Bring on the Flax!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article from Vista Magazine.
Flaxseeds — the little seeds with big benefits! Over the years, I couldn’t help but notice that flaxseeds are popping up left and right. They can be used as a plant-based egg replacement in baking (works very well, I must say), added to oatmeal for extra fibre, or just sprinkled over yogurt and added to smoothies. They are an excellent source of fibre, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
When incorporating these nutrient-rich powerhouse seeds into your diet, it’s important to note that they are better consumed freshly ground as opposed to whole. Ground flax is more soluble, and the nutritional value is more readily available and absorbed. Studies have shown that flaxseeds are beneficial for women’s health specifically. They may help with fertility, promote regular ovulation, menstrual cycles, balance hormones, and help protect postmenopausal women from cardiovascular disease. [1,2,3,4,5]
Flaxseeds can be used in both sweet and savoury recipes. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, my Healthy Baked Olive Oil-Flaxseed Chocolate Donuts are sure to hit the spot. Sweetened with banana and maple syrup, they are soft, rich and taste decadent — they are also egg-free thanks to flaxseed meal which acts as a binder! All you need is a mini donut pan, and you’re set.
Healthy Baked Olive Oil-Flaxseed Chocolate Donuts
Makes 24 mini donuts
• ¾ cup almond flour
• ½ cup cacao powder
• ¼ cup 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ¼ teaspoon sea salt
• 1 large ripe banana
• ¹⁄ ³ cup maple syrup
• ½ cup coconut milk
• 3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
• 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ¼ cup creamy almond butter
• 2 tablespoons maple syrup
• 1 tablespoon cacao powder
• ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a mini donut baking pan with coconut oil or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, cacao powder, baking flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well and set aside. In a blender, combine the banana, maple syrup, coconut milk, oil, flaxseed meal and vanilla extract. Blend until completely smooth.
- Slowly stir the wet blended mixture into the dry ingredients.
- Mix until well combined with no clumps. Transfer the mixture into a freezer bag and cut off the bottom tip. Gently squeeze the batter into the wells of the greased donut pan and bake for 12-14 minutes or until completely set. To test, insert a toothpick into one of the donuts; if it comes out clean with no batter, the donuts are done.
- Cool completely before icing the donuts. To make the icing, combine the almond butter, maple syrup, cacao powder, and vanilla extract in the small bowl and fold together until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add a touch of olive oil to thin. Store in an airtight storage container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Dodin S., et al. Flaxseed on cardiovascular disease markers in healthy menopausal women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition. 2008. Volume 24, Issue 1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2007.09.003. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899900707003024
- Dodin, S., et al. The Effects of Flaxseed Dietary Supplement on Lipid Profile, Bone Mineral Density, and Symptoms in Menopausal Women: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Wheat Germ Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 90, Issue 3, 1 March 2005, Pages 1390–1397, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2004-1148
- Franco, OH, Chowdhury R, Troup J, Voortman T, Kunutsor S, Kavousi M, Oliver-Williams C, Muka T. Use of Plant-Based Therapies and Menopausal Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2016 Jun 21;315(23):2554-63. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.8012. PMID: 27327802.
- H. V. Petit, J. A. Small, M. F. Palin, A. Giguère, and G. T. D. Santos. Effects of flaxseed supplementation on endometrial expression of ISG17 and intrauterine prostaglandin concentrations in primiparous dairy cows submitted to GnRH-based synchronized ovulation. Canadian Journal of Animal Science. 87(3): 343-352. https://doi.org/10.4141/CJAS06017
- Mumford, S. L., et al. “Dietary fat intake and reproductive hormone concentrations and ovulation in regularly menstruating women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 103,3 (2016): 868-77. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.119321