Flax and chai

  • posted by Squidge
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    I eat some flax or chai seeds each day for the omega three. In BSD terms, is one any better than the other?

  • posted by Esnecca
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    Chia is slightly lower in fat and therefore calories, but it’s a negligible difference. Carb-wise flax is a little lower than chia, but again it’s a small matter of a gram per ounce. Chia has more fiber than flax.

  • posted by alliecat
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    Hello Squidge! I agree with the above, but one other consideration is
    that chia seeds combined with a liquid and allowed to sit briefly, produces
    a pudding like consistency that makes a nice substitute for morning
    porridge, and keeps one full for hours! Additionally, chia seeds do not
    need to be ground to release all of their nutrients, while flax seeds do!
    Best,
    Allie

  • posted by Squidge
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    Thanks both of you. I’ll keep using both then.

    I’ve been putting chai in with my porridge and leaving it to soak for a while before cooking and found that just 20g of oats and a spoonful of chai makes quite a big, filling bowl of porridge. I sprinkle ground flax seeds on yoghurt when I have that instead.

  • posted by Luvtcook
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    Squidge, for even lower carbs and really pretty terrific porridge, try :

    Take a small bowl (heat proof) and add
    2 TBS each of ground golden flax and chia seeds (mix well)
    Add a pinch of salt and 1 Tbs of peanut.
    Pour over a half a cup (8 Tbs) boiling water. Mix and let sit 3 minutes (cover it to keep it warm).

    Yummy with 2 Tbs heavy cream and a drizzle of sugar free maple syrup (or any sugar sub you like). I top it off with some chopped walnuts (high in Omega 3s). It’ll be 400 – 425 calories but will keep you full until supper.

  • posted by JackieM
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    Luvtcook – THIS sounds like heaven. I’m new to both seeds and addicted to both. That’s breakfast sorted then!

  • posted by Flick
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    Luvtcook, do you grind the flaxseeds?

  • posted by Luvtcook
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    Yes to grinding the flax seeds. The ground meal goes rancid pretty quickly so I buy them whole and grind about 1 cup at a time and freeze that to use as needed. I use ground golden flax seed a lot. Mixed 50/50 with cheap from the carton parm cheese it makes a great breading for pork chops, chicken filet, zucchini slices etc. Season the mix however you want then dip food (also seasoned first) in beaten egg thinned with a bit of water ….then dip in parm/flax mix and then fry (or bake if you wish). Works great….crispy food….yay!

  • posted by Squidge
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    I’m not keen on the idea of sweet or peanutty porridge, but the flax seed and cheese coating sounds really good. That’s one I’m definitely going to try.

    I buy milled flax seed from Aldi. That keeps fine, but the quanity is quite small.

  • posted by Esnecca
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    You don’t have to add sweetness or peanuts. These kinds of things are easily adjusted to your tastes. Add fruit or don’t. Add sweeteners or don’t. Add flavorings like vanilla or cinammon or don’t. I make a version of that porridge too and while it has occasionally been peanutty, it’s not sweetened.

    The mixture usually does not include flax only because OH can’t digest it well (he had his gallbladder removed years ago and a few high fat foods disagree with him now), but if I’m making it only for myself I do use flax. I keep it whole as there are other elements that provide the soft, wet base. The mix is 2 Tblsp (30 grams) almond meal, 2 Tblsp hemp hearts, 1 Tblsp chia seeds, 1 Tblsp whey protein powder (grass-fed only), 1 Tblsp sunflower seeds, 1 Tblsp shredded unsweetened coconut, 1 Tblsp oat fiber, 1/8 tsp sea salt. When I use flax, I add 1 Tblsp. I add 1/2 cup of unsweetened hemp milk and microwave for 1:50.

    This makes a relatively thick fauxtmeal, as I call it. If you want it soupier which is what I think of when you say porridge, add more liquid. It does not taste like coconut, in case you were concerned about that. There isn’t enough of it to have that effect. Its job is purely textural. It’s got a shredded wheat vibe going for it.

  • posted by JackieM
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    I did the porridge last night, with salt and almond milk. Yum. Then I got cocky and added cacao power but that was yuck, but just as well as it was past dinner time really.

