Flax Snax

Friday, March 4th, 2011

One of the 10 best foods for heart health that I listed last month is FLAX. Unfortunately, I ran out of February before I could post this recipe using ground flax seeds. Flax is high in lignans*, as well as fiber and nutritional benefits. (*See basic definition in the Glossary for any word in bold italics.)

Lignans are naturally occurring chemicals widespread within the plant and animal kingdoms. These are especially abundant in flaxseeds and sesame seeds. Lignans are being studied for possible use in cancer prevention, particularly breast cancer. Like other phytoestrogens* they attach to the same spots on cells where estrogen attaches. If there is little estrogen in the body (after menopause, for example), lignans may act like weak estrogen; but when natural estrogen is abundant in the body, lignans may instead reduce estrogen’s effects by displacing it from cells. This displacement of the hormone may help prevent those cancers, such as breast cancer, that depend on estrogen to start and develop. (Source: Internet)

Since Flax seems to be one of the “superfoods” these days, I thought I would post an easy recipe for snacking that incorporates the ground seeds. I keep the whole seeds in my freezer and then grind them as I need them.  If I have a little leftover, I freeze these as well. They are not meant to be kept on your pantry shelf.


 


Utensils: Bowls, spatula & spoon. Also, nut or coffee grinder if you buy the whole seed
Prep. Time: About 10 minutes
Cooking Time: None, but I do put them in the freezer at least one hour before serving
Category: Gluten Free

NOTE: The amounts of the ingredients are approximate,because different nut butters are denser or looser. Even different tahinis, which I used, can be thick like peanut butter or more runny, so adjust the amounts depending on the brand of  your ingredients.

Ingredients

1/4-1/3 cup nut butter (tahini, cashew, almond, etc.)
2 T. ground flax seed
2 T. date granules or other granulated (natural) sweetener like Sucanat
1 T. honey
unsweetened coconut for sprinkles. (can also use sesame seeds)

Directions

1. In a small bowl, combine nut butter and date granules. Mix well with back of spoon.
2. If the batter is too thick to come together, add a little honey (or even water) to make a dough ball.
3. Roll the batter into small balls about the size of ping-pong balls or smaller. (I wet the palms of my hands before I do this step.)  Place honey in one monkey dish and flaxseeds in another.  Roll each ball first in honey and  then in flax. (If you used some honey in the dough, you may need more than one tablespoon for the rolling.)
4. Finally, in another small dish, roll in or sprinkle on coconut or sesame seeds and place in freezer for at least one hour. OR, combine the coconut with the flax so your snacks are more white than brown.Serve from the freezer as they tend to soften and spread when left out too long.
Yield: 5 – 6 balls 
Any leftover ingredient can be thrown into your next smoothie

Note: These are very dense, so make them small, because one or two should satisfy. Play around with the ingredients.  If you want a less sweet snack, use more nut butter and less date granules. So long as you have extra of each of the ingredients, you can mix and match, depending on how much of each taste you want. For example, you can use rice syrup or maple syrup instead of honey. Experiment with ingredients for different flavors. Ex. place a raisin or almond in the center of each ball. Be creative! Use what you have on hand.

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