Cocoa Granola with Flax and Other Goodies: a Power Breakfast
Posted Feb 23 2013 12:05pm
People have found uses for the flax plant for hundreds of thousands of years. The plant fiber has been used to produce linen, twine, and rope. Painters used linseed oil –the oil from flax seed– as a paint-drying agent. This week the 38 Power Foods blog group celebrates flax for its health benefits.
The flax seed is a good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an essential fatty acid in the omega-3 family. ALA provides anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits, and studies show that the ground seed is good for lowering one’s cholesterol and for lessoning the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar levels. It also provides a lot of fiber. Eating whole seeds will have the effect of a natural laxative for someone with a sluggish digestive system. My mother-in-law, for example, adds two tablespoons to her cereal daily to keep her regular. You should use the ground seed to take advantage of the nutritional benefits. Keep in mind that ground flax seed goes rancid quickly, so it’s best to buy whole brown seeds and grind them as you use them, and store both the whole seeds and the ground flax in the freezer.
About the recipe: If you look around at granola recipes ( 1 , 2 , 3 ) you start to see common elements; oats, sweeteners, nuts, dried fruit, oil, flavorings, and salt. I came up with this recipe for Cocoa Granola with Flax and Other Power Goodies using all to the above ingredients and cocoa powder to mask the strong flavor that flax leaves in the mouth. The dried fruit is optional because the cereal is more easily digested without it.