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Healthy Living: The power of the seed - Eva Hill Hamilton

Healthy Living: The power of the seed - Eva Hill Hamilton

The earliest evidence of humans farming flax comes from a cave in the present-day Republic of Georgia - from some 30,000 years ago

IN changeable weather and circumstances, when your body is most exposed to stress and illnesses it is crucial that you support it with good nutrition.

One of the most nutritious parts of any plant is its seed, which contains its life force. If you think about it, from each tiny seed a full large plant needs to grow, therefore these tiny hard-shelled powerhouses are packed with nutrients. They are studied for their numerous benefits in support of your digestion, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health, just to name a few.

They are high in fibre – both soluble and insoluble, contain high amounts of essential fats like omega 3, 6 and 9 in variable ratios, and also contain lignans and phytosterols – all of which contribute to normalising cholesterol levels and supporting a healthy heart.

They are rich sources of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and manganese, making them a great addition to a bone-strengthening diet.

Each seed has slightly different ratios of oils, minerals and vitamins – therefore it is best to have a great variety of them. For example, poppy seeds and sesame seeds are highest in calcium, while flax and chia seeds contain the most omega 3 oil.

While most seeds need to be consumed ground due to the hard outer hull is indigestible for humans – chia seeds are an exception and may be consumed whole. Their digestibility can also be improved by soaking them in filtered water overnight.

Flax and chia seeds produce a jelly-like coating when you soak them in water, which is soothing for the digestive tract and can replace thickening agents and eggs in recipes. The below recipe utilises this trick to give you a fantastic low-carb cracker.

Flax crackers

· 1 cup whole golden flax seeds

· 2 cups water

· 2 tbsp soy sauce or 1 tsp sea salt

Flavouring options

· 1 tbsp mild curry powder fried slightly on a dry pan

· 1 tbsp Italian mixed dried herbs and 1 clove of garlic - gently warmed on a dry pan

· 1/2 tbsp grated ginger, 1 clove of garlic - minced, pinch of cayenne and a good squeeze of lime juice

· 1 tbsp kelp powder or nori flakes, 2 tsp onion salt, 1 tsp garlic powder

· 2 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Soak the flax seeds in the water overnight, covered. If you leave them longer in a cool place (not the fridge) they will start to sprout and increase their nutrients and digestibility. Mix in flavourings of your choice. Spread the mix 1/8-inch-thick onto greaseproof paper lining a pizza tray or grill tray. Heat the fan oven to 50ºC and dehydrate for 4 hours.

Spread another greaseproof paper on top and holding the edges tightly, turn the tray, peel off the first grease-proof paper and place the cracker mixture back in the oven for another 4-6 hours, until dry and crisp. Break into cracker size and store in an air-tight container. It’s worth making 3-4 batches all at once to reduce the cost of air-drying.

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