flaxseed, try hiding it in other ingredients like fruit or yogurt.
4. Flaxseed oil can be used in place of olive oil or other oils in your smoothie recipe. Start with 1-2 teaspoons and increase as needed.
5. You can also sprinkle flaxseed on top of your smoothie after blending for extra texture and nutrients.
6. Store ground flaxseed in the fridge or freezer to keep it fresh.
7. If you are allergic to flaxseed, look for chia seeds as a possible replacement. Chia seeds have similar health benefits and can be used in the same way as flaxseed.
Recipes for delicious flax seed smoothies
Here are three recipes for delicious and nutritious flax seed smoothies:
Green Smoothie Recipe: 1 banana, 2 cups spinach, 1 cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, 1 Tbsp maple syrup
Fruit and Veggie Smoothie Recipe: 1 carrot, 1 apple, 1 cup spinach, 1 cup water orange juice, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
Chocolate Smoothie Recipe: 1 banana, 1 cup oat milk, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
Berry Flaxseed Smoothie: 1 cup berries, 1 banana, 1 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie: 1 banana, 1 cup almond milk, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoons jelly or jam, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
Tropical Smoothie: 1 cup pineapple, 1 cup mango, 1 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
Note: All of these recipes can be made in a blender. Simply add all ingredients to blender (omit grinding if you have a high powered blender) and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a powerful blender, you may want to soak your flaxseed or grind it before adding it to the smoothie. Start with 1-2 tablespoons and increase as needed.
Health benefits of flaxseed
Including flaxseed in your diet can provide a number of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and fighting cancer.
The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseed oil make it an effective anti-inflammatory agent, which can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke. Additionally, the lignans present in flaxseed have been shown to protect against breast cancer. Including flaxseed in your diet is a simple and delicious way to improve your health!
Read more about the health benefits of flax seed here
How to incorporate flaxseed into a healthy diet
Adding flaxseed to your diet is easy and delicious! As mentioned above, ground flaxseed can be added to smoothies, or you can sprinkle it on top of oatmeal or yogurt.
You can also add flaxseed oil to salad dressings or use it in place of other oils when cooking. Remember to start slowly and increase your intake gradually, as too much flaxseed can cause digestive issues. Start with 1-2 tablespoons per day and increase as desired.
Including flaxseed in your diet is a simple and delicious way to improve your health!
Common Questions about Flax Seeds in Smoothies
Both soaking and grinding are great ways to increase your absorption of the nutrients in flax seeds. I prefer grinding as I can ensure the seeds are broken open and that my body can assimilate the nutrients. It’s also faster than soaking, but soaking is a great option if you don’t have a high speed blender or a coffee grinder.
Yes, you can add flaxseed oil to smoothies in place of other oils. I would start with 1-2 teaspoons and increase from there.
Yes, you can sprinkle flaxseed on top of your smoothie after blending for extra texture and nutrients. Some people prefer to add whole seeds to smoothies, but I would recommend soaking them first if you are going to do this. Soaking ensures that your body can break down the seeds. You can also add ground flaxseed to the top of your smoothie.
Since flaxseeds don’t contain any caffeine or other things that could keep you up at night, it really doesn’t matter what time of day you consume flaxseed. I like to start my day with a healthy smoothie, so I will add my seeds in with my morning smoothie. This is really up to you and what is more convenient for your lifestyle.
Final Thoughts on How to Use Flax Seeds in Smoothies
Flaxseed is a nutrient-rich seed that has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. Adding flaxseed to your diet can provide numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and fighting cancer. Including flaxseed in your diet is easy and delicious! Start with 1-2 tablespoons per day and increase as desired.