No-sugar Chocolate Linseed Fudge

Chocolate sugar-free fudge

Fudge flavour and health

I have to confess loving real fudge even if I do find it way too sweet and I know it is super-unhealthy. I aways used to find making it an unpredictable fiddle-faddle but my main issue is cleaning pans of their coating, inside and out, of rock hard sugar.  This healthy recipe is for sugar-free fudge – great for the  figure and diabetics – and it is much quicker and easier to make, it’s almost instant. My sugar-free fudge is real food, with healthy ingredients nuts, linseed, cocoa so it is full of great nutrients, antioxidants, fibre and omega-3 – and low GI too. It tastes great, with no refined sugar and no naughty fats it doesn’t make you feel guilty but has real fudgy texture.

Lime and Chocolate

As a child one of my favourite sweets was chocolate limes even though I was always a bit disappointed that they weren’t chocoaltey enough nor were they as sharp lime should be. When I made this recipe with the zest of a whole lime it was very grown up and just what I wanted. If I was making it for children I would either use less zest or make it with orange.

High protein fruity linseed (flax) and skyr breakfast bowl

High protein low carb linseed breakfast bowl.

High protein, unsweetened, low carb

Skyr low fat - high protein low carb breakfast or dessert
Skyr low fat – high protein low carb breakfast or dessert

Skyr is a relatively new food on the supermarket shelves. It is similar to strained Greek yoghurt, high protein but low almost no fat. It blends really well with our cold-pressed linseed oil to make a tasty, luxurious breakfast.

It is ideal for high protein, low carb breakfasts,  You make it even more low cab by selecting lower carb fruits such as grapefruit, peaches or melon. If you are looking for low carb nuts choose macadamia or Brazil nuts.

Great low carb dessert, no dairy fat, no saturated fat

Use just low carb fruit, stevia to sweeten and you have yourself a rare commodity, a lovely rich low carb dessert virtually free from saturated fat.

Slow release, fuller for longer

Ground linseed is an excellent low carb choice with less than half a gram of carbohydrate in a portion but more than 5g of protein and 7.5g fibre it’s satisfying  really helps to keep you feeling full for longer.

Quick and easy to make healthy breakfast

I have this sort of breakfast almost every morning. It is quicker and easier to make than read about, You use simple ingredients available at any supermarket and can vary as you want or leave out ingredients you don’t have or don’t fancy.

Omega-3 from Flax Farm Cold-Pressed Linseed Oil

Are you getting enough omega-3?

When  you are short of omega-3 lots of parts of the body can be affected.  So if something “just isn’t quite right” or the doctor has suggested “well it’s your age”; shortage of omega-3 could be contributing to the problem.

The UK diet is typically very short of omega-3 this is partly due to omega-3 being a relatively scarce nutrient in nature and modern farming and food production methods further reduce it in the diet.

Balance of Omega-3: Omega-6 is essential

Beneficial ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 shows why Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed oil is anti-inflammatory and can help re-balance the other fats in our diet.
Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed oil shows a beneficial ratio of omega-3 to omega-6

Almost just as important as the amount of omega-3 in the diet is balance of omega-3 to omega-6.  We need somewhere around one part of omega-3 to every 1 to 4 parts of omega 6 for a healthy diet.

If we get too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 too many inflammatory hormones are produced.  Since the imbalance of omega-6 comes comes into our diets from cereals, most vegetable oils and farmed animals especially pork, chicken and eggs excess omega-6 builds up in our bodies. The increase in omega-6 can then increase inflammation.

Flax Farm Cold-Pressed Linseed Oil

Flax Farm cold pressed linseed (flax seed) oil is almost 50% omega-3 and a great way to top up your omega-3 levels. Because it is so rich in omega-3 you only need a little added to food to provide an omega-3 intake comparable to eating large helping of fish every day.

Vegetarian or Vegan?

Vegetarians and vegans need to proactively work at getting omega-3 into their diets. Most of our linseed products and especially the oil are an excellent way to ensure you have a healthy intake of these essential fatty acid.

