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
By Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Makes: 16 strawberries
- 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
- 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.
- In another small bowl, mix the flaxseed, cinnamon and sugar. (Alternate: use finely chopped walnuts and cinnamon in place of flax, cinnamon, sugar)
- 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.
- 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.