    Flax and parmesan sounds lush as a coating.

  • posted by Squidge
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    I don’t know why I was thinking I had to do the entire recipe or nothing – that’s not like me. I’m always leaving out or swapping ingredients to suit our tastes and what we happen to have. I’ll do that with my porridge too.

    Is ‘oat fiber’ what I’d call oat bran? I’ve seen that for sale.

    I’ve never considered hemp hearts before, but have just looked them up and see they have omega 3 and protein, so I’ll try to get some and try them.

    It’s occurred to me that these things might work as a muesli, which was my usual summer breakfast. I could mix up all the seeds and nuts I’ve learned to like by then and add fresh berries each morning – I imagine all dreid fruit would be too high sugar to eat regularly. Oddly I love nuts in muesli, but don’t fancy them in porridge!

  • posted by Luvtcook
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    Oat bran is not the same as oat fiber….the bran has 48 net carbs per cup and the oat fiber has 0….BIG DIFFERENCE.

    And, yes, absolutely personalize every and all recipes to suit yourself. Tweek it to make it hit the just the right spot, just what your looking for. The peanut butter does add some substance/umph to the flax/chia porridge, but any nut butter would do….and you may like it better with less or none at all. Go for it.

  • posted by Esnecca
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    What LTC said. Oat bran is the ground up outer coating of an oat groat. It has the same nutrional profile as oats themselves, ie, some fiber, a smattering of protein and lots and lots of carbs. Oat fiber is derived from the hull of the groat and it is composed entirely of insoluble cellulose-based fiber. That’s why it’s carbless. When ground into flour, it makes a useful addition to low carb bread mixes, can be dissolved in water for a disgusting but effective fiber supplement, and when mixed in with a bunch of seeds, nuts etc. for a porridge, the yucky sludginess that makes it so terrible to drink dissolved in water works like a charm to add soft richness and a smooth base for the varying textures of the other ingredients.

    It’s easy enough to find the US these days. I’m not sure where you’re located, Squidge, but I bet you can find an online supplier that can ship you oat fiber.

    The mixed seeds/nuts/etc. could definitely be a muesli kinda thing. I make a trail mix, which is not dissimilar to muesli, from tamari almonds, pecans, flaxseeds, hemp hearts, sunflower seeds, spiced pumpkin seeds (pepitas) coconut flakes and pure unsweetened cacao nibs. High in healthy fats, protein and fiber, rock buttom low in sugar. Dried fruits you buy commercially are usually sweetened, and even in their natural state are so high in sugar they’d ruin the vibe, but coconut and, if you can find them, dried raspberries or bluberries with zero added sugar can be added in modest amounts without damning your carb counts.

  • posted by Squidge
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    Thanks, Luvtcook and Esnecca.

    I’m in the UK. That’s why I wondered if we had different names for the same thing – it happens!

    Oat fibre (as we spell it!!!) isn’t something I’ve seen for sale here, but I’ve not looked yet. Would that work for thickening sauces in place of cornflour? (I think it’s called cornstarch in the US.) That’s almost entirely carbohydrate, so I’m avoiding that – forever!

    I did look for hemp hearts yesterday. Be impressed, I walked to the shop where I get my chai and flax and it’s 4 miles each way. No hemp, but I got some ground pumpkin, sunflower and flax seed mix, which I’ll try in porridge and as a crispy coating (with parmasen cheese) to chicken. In muesli, I’d have the pumpkin and sunflower seeds whole.

    I can get unsweetened dried fruits quite easily, but I can see they’re still high in natural sugar. I think it would be better to stick with adding fresh fruit when I want sweetness. Four fresh strawberries would seem plenty, four raisins would not!

    Would cacao nibs be like dark, unsweetened chocolate? There are so many new things for me to try.

  • posted by Flick
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    Oh rats! I’ve been having the occasional teaspoon of oat bran on yoghurt, assuming it was entirely non soluable fibre. I’ve never seen oat fibre for sale here in Australia and a quick search for an Australian supplier only turned up one that seemed to be saying it was made from oat bran, just more finely milled. Different to the American descriptions above. Off to the organic health food store tomorrow to investigate further. I struggle to get enough fibre in my meals and no where near the recommended 30g daily. Not a fan of chia seeds, the texture is unpleasant to me.

