The Fun Facts on Flax – Mega Nutrition Power in A Tiny Seed

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You may have already heard that flaxseeds contain plant-based omega-3 fats good for a healthy heart. But did you know flax boasts a whopping 5 grams of fiber in a mere 2 tablespoons? It’s hard to imagine something with so much in such a little package!

This flavorful seed adds taste, texture and great nutrition to your day.

Here are the facts on flax:
  • Whole flaxseeds add crunch and interest to your foods like salads, baked goods and oatmeal, but to gain the nutritional benefits, ground flaxseeds are best.
  • Use both: whole for texture and beauty, and ground for nutritional bang.
  • You can grind flax in a designated coffee grinder or buy it ground already.
  • Store flaxseeds in the refrigerator.
  • The healthy oils, high fiber content and other plant nutrients in flax have been linked with helping promote healthy cholesterol, vibrant and healthy skin, and good digestion and a healthy colon. And the fiber rich seeds help with satiety and weight management.
  • Ground flaxseeds are easy to sprinkle morning to night from oatmeal and smoothies to soups and salads to entrees, sides, baked items and many more.
  • How much? Up to 2 Tablespoons per day.

Chocolate Flax Dipped Citrus Ricotta Stuffed Strawberries

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By Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Makes: 16 strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 16 large ripe strawberries
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/2 cup Lowfat Greek-style plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 3.5-4 ounces 70%-80% dark chocolate (bar)
  • 4 Tbsp Ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp sugar in the raw

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix ricotta, yogurt, orange juice, orange zest, and honey. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use allowing at least 10 minutes for the flavors to mingle.
  2. In another small bowl, mix the flaxseed, cinnamon and sugar. (Alternate: use finely chopped walnuts and cinnamon in place of flax, cinnamon, sugar)
  3. Rinse and pat dry the strawberries. Remove the stem and create a small well in the top and toward the center (stem end) using a small melon baller, knife or scoop end of a potato peeler. Slice off the tip of the opposite end of the strawberry so it can stand upright on a plate.
  4. Melt about 3 ounces of the chocolate by breaking the bar into pieces and melting the chocolate in a double boiler stovetop or in the microwave (20 seconds and then in 12 second increments until melted). Leave a small part of the bar un-melted for garnishing with chocolate shavings.

Assembly: Use a piping bag, plastic bag (cut the corner) or small spoon and fill each strawberry with the ricotta-yogurt mixture so it comes above the strawberry about one-half inch in a decorative way. Dip the opposite end into the melted chocolate about half way up the strawberry and then dip into the ground flax. Place chocolate-dipped end down on a plate and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or longer to allow the chocolate to set. Before serving, use a microplane to grate and sprinkle some dark chocolate on top. You can also garnish with a small mint leaf.

*Alternate/additional method: Do not cut off the tip of the strawberry (opposite of the stem). Fill the well created when removing the stem with the ricotta-yogurt mixture just even with the top of the strawberry and then dip that same end in the chocolate followed by the flax-cinnamon mix. Place strawberries chocolate-side down on a plate and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or longer to allow the chocolate to set.

 

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Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD

Wendy Bazilian is a doctor of public health, registered dietitian, American College of Sports Medicine certified Exercise Physiologist and freelance writer in San Diego. She is an expert advisor to the spa industry and co-owns Bazilian’s Health Clinic with her husband and business partner, Dr. Jason Bazilian. Dr. Wendy is co-author of Eat Clean, Stay Lean (Rodale, 2015) and author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet (Rodale). Find her onFacebook and Twitter

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