by Gina Sunderland, MSc, RD
Grind whole flax seeds in small batches using a coffee bean grinder for best results. Measure flax for recipe after grinding.
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) canola oil
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) sugar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) zucchini, finely grated
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) ground flax seed
- 1 ½ cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp (7 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
- 1 ½ tsp (7 mL) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cranberries or raisins (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla. Once well combined, add zucchini and mix well.
- In a large bowl, combine ground flax, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add dried cranberries last and coat with flour mixture. Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix gently until well combined.
- Pour batter into a well-greased 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan. Bake for 50–60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before removing loaf from pan.
Makes: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 minutes
Summertime on the Canadian prairies brings beautiful blue fields of flowering flax. The cool northern climate of the prairies makes it the perfect fit for growing flax. Canadian brown flax has become a consumer favourite and the omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fibre in flax help add to its popularity. Omega-3 fat is healthy fat for the heart and soluble fibre helps lower cholesterol.
Ground flax seeds are the best way to get the most nutrition this seed has to offer. Grinding the seeds makes them easier to digest and helps release their nutrients. You can buy ground flax seeds or grind them yourself with the tools you already have in your kitchen such as a coffee grinder, food processor or a blender.
Flax has risen in popularity among North American consumers who now eat more flax breads and baked goods than ever before. In fact, the demand for flax has tripled in North America over the last decade. And while Canadian consumers are enjoying more flax, about 80 per cent of the flax grown in Canada is exported around the world to places like China, the United States and Europe.
Like growers of most crops, flax farmers must be on the lookout for pests that can threaten their crop. When it comes to insects, there are a variety of different ones that can impact a flax crop. Some insects can be beneficial to the crop while others, if present at high enough levels, can destroy a crop.
Farmers monitor their fields by walking through them to evaluate what insects are in their fields and at what levels. Only after they’ve determined that there are high enough levels of harmful insects will the farmer take action to control the insect pest, which can include applying an insecticide. This ensures that the farmer has a viable crop at the end of the season.