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How do I Choose the Best Ground Flaxseed?

Harriette Halepis
Harriette Halepis

Ground flaxseed, also called flaxseed meal, can be purchased at various health food stores throughout the world. When purchasing ground flaxseed, it is important to pay attention to how the meal has been stored, and how long it has been on a store shelf. While ground flaxseed can be purchased online, it is best to purchase this product in-person, so that the proper storage questions can be asked.

Flaxseed meal can turn rancid quickly, which is why it should never be purchased from a store that does not have a large turnover. To find out when meal arrived at a store, ask a store manager for arrival details. If this information cannot be ascertained, it is best to purchase whole flaxseed, and then grind the seeds using a food processor or coffee grinder.


In addition to a short shelf life, ground flaxseed should be stored in an opaque container. This type of seed is susceptible to light and oxygen, and any open bin containing meal should be avoided. If possible, look for meal that has been stored inside of a vacuum-packed container in order to purchase the freshest meal possible.

Since flaxseed meal can quickly spoil, it's a wise idea to purchase meal from a refrigerated case. Likewise, it is best to store meal inside of your refrigerator in order to prolong shelf life. You can determine whether or not ground flaxseed is still good by smelling the product. If flaxseed meal smells rancid or bitter, it is best to leave it alone. Flaxseed meal should have a nutty smell that is robust.

The flowers of a flax plant.
The flowers of a flax plant.

For the various reasons mentioned above, buying ground flaxseed from an online store is not a wise idea. Purchasing flaxseed meal in person is the only way to tell whether or not meal has turned rancid. Additionally, you will be able to tell if a shop has stored meal properly by visiting rather than buying meal online.

Different varieties of flaxseed meal can be purchased, including brown and golden flaxseed. Contrary to popular belief, there is very little difference between the numerous types of meal available. Generally, brown meal is less expensive than golden meal, since golden meal is preferred by cooks who want flax to visually blend into various dishes. Nutritionally, both brown flax and gold flax are equal.

While whole flax can be purchased in bulk form, flax meal must be purchased in small quantities. Store flaxseed meal in an airtight container for best results. When cooking, it can be added to most dishes including baked goods.

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