Flaxseeds are a plant-based protein that also provide a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Recently, they've become super popular thanks to their versatility. They can be added to virtually any type of meal to increase its nutritional benefit. Dietitians have suggested that consuming two tablespoons of flaxseed daily will lead to improved digestive health, lowered blood sugar and blood cholesterol, and will help weight management by causing you to feel full for longer

There are many unconventional ways to add a daily dose of flaxseed to your meal without having to reconstruct your food habits or change your daily diet. Start with small healthy additions to your diet and slowly watch your palate change. Here's how to eat flaxseeds 10 creative ways:

1. Smoothie Them Up

Olivia Shah

One or two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds can easily be added to your morning smoothie with greens, berries, or your favorite smoothie ingredients. The seeds instantly become blended into all other fruits and become unrecognizable, leaving you with a heart-healthy start to your day.  

2. Topped on Oatmeal

blueberry, cereal, sweet, milk, yogurt, muesli, berry, oatmeal, porridge
Becky Hughes

Flaxseeds also make a great addition to a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Ground and whole flaxseeds both stir in well with unrefined, unprocessed oats. For those gluten-free eaters, flaxseeds can be used as an oat substitute also. Flax oatmeal becomes a great source of protein and fiber, and if you like to top your oats with berries, that only adds colorful antioxidants to your breakfast menu. 

3. Baked in

banana bread muffin, Baking, baked good, muffin tin, muffin tray, muffins, muffin, banana, banana bread
Jocelyn Hsu

Ground flaxseeds can be baked into muffins, breads, and cookies. When stirring in the flour mixture, throw in a few tablespoons of flaxseeds and let them bake in with all other ingredients. Or if you prefer to stick to the recipe, use this easy blueberry flaxseed muffin recipe. Your guests will never know that muffin they just ate had essential omega-3's in it. 

4. Overnight Oats

Nicole Laszlo

Similar to chia seeds, flax seeds have a flavor that's only enhanced when left to be absorbed in milk for an extended period of time. Overnight oats are a simple breakfast for your morning, requiring no work and no hassle. Before you go to bed, mix 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and 2 tablespoons of flax seeds with 1 cup of your favorite milk or milk substitute (cashew milk is my personal preference) and leave them to soak overnight.

In the morning, you can grab the oats and go, or if you’d like to step it up one level you can cut up some fruit as a topping, stir in a nut butter, or add a sweetener of your choice (honey and cinnamon are a few good examples). Either way you prefer your overnight oats, you're left with a high protein, high fiber start to your day. 

5. Added to Granola

Trail mix, nuts, nut, banana chips, make your own trail mix, Whole Foods, jar of nuts
Shelby Cohron

Making homemade granola is an underrated skill. It's a cheaper, healthier alternative to store-bought granola. Buy oats, some raisins, and nuts and seeds in the bulk food section of your grocery store, and throw them together to deliver a great topping for sprinkling on yogurts (or use this recipe). Including whole flaxseeds in the granola adds fiber to the granola.

6. As an Egg Substitute

Spoon Csu

Another little known fact about flaxseeds are their ability to be substituted as an egg in baked goods. The basic flax-egg recipe is 1 tablespoon of finely ground flaxseed powder (if you have whole flaxseed, use a coffee grinder to grind the seeds into a powder) to 3 tablespoons of water, which replaces one egg. Whisk the flax and water mixture until it becomes gelatinous and then it can be easily substituted for an egg in any baked good.

7. Made Into Breadcrumbs

vegetable, pasta, sauce, rice
Gabby Phi

Breadcrumbs are a staple food commonly found in a variety of American recipes: breaded chicken, meatloaf, soups, and even atop salads. All you need is to, again, crush whole flaxseeds into a fine powder and use in place of any recipe calling for breadcrumbs. For a dish serving six to eight people, use 5-7 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds. They will bind to the meat product as easily as breadcrumbs, and won't have you missing that crunchy taste. 

8. Roasted and Sprinkled on Salads

corn, salad, vegetable, chicken, corn salad, cauliflower, fork
Julia Gilman

Most people enjoy salads with an added crunch factor: usually a crouton. But who says you can't add flaxseeds? For extra flavor and crunch, try roasting the whole or ground seeds by placing them in a skillet over medium heat and letting them sit for five minutes, while stirring frequently. If you don't like croutons on your salads, try incorporating some flaxseed oil into your salad dressings as an alternative to creamy, high-fat dressings. 

9. Using Milled Flaxseed Flour

Victoria Guo

As an alternative to whole or ground, flaxseeds are also milled and sold in the form of flour. Most local grocery or health food stores should sell flax flour or flax meal with other flour substitutes; however, you can make it at home by simply grinding up whole flaxseeds to a fine powder. Flax flour can be used in a direct 1:1 ratio with white and wheat flours, or they can be used together.

When used in baking recipes, flaxseed flour does tend to make foods chewier and flatter, but also serves as not only a great gluten-free alternative to regular flour, but also delivers a great way to eat flaxseeds without tasting them. Flaxseed flour can be used in pancakes, muffins, cakes, or virtually any baked good that calls for flour. 

10. On toast

sweet, almond butter, apples, Nut butter, almonds, spread, Crunchy
Julia Gilman

Flaxseeds make a great addition to your daily slice of breakfast toast. You can start by spreading any nut butter of your choice on a slice of whole or multi-grain toast. Sprinkling 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds to top the toast will produce a delicious protein and fiber packed start to your day. And if you’re feeling super creative, try slicing some bananas on top of the toast to top it off, making the seeds virtually untasteable. 

When you start eating two tablespoons of flaxseeds a day, it becomes easier to buy the seeds in bulk. Although flaxseeds tend to last a long time, when they're left exposed to air they dry out much faster. I would suggest storing them in an airtight, resealable container. As soon as you buy the bags of flaxseeds, transfer them to a plastic container or mason jar with a lid for easy access, extended shelf life, and cleaner storage.