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Flaxseed is known as Cheruchana vithu in Malayalam.
Flaxseed is known as Linseed, Atasi, and Jawas in Marathi, Tishi in Bengali, Pesi in Oriya, Agasi in Kannada and Avise ginzalu in Telugu. Flaxseeds is also known as Ali vidai in Tamil, San, Alsi in Hindi, Gujarati, and Punjabi
Flax Seeds :
Flax seeds are flat, oval, glossy, and are pointed at one end. The color of the flaxseed ranges from light to dark reddish brown. Whole flaxseed comes with Mother Nature’s own finest packaging—its natural hard hull keeps it fresh.
Flaxseed has long been valued for its health benefits. One of the unique characteristics of flax is the oil in the seed. Flaxseed is over 40 percent oil. Like other vegetable oils, flax oil is a mixture of fatty acids, but it is the highest single source of a fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid or ALA.
ALA is a member of the omega-3 fatty acid family. They are essential fatty acids, which the body cannot make, but absolutely needs for normal growth and development. These fats must be supplied by diet. Hundreds of studies have shown that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids decrease risk of heart attacks, strokes, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Whole flax seeds are sold inexpensively at natural-food stores and some Indian grocery stores. It is best to buy them whole and grind them as needed in a coffee grinder.
It is imperative to grind these tiny, hard-shelled seeds, or they will pass through the body undigested.
Ground flax meal is also available in some health stores but it should be refrigerated in an airtight, opaque container, where it will keep for up to 30 days. You’ll know that flax meal has spoiled if it smells like oil paint.
These little brown seeds also make a great egg substitute. When flax seeds are blended with water, they develop a texture like egg whites. This slightly gummy substance can be used in place of eggs or egg whites in baked goods or as an excellent binder in meatless-loaves made from nuts, grains, and vegetables.
To replace one egg, grind about 1 tablespoons of flax seeds to a fine powder in a blender, spice mill, or food processor. Add 3 tablespoons of water and blend until slightly thickened, about a minute. This egg substitute is not suitable for recipes like soufflés or sponge cakes.
Flaxseed is high in fiber, so it’s important to increase water intake along with increased in flax intake.
Flaxseed Chutney :
1cup flax seeds 10-12 curry leaves 6-8 dried red chillies Salt to taste
In a toaster oven place the seeds, curry leaves, and red chilies at 250 degrees for 10-12 minutes. You will get the nutty roasted aroma. Cool for 15 minutes and grind the seeds to the consistency of cornmeal in a coffee grinder. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for one month.
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Tips to include flax seed in home cooking:
Sprinkle ground flax seed on your cereal and salads
Substitute flax seed mixture for eggs in home baking such as muffin and pancake (1 tbsp milled flaxseed, plus 3 tbsp water = 1 egg). Final products will have less volume and taste grumpier
Include flax seed oil in other recipe when nutty flavor is preferred
Substitute flax seed oil for other oils
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Avoid eating flax seeds whole. Its best to lightly roast the seeds, either in a kadhai till they start crackling (similar to til or sesame seeds).
Raw Flax seeds, contain a substance called cyanate, which can be harmful to the body in larger quantities. Ideally , one should grind the roasted flax seeds, This is easily done in a grinder. The recommended amount per day, is about 1-2 tablespoons.
Flax Seed chutney :
Grind together 250 gms roasted flax seeds, a big palmful of dried red chillies, and 1-2 whole garlic. Add salt to taste. Enjoy on toast, curd rice, boiled veggies, dal-rice etc
Make a delcious mixture of juice of a few lemons, salt, red chilly powder, fenugreek powder(methi), haldi (turmeric), and add in ground flax seeds chutney, or just plain ground seeds. This makes a delicious sandwhich spread.