What are the benefits of flax?  

Peanut Butter Cranberry Go-Bars
Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Dan Becker

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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"Is there an advantage to grinding flax seeds? Also, are they more nutritious raw or cooked? Whole or ground? I'd appreciate any tips for their use."

Flax seeds, which are especially prized because they are one of the few plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, are also high in fiber and are often used as a laxative. Experts recommend consuming ground over whole seeds; whole seeds may pass through your system undigested, which means you won't reap the nutritional benefits.

One tablespoon of ground flaxseed provides the suggested daily intake for omega-3s. Add some to your cereal, stir it into yogurt or peanut butter, whisk it into a salad dressing, or‚ most commonly‚ bake it into bread, muffins and cookies.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Cranberry Go-Bars

Marge Perry
Feb, 2012
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