Flaxseed is also called linseed, and it is a very nutritious meal.
Flaxseed powder is normally used as a binder, thickener, or crust in vegetarian meals.
If you are wondering what are the substitutes for flaxseed meals?
Then you should know that there are several substitutes are available for flaxseed meals.
What Is Flaxseed?
Flaxseed is a nutrient-rich plant-based food that offers plenty of antioxidants, healthy fat, and fiber.
It is also popularly known as a functional food that helps people improve their health when consumed regularly.
Flaxseed is a crop grown in China and Egypt, and it is also used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine.
According to the USDA reports, every ounce of flaxseed contains 5.2gms of protein, 152 calories, 12gms of fat, and 8.2gms of carbohydrates.
The fat content in flaxseed is healthy fat. As per the Food Science & Technology Journal report, 71.8% of the fat content in flaxseed obtains from polyunsaturated fats, whereas 18.5% are monounsaturated and just 10% are saturated.
However, if you want flaxseed, here in this article, you can find the five best substitutes for flaxseed meals that can help you replace flax with other alternatives.
5 Best Substitutes for Flaxseed Meal?
Finding an alternative for flaxseed is not a very tough task, but before that, first, you should know why you want to use flaxseed.
If you want to use it for a thickening or binder agent, then you can use guar gum or xantham gum as a substitute.
But, if you are looking for an alternative for foods that can give similar nutritional benefits as flaxseed, you will have limited options.
1 – Psyllium Seeds
Psyllium is one of the best substitutes for Flaxseed meals as it is loaded with fiber.
Flaxseed is rich in fiber that makes this meal more beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract.
That is why psyllium is a better alternative for flaxseed, as the husks and seeds of psyllium are rich in fiber.
According to the report published in the Journal of Food Process Engineering in November 2018, Psyllium seeds contain around 74% to 79% fiber that makes this psyllium a better alternative than flaxseeds.
Psyllium is also known for its capacity to get rid of gastrointestinal problems, and the ground psyllium is used in cooking to make a nutrient-rich meal.
Also, psyllium can be used in gluten-free baking, just like ground flaxseeds.
However, you should know that it is not as nutrient-rich as flaxseed.
2 – Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are one of the best substitutes for flaxseed, and this protein-rich meal serves most calories from all flaxseed substitutes.
Also, according to the USDA report, hemp seeds contain 13.8gms fat and 9gms protein per ounce.
Hemp is low in fiber and carbohydrates; it contains 2.5 carbohydrates and 1.1gms fiber.
However, according to experts, hemp seeds are more nutrient-rich compared to psyllium.
As per the USDA report, every ounce of hemp seeds contains:
- 6-percent of Vitamin B2.
- 30-percent of Vitamin B1.
- 16-percent of Vitamin B3.
- 8-percent of Vitamin B9.
- 7-percent of potassium and more.
The hemp seeds are nutritious abut it does not contain as many macronutrients as psyllium and are completely different from flaxseed.
Due to less fiber content in Hemp seeds, they might not go well with some dishes that you make with flaxseed.
3 – Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are one of the best substitutes for flaxseeds. They contain the same nutrition value as flaxseeds.
Chia seeds are also used as a binder and thickening agent, which makes these seeds the perfect alternative for flaxseeds meals that can be used to make different dishes.
As per the USDA, every ounce of chia seeds contains:
- 12-percent of Iron.
- 14-percent of Calcium.
- 20-percent of phosphorus.
- 12-percent of Zinc and more .
The micronutrients of chia seeds provide the same values as flaxseeds.
Every ounce of hemp seeds contains 4.7gms of protein and 12gms of carbohydrates.
Chia seeds contain a bit more carbs compared to flaxseeds with 9.8gms of fiber.
Chia seeds contain 2-essential fat content that a human body can’t produce; those fats are linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acids.
Also, chia seeds contain more beneficial bioactive compounds compared to flaxseeds.
4 – Almonds
Almond flour is another substitute for flaxseeds that allows you to use in baking.
The recipe might need a change a bit as almond flour requires egg as a binding agent.
According to Harvard Health Publishing that almond flour is a low-carb and gluten-free substitute for flaxseed.
However, it offers more nutrients compared to wheat germ.
Also, almond flour contains more fat and calories as this flour contains more moisture.
As the moisture content is more in Almond flour, your baked items can quickly get mold and spoil.
That is why it is important to store them in airtight containers.
You can store the flour in the freezer for 6 to 9 months to maintain freshness.
5 – Tofu
Tofu is also another best substitute for flaxseeds.
Try substituting silken tofu for each tablespoon of flaxseed in your dish or recipe, as it also acts as a binding agent.
The study conducted in January 2018 shows that soy foods like tofu are one of the best nutritional sources of isoflavones that help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Flaxseeds are the most common ingredients in healthy snacks as they enhance the good fat and fiber content.
Using the substitute mentioned above for flax seeds, you can still make healthy foods like bars and bits that contain oats, nut butter, dried fruit, a liquid sweetener; use chia seeds as an alternative for flax.