Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day because – hold on to your hats! – I love bread in all shapes and colors. And breakfast offers almost unlimited ways to prepare bread, not all of them healthy of course. Several years ago, I discovered this healthy and absolutely delicious flax muffins recipe that has become a staple in our breakfast rotation.
Flaxseed is a powerhouse of nutrition and should be a regular part of every diet. A quarter-cup of flaxseed (the amount used in this recipe) contains:
- 7.5 grams protein
- 11 grams fiber
- nearly 18 grams fat, primarily the healthy fats, including
- 9.6 grams Omega-3 fatty acids
- 57.5% of the RDA for Vitamin B1
- 15% RDA Vitamin B6
- 11% RDA Calcium
- 30% RDA Iron
- 41% RDA Magnesium
- 16% RDA Zinc
It’s also a great source of folate, other B vitamins, potassium, copper, manganese, and more.
Flaxseed has become popular mostly because of its high omega-3 content. In fact, the types of fats found in flaxseed are in the optimum ratio for good health. As Dr. Stengler puts it, flaxseed has “an almost perfect balance of omega-3s with other kinds of fatty acids.”
These healthy fats are essential for our bodies’ overall well being and can minimize the risk of developing:
- cardiovascular disease
The high fiber content of flaxseed not only enables the digestive system to function properly, it also helps reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood and balances blood sugar levels.
In short, flaxseed is amazingly healthy and you can feel confident feeding these flax muffins to your family (and yourself).
How to use Flaxseed
The key to getting all the nutrition that flaxseed has to offer is that you must first grind the flaxseeds. Our bodies cannot digest whole flaxseeds because of their hard outer coating – the seeds will just pass right through the digestive tract. By grinding the seeds, you break that hard outer coating and render a flax meal that your body can easily assimilate.
It’s best to grind flaxseeds just before using them because the oil goes rancid quickly once it’s exposed to the air. If you plan to use flaxseeds everyday, it’s all right to grind enough for 2-3 days worth of baking. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Without further ado, let’s get to the flax muffins recipe…
The recipe I originally used came from the back of a Hodgson’s Mill flaxseed box. I’ve modified it by substituting honey for refined white sugar, adding whole wheat flour, and eliminating the unhealthy vegetable oil. The result is just as tasty and much healthier!
Healthy Flax Muffins Recipe
First, grease a muffin pan with a solid fat. I like to use butter.
To grind the flaxseeds, just pour them into a blender and run on the “chop” setting for 20-30 seconds. Pour the ground flax meal into a bowl with the other dry ingredients – whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt – and stir together.
Add the wet ingredients – honey, milk, and choice of oil – to a small saucepan and warm over low-medium heat. Stir frequently until the honey and oil are completely melted.
Choice of oil?
I’ve baked this flax muffins recipe with butter and with coconut oil – both work well and give a nice result. I personally prefer butter because it seems to make the muffins a bit lighter in texture and gives an additional flavor that I like.
If you prefer to avoid butter for whatever reason, use refined coconut oil. This is coconut oil that has been heated so that it no longer has the coconut smell and taste that virgin coconut oil has. The heating method is the same that has been used by native cultures for centuries, and all my research indicates that refined coconut oil has the same health benefits and nutrition that virgin coconut oil does.
Of course, if you like the flavor of virgin coconut oil in baked goods, go ahead and use it!
A liquid oil, such as olive or canola, will work as well, but I caution against using liquid. According to Dr. Campbell-McBride in her book GAPS: Gut and Psychology Syndrome, if you cook with liquid oils, “the heat will destroy the minor components and change unsaturated fatty acids into harmful trans fatty acids.” She recommends cooking and baking only with stable fats like butter, coconut oil, and lard.
Back to the recipe…
Crack an egg into your mixing bowl and pour in the wet ingredients from the saucepan. Beat them well, then pour in the dry ingredients and beat until just blended. Scrape the bowl, and beat a little more.
Now spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling each about 1/4 to 1/3 full. This batter will be thick.
Pop them into the oven and bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. Dance with the kids while you wait.
Check for done-ness by gently pressing the top of a muffin. If the top springs back, the muffins are done.
Here they are fresh out of the oven…
Now they’re popping out of the tins as if to say, “Eat me! Eat me!”
The kids will be popping up and down now too and shouting, “Feed me! Feed me!”
Let the muffins cool a few minutes and then munch away. They’ll probably keep well for 2-3 days in an airtight container, but I have no experience with that. The ones I bake never last more than 20 minutes.
Delicious and nutritious – my favorite combination! At my house, these flax muffins are a hit with kids and adults alike. They’re irresistible warm from the oven and make a great take-along snack if you or the kids need something to eat when you’re away from home.
Scroll down for the printable flax muffins recipe. I’d love to know if your family enjoys them as much as we do!
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Axe, Josh Dr. “10 Flax Seed Benefits and Nutrition Facts.” Dr. Axe: Food is Medicine. DrAxe.com, 2017. Web.
Bjarnadottir, Adda MS. “Flaxseeds 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.” Authority Nutrition, 2017. Web.
Campbell-McBride, Natasha, MD. GAPS: Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Maple Press, 2010.
Stengler, Mark, ND. The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies: Proven Remedies Medical Doctors Don’t Know. Prentice Hall Press, 2010.
This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is intended only for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure disease. Always consult a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your healthcare routine.
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- 1/4 cup flaxseed, ground
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) honey
- 3 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with butter or other solid fat. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grind flaxseeds in a blender for 20-30 seconds. In a mixing bowl, stir together flaxseeds and other dry ingredients. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, warm honey, butter, and milk over low-medium heat. Stir frequently until butter and honey have completely melted.
- Combine egg and liquid mixture in a mixing bowl. Beat until blended.
- Add the dry mixture and beat on medium speed until just blended. Scrape the sides of bowl and beat again briefly.
- Fill prepared muffin cups about 1/2 full. Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes.
- Test by pressing the top of a muffin. If the top springs back, the muffins are done.
- Cool a few minutes and enjoy.