  • posted by JackieM
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    Hey there Squidge. I do a lot of online shopping (Ocado) in the UK and all the stuff is there (well, don’t know about oat fibre). I assume, therefore, it probably is in most supermarkets. Cacao nibs are little chunks, I assume what they then grind for powder. I like cacao powder, struggle with nibs. In the US all cocoa is untreated, apparently, but ours has something done to it that takes out a lot of nutrients. So apparently any US brand cocoa is better for us (Is that right US ladies?)

  • posted by alliecat
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    ‘afternoon, everyone! I’m posting a link for my source for raw cacao
    nibs, it won’t be of much help to anyone outside of the U.S., but it
    is a very thorough explanation of this wonderful product and it’s health
    benefits. It definitely qualifies as a “superfood”. 🙂 If any of you have
    problems with the link, just let me know and I’ll do my best to summarize
    it for you.

    https://nuts.com/nuts/cacao/organic-nibs.html

  • posted by Squidge
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    Flick, I couldn’t eat Chai pudding. The texture of that seems very unpleasant, but a few seeds mixed in with other things are fine.

    Jackie, I’ve not tried many shops yet. I expect I’ll be able to find everything if I look round.

    The link works thanks, Alliecat. Definitely sounds worth trying the raw ones if I can get those.

  • posted by Esnecca
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    Cacao nibs have become one of my favorite things now. They are so crunchy and chocolatey. I could (and do!) eat them by the handful. I used to find them inedible because they’re the unsweetened tip of the bean and I couldn’t cope with what chocolate actually tastes like. Now I’m a 100% unsweetened gal all the way. I currently have 5 different types of unsweetened cacao in my cupboard — Ghirardelli bakers chocolate bars, two brands of cacao nibs, cacao powder, cacao butter and Tableya, a traditional Filippino preparation of pure cacao ground into a creamy paste and formed into tablets that you whisk into boiling water to make the most amazingly frothy hot chocolate.

    I think a lot of people have to get the point in their low carb experience where they no longer have the taste for sweetness before they can truly enjoy the nibs. Most people on this forum, from what I’ve seen, enjoy very dark chocolate for its health benefits, but still have to have some sugared element. A single square of 70%-90% cacao dark chocolate as a treat is something several members enjoy. That last leap up to the 100% is a big one. Heck, I was shocked when I discovered that the complex, intense chocolatiness of bakers chocolate was a taste sensation. It didn’t even read as bitter on my tongue; just strong. I bought it as a “wonder how this would taste to me now” fluke, never expecting that I would absolutely adore it. I was a white and milk chocolate girl all the way when I ate carbs. Even 60% dark chocolate was way too scary for me. Sugar is worse than smoking when it comes to ruining a palate, I swear.

  • posted by Esnecca
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    Regarding chia pudding, the seeds kept whole produce a pudding with a tapioca-like texture that many people dislike. I don’t mind it, but OH wasn’t a big fan so now I grind chia seeds in my spice grinder before adding them to the liquid. They still produce their gel, still thicken the liquid to pudding consistency and still give generously of their fiber, but they don’t form those balls. The end result is a much smoother, even texture akin to regular puddings.

  • posted by Squidge
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    I really like chocolate, but have gone off the really sweet stuff eg Cadbury’s and prefer the higher cocoa sort. That’s nothing to do with the diet, as I’ve managed to resist so far. I can imagine getting used to and enjoying the cacoa nibs.

    I’ll try grinding some chai and see if I prefer it that way.

  • posted by Flick
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    After nearly nine weeks and no processed chocolate, not even 85% and 90% Lindt I have in the pantry, I’m really enjoying cocoa nibs, pounded in a mortar and pestle and sprinkled on said yoghurt with blueberries. Absolutely luscious. Tablea sounds wonderful. I’ll search for a source that will ship to me here in Canberra. I’ll give grinding up the chia seeds a shot.

    Thanks for the link Alliecat it worked for me as well.