Flax Farm Cold-Pressed Fresh Food & a Sustainable Source of Omega-3

There are always concerns about food from the sea with increasing levels of pollutants in the oceans and of course over-fishing destroying the food chain of the marine ecosystem. Linseed is a sustainable source of omega-3, grown on UK soils, it is an environmentally friendly crop with few food miles.

Olive oil vs flax oil

Flax Farm fresh cold-pressed linseed (flaxseed) oil for omega-3

Q: Isn’t olive oil as healthy as linseed (flax) oil?

A: Olive oil isn’t a good source of omega-3

Extra virgin olive oil is a good traditional food, rich in poly-phenols and antioxidants.  Its fatty acid profile is mainly omega-9, a significant amount of omega-6, and very little or no omega-3.

Linseed (flax) oil a good source of omega-3

Beneficial ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 shows why Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed oil is anti-inflammatory and can help re-balance the other fats in our diet.
Beneficial ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 shows why Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed oil is anti-inflammatory and can help re-balance the other fats in our diet.

Linseed oil is mainly omega-3 which is the essential fat most of us  need more of.  Adding linseed oil to your diet is an easy way to improve your omega-3 levels.

 

Linseed oil a good balance of omega-3 : omega-6

Balance of omega-3 to omega-6 is important.  No matter how much olive oil you consume it won’t contribute to a healthy omega-3 : omega-6 balance.

Because linseed oil contains far more omega-3 than omega-6 you don’t need very much of it to re-balance your diet.

Try adding Flax Farm linseed oil to olive oil in equal quantities to give you a good balance of omega-3 and 6.

Linolenic acid, Linoleic acid, Oleic acid,

Omega-3, 6 and 9 are the fatty acids most commonly spoken of. Omega-3 and 6 are essential, your body can’t make them. However your body makes Omega-9, oleic acid from other foods when needed; so omega-9 isn’t called essential.

Flax: is Refrigeration essential?

Is refrigeration essential for flax oil

Q: Is Refrigeration for linseed (flaxseed) oil essential?

A: No Linseed does not have to be kept in the fridge

We believe we supply the best cold-pressed linseed oil ( otherwise known as flaxseed oil) in the UK; we make and bottle the oil by cold-pressing the seeds using the coolest, gentlest methods.  It is designed to be used fresh as a fresh food and is not intended for long storage.  We send it out absolutely fresh, within a few days of pressing.   We recommend that the oil we send out is consumed quickly as a fresh oil to enjoy it’s flavour and nutritional benefits at their best.  Like all produce linseed (flax) does deteriorate over time. However as oil is very different to meat, milk or vegetables  and we are not trying to control spoilage by bacteria or moulds refrigeration has less significance to ensuring the freshness and quality of oil.

Flax Farm fresh cold-pressed linseed (flaxseed) oil for omega-3
Flax Farm fresh cold-pressed linseed (flaxseed) oil for omega-3

Linseed oil, as food and therapeutic oil, has been pressed on small presses for centuries and likes to be produced on a small scale in a traditional way, a bit like home cooking – just as food like omelettes are much better when made at home than mass-produced in industrial kitchens and your granny’s sponge cakes we great on the weekend they cooked but went stale after that – next time you are in a supermarket check-out all the weird ingredients that go into long life packaged cakes and taste them; nothing like my granny’s cakes!

When linseed/ flax oil is produced on a larger scale in a more industrial way, usually with  higher temperatures, higher pressures and more machine/chemical processes are involved.   Linseed doesn’t respond well to this sort of treatment and it often makes it start to go rancid and bitter at the point of manufacture, this then goes off like dominoes toppling and the rancidity gets worse and the oil more bitter;  refrigerating the oil helps slow this effect down a little – but it is a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted when oil is rancid to start with.  It is of significance as many of the mass-produced linseed/flax oils are expected to be in shops for many months, even up to two years, refrigeration means it gets worse slower!  It doesn’t make up for it not being fresh, Flax Farm linseed oil uses varieties of linseed that make nice tasting linseed oil, it is then supplied fresh and used fresh – we like it to be used within 2.5 months of opening or 4 months of pressing. Even at the end of this time Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed oil still tastes great.  Good Linseed (flax seed) oil should be mild, creamy, nutty, grassy, I.e. characteristically taste of linseed (flaxseed), with no off or rancid butter notes.  Linseed (flax seed) Oil should not be bitter or smell strongly.

