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Bob’s Bag at Breakfast

February 26, 2012

A few Sundays ago I was honored to judge the 3rd annual Market Cook-off at the Schenectady Greenmarket. Not only can you see the full results on the market’s Facebook page, but you can find a picture of yours truly with the other two judges.

The picture could be called, Three Old Guys Eating Soup.

Thank you, I am decidedly less old. But I’m getting older all the time, and I’ve felt like an old man since my late teens. It actually goes back even further than that to grade school, but that’s another story.

What do three old guys do when sitting down to big bowls of soup? They talk about their declining health, and how they have changed their diet in response. As opposed to my colleagues for the day, I’m not fully prepared to give up red meat and dairy. But I’m totally willing to adopt a diet rich in whole oats. Three old men agree: the heart smart will start their day off with a hearty bowl of oatmeal.

Apparently, I’m also willing to do something else. Meet my new friend Bob.

You know what else is good for someone who wants to cut their cholesterol? Flax seeds. I recently bought a bag of Bob’s Red Mill organic natural raw whole flaxseeds. It was the smallest bag they had, but it weighs in at a pound and a half.

For something I use by the tablespoon, I imagine this bag will be with me for a long time.

Believe it or not, I still haven’t taken out my slow cooker for its maiden overnight oatmeal run. But I’m having organic yogurt with organic granola and frozen wild blueberries daily. And for the past few days I’ve been dosing my bowl with a generous sprinkle of these slippery little seeds.

Here is what the Food Lover’s Companion has to say about the buggers:

Though the most universal function of flax seed is to produce linseed oil (commonly used in paints, varnishes, linoleums and inks), this tiny seed contains several essential nutrients including calcium, iron, niacin, phosphorous and vitamin E…Flax seed is naturally mucilaginous and, when ground into a flour and mixed with liquid, produces a blend with a texture akin to that of egg whites…Though it is considered a digestive aid, it should also be noted that, for some people, flax seed also has a laxative effect.

I know that I’m not supposed to treat food like medicine and villainize some ingredients while sanctifying others. But the bag says these provide fiber, lignans & omega-3 fats. Until just right now I didn’t even know what a lignan was. But I’m glad to finally be getting some.

For those who are curious, they are a group of scary sounding chemical compounds that could possibly be good for people to have. Especially those concerned with certain kinds of cancers and estrogen receptors. Fortunately, I’m just concerned about cholesterol. And for that, the marketing blurb on the outside of the bag hits it out of the park by citing ancient civilizations but without making any concrete structure/function claims:

Flaxseed was eaten by the early Greeks and Romans like nuts. You may eat the natural untreated seeds whole, ground into meal, or sprouted. Used in small amounts, they add a crunchy quality when making muffins, waffles, pancakes, granola, or cooked cereals. When ground, Flaxseed Meal can be added to breads, muffins, hot cooked cereals and smoothies, and is one of the most powerful natural cholesterol controllers.

Oh man. This is the first time I read that closely. Okay, well now I’m going to have to grind the damn stuff. Well, it’s not going in my burr grinder. I wonder how it will do in the spice grinder, or if I’m going to need a grain mill for the Kitchen Aid.

I’ve always wanted a grain mill for the Kitchen Aid.

Still, as crazy as this all sounds, I maintain it’s better than exercise. Walking on a treadmill or using a stationary bike just seems like a futile waste of energy. Maybe if the output could be captured and turned into electricity to recharge my phone it would feel a bit more productive.

At the very least I’d have one less reason not to do it. But I’m going to eat my way to better health. Just wait and see.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2012 12:28 pm

    Just heading out for a walk myself on a snowy bright winter’s day, after grinding my flax in my food processor and stuffing it into the freezer. Cheers!

  2. February 26, 2012 12:49 pm

    Another seed option you should look into is chia. I buy by the 5-pound-bad from Amazon, and put two tablespoons (1 oz) a day in my breakfast shake. Protein, calcium, fiber, good fats, essential minerals…

  3. February 26, 2012 6:12 pm

    You probably already know this but they’re highly perishable so they should be stored in the fridge or freezer.

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