Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

Seeds for Health – Flax

We should all be eating some flax seeds every day and using plenty of flax seed oil as these little seeds have enormous health benefits and my favourite producer is the American family firm, Barleans.

Barleans Organic Fortiflax is a delicious mixture of toasted flax seeds with added lignans – naturally occurring soluble fibre – that reduces cholesterol and helps protect the heart and circulation.

Barleans Flax Oil can be added to salad dressings or other foods, but is best used cold.

Here are some of my favourite recipes that use the super little flax seed.

Mighty Muesli Munchies

300g/10½ oz of good quality unsweetened organic muesli: preferably without nuts
pinch of nutmeg
115g/4oz brown cane sugar
2 heaped teaspoons Barleans Organic FortiFlax
1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
175g/6oz runny honey
60g/2oz unsalted butter
175g/6oz fresh or semi-dried dates (not the sticky ones in Christmas boxes), stoned and chopped
3 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
juice of 1 lemon

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.

In a big bowl, mix the muesli, Fortiflax and spices.

Put the honey, sugar and butter in a small pan and heat slowly till all the sugar is dissolved. Mix thoroughly with the muesli.

Put half of the muesli mixture in a greased 33cm x 25cm/13 x 10 inch shallow baking tray.

Mix the bananas, dates and lemon juice, add on top of the mixture, then cover with the rest of the muesli mixture, smooth over and bake until golden - about 25-30 minutes.

Leave it to cool in the tin, then cut lengthways down the middle, and divide each half into 6 substantial bars.

Wake Up Call Juice Drink

Here’s a combination of quick and slow release energy, essential fatty acids and nutrients, protein and fibre for a great energy boost. Surprisingly peanut butter helps weight loss and sugar cravings. Because they’re broken down very slowly into energy giving sugars, the nuts and peanut butter help protect against diabetes.

With the banana for more potassium and fruit for vitamin C and fibre, this is a vitality drink which is also rich in calcium and B vitamins.

2 eating apples
2 bananas
1 pear
1 heaped tbspn of smooth peanut butter
2 tsp Barleans Organic Flax seed oil
150 ml (5 fl oz) of crème fraiche
½ a tspn of cinnamon

Quarter the apples and pear. Peel the bananas. Put the apples and pear through a juicer.

Put the juice, peanut butter, crème fraiche, flax seed oil and banana into a liquidiser and whiz.

Serve with the cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Strawberry Sundae

The crème fraiche and milk provide lots of calcium, the strawberries add loads of vitamin C, and this delicious cooling drink is also an immune booster and bone builder. The flax seed oil adds essential fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory and help improve concentration, memory and mental performance.

(2 Servings)
400g (14 oz) of strawberries
125 ml (4 fl oz) of crème fraiche
75 ml (3 fl oz) of full-fat milk
10 ml (2 tsp) Barleans Organic Flax Seed oil

Keeping two of the strawberries aside, put the rest into a blender with the crème fraiche, flax seed oil and milk. Whizz until smooth, thinning down with more milk if necessary.

Serve with the almost halved reserved strawberries sitting over the rim of the glasses.


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