  • posted by JackieM
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    On this chocolate theme, my husband asked me to stop buying 70% as he was eating ‘too much of it’ and he ‘can’t eat much of the 90%’.

    Where has all my 90% chocolate gone this week then? WHERE? And who said he could have ANY of it anyway?

    Outraged! He smirked like a naughty schoolboy when I confronted him. Looks like I will have to raise my % just to protect my chocolate stash!

    For me 100% takes like plasticine. Can’t manage it yet. Keep trying every month or so though.

  • posted by Esnecca
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    The brand and quality makes an even bigger difference in the 100%, Jackie. I’ve tried a number of them, and even the very high end French brand I paid an arm and a leg for was gritty and unpleasant in texture. Ghirardelli is by far the best of the ones I’ve sampled. It is so beautifully creamy and rich. Totally different from the nibs with their high-fiber crunch.

    Even there, though, brand and sourcing makes a huge difference. Of the three brands of nibs (I forgot I had three, not two, because the two most recent buys far eclipsed the original raw organic from my local coop) currently lurking in my cabinet, the one that is highest in fiber (zero net carbs because of it) is the most delicious. Not coincidentally, they’re the most expensive. I get them from a single-source small-batch maker in Missouri with exceptional fair trade practices. The nibs have the crunch and verve you’d expect, but they also have this remarkable note of butteriness that made me do a double-take when I first sampled it. I thought for sure they’d added something — milk or sugar — to get that miraculous combination, but nope. Pure unadulterated 100% cacao nibs. The difference is they searched high and low for the best ones and found them at a family farm in Tanzania. The big makers don’t give a damn about seeking out these treasures.

    Squidge, do a small sample pudding, 15 grams of ground chia whisked into 2 oz liquid (unsweetnened vanilla almond milk or coconut milk or cream are my favorites). Let it sit for 5 minutes to gel up and give it a try. If it doesn’t work for you, you won’t have wasted the ingredients.

    Flick, you grind your nibs in a mortar and pestle?! That is so boss.

  • posted by Flick
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    💪

  • posted by Natalie
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    Jackie my understanding of the difference in UK chocolate is that they don’t use the original fat (cocoa butter) from the nib, it’s replaced with cheap vegetable oil or something. I saw an article saying that about Cadbury years ago. I was so horrified that I contacted the company, they reassured me that they aren’t allowed to do that in Australia.

    In the US, white chocolate must have at least 20% cocoa butter (no cocoa solids) (and can have up to 55% sugar btw) but I don’t know if that applies in the UK, it may have no acquaintance with the cocoa plant at all yet still be called ‘chocolate’!

  • posted by SunnyB
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    Hi – not sure that statement about chocolate in the UK using cheap vegetable oil is quite accurate, this may have been the case in years past, but there are quite tight regulations now – please see attached:

    https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/multimedia/pdfs/chocguidancejun2009.pdf

    There are strict guidelines about what can and can’t be included and how it has to be clearly shown on labelling. That’s not to say some chocolate is not much better quality than others, or contains more or less cocoa solids, sugar etc., but it should be possible to make a reasonably educated guess at which should be the better product, by reading the product contents.

  • posted by Esnecca
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    I know you were referring to the general question of chocolate quality, SunnyB, but on the specific matter of 100% cacao products, ingredient lists are of no aid in conveying the quality of the contents because it’s just a single ingredient. That’s where source and processing methods become paramount. In the end, you pretty much have to be prepared to kiss a bunch of frogs before your find your prince.

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    Cadburys use coco butter – my daughter is a food scientist and works for them.

  • posted by Natalie
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    What a fascinating job sunshine-girl! My info was from many years ago so obviously no longer (if it ever was) accurate. TV news hype not always the most reliable source.

    My grandmother used to work for a chocolate factory. She said people always asked if she got sick of chocolate – the answer was always no!

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    My daughter rarely sees a chocolate as she is either working in the research department, developing recipes (that’s how I know what goes in Cadburys) or setting up systems for production – she is an engineer. As for me, I cant stand milk chocolate but love a high cocoa dark with a minimum of 70% which Cadburys dont do except for the Green and Blacks.

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