Flaxseeds are rising in popularity among the health and wellness community, ranking in the top ten on superfood lists on popular wellness blogs across the country.
But before you go add it to your diet, it's important to make sure it adheres to your dietary restrictions. Is flaxseed gluten free?
What Is Flaxseed?
Flaxseed is exactly as it sounds: the seed of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). These tiny, brown, shiny seeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They have a mildly nutty, slightly sweet flavor that compliments many dishes, and the crunchy shells give way to a softer core when chewed whole. They have a low heat tolerance but add flavor and fiber to many baked goods and entrees.
Flaxseed is mainly grown in Canada, though the US produces a fair portion of the world's supply in our northernmost states.
Also, make sure that your flaxseeds aren't expired before using them. Whole flaxseeds can last around a year when stored correctly in an airtight refrigerated container. Ground flaxseed lasts up to six months freezer.
I have researched a lot of baking ingredients. You can see which baking ingredients are gluten free for more information.
Answer: Is Flaxseed Gluten Free?
I am happy to say that, yes, flaxseed is gluten free. It is naturally gluten free, but please note that it is sometimes processed on shared equipment in facilities that also process grains like wheat, rye, and barley.
As a result, it's possible that flaxseed may get cross-contaminated while it's being prepared for consumption, so it's safer for those with celiac disease to consume flaxseed that is actually labeled gluten free (or better yet, bears a certified gluten free seal).
* Flaxseed is a highly versatile ingredient in baking and cooking! It's commonly ground and used in vegan baking as a plant-based alternative to binders like gums and eggs. So add them (whole or ground) to things like muffins, bread, cookies, cakes, and pastries.
* You can also eat them raw! Sprinkle whole or ground flaxseeds (often called flaxseed meal) over yogurt, gluten free oatmeal, cereal, etc. You can also throw them in the blender with a smoothie for a nutritious boost.
* Flaxseed is also often expressed as oil, which contains many nutrients present in whole or ground flaxseed but does not contain any fiber. Flaxseed oil (also known as linseed oil) can be taken straight or encapsulated for easy ingestion. It also has many other uses: on top of salads, vegetables, meat, and grains; as a seasoning agent for cookware like cast iron skillets; or as a hair and skin conditioner.
* Just like with other sources of fiber, you can overdo it with flaxseed. However, one to two tablespoons per day is generally regarded as enough to reap the benefits of the seeds.
Gluten-Free Recipes That Use Flaxseed:
- The Best Gluten Free Bread Machine Bread - Ground flaxseed meal helps give this bread recipe a soft fluffy texture.
- Easy Gluten Free Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Brands Of Gluten Free Flaxseed:
- Bob’s Red Mill Whole Flaxseed
- Arrowhead Mills Organic Certified Gluten Free Whole Flax Seeds
- Simple Truth Organic Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal
- Spectrum Essentials Organic Ground Premium Flaxseed
- Garden of Life RAW Organics Golden Flaxseed
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This post was updated from an older June 2015 post with more details and easier-to-follow directions.