Cold-pressed linseed/flax oil is very different to milk

Storage of oils like linseed /flax seed oil is very different to something like milk.  Milk goes “off” due to enzyme activity because of microbes getting into it and multiplying. Keeping it below 4 degrees centigrade helps to stop the dangerous ones establishing themselves as and once warmed for a short while the population of microbes is becomes huge and the milk then starts to go off very quickly, it can even go “off” in less than one day .

However linseed/flaxseed oil is completely different; this is nothing to do with microbes.  Linseed oil/flax seed oil is very rich in omega-3, this is a delicate and reactive molecule which is why it is so good for us (it means the body’s systems can link it easily to other nutrient molecules to make it into body components like cell membranes and hormones) unfortunately it also means it can oxidise if not properly cared for.  Oxidation is slowed down by cooler temperatures but as the difference between ambient temperature and refrigeration temperature is only 16 degrees this isn’t very significant (as temperature of all things starts from minus 273o Celsius and goes up to many thousands of degrees) so even as much as a few weeks at ambient temperature doesn’t really have much effect on the oil; it simply shortens the time it takes to lose its optimum freshness by, at the most, no more than a few days.   Which is why it is not critical to keep it refrigerated and it doesn’t spoil the quality.  It continues to be nice and just as good for you as linseed oil has ever been – and bear in mind linseed oil has been used as a “health food” for thousands of years before refrigeration was available.   This means that the few days between pressing and receipt of the oil makes effectively no difference to the flavour, quality or effectiveness of the oil.

Properly produced Linseed oil is actually far m heat stable than it is given credit for.  We have tested it extensively.   However it is very sensitive to strong light. Left in strong sunlight linseed oil (flax seed oil) can go rancid and bitter in less than an hour. So always avoid it being left in direct light store it in the dark.

We have many enthusiastic users of the oil who never put it in the fridge, they consume it fresh  and it remains fresh lovely and with all its health benefits.

The fridge is the best place to store linseed

However, just as the fridge or freezer is the best place for freshly ground coffee the low temperature keeps opened linseed (flax) oil a bit fresher for a bit longer. We also recommend if you are buying in bulk you store in the freezer  as the best place to store your linseed oil.   Being that freezers and fridges are dark this is an additional benefit to keeping linseed, oil or ground linseed fresh.

If you don’t have room in your fridge or freezer to store your the oil, don’t worry as long as you consume it bore the best before date it will be fine.

The Flax Council of Canada is really the World authority on flax (linseed) and their primer  is an excellent source of information for all things flax/linseed.   Go to the Flax Council Primer, appendix B for information on storage and heat-stability 

 

Baba Ganoush Aubergine Meze Dip

Aubergines for baba ganoush recipe.

Traditional dip

Baba ganoush is a delicious traditional Middle Eastern aubergine dish made with  olive oil. I have made the recipe with with linseed oil, olive oil and a mixture of the two and I have to say I think I prefer the cold-pressed linseed oil and mixed oil versions.  Baba ganoush is a dip, a side dish for salads or cooked meals, a sauce for pasta or spread generously on pitta bread, toast or rice crackers – it goes particularly well with buckwheat crackers and flax crackers, see recipe or ladled onto flax bread muffins, see recipe.

Healthier version

Made with fresh veggies, herbs and spices this is a healthy dish to start. Making the recipe with Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed oil is a great way to up the omega-3 content of the meal and make it even healthier.

Baba ganoush with linseed flax oil
Baba ganoush with linseed flax oil

Three tips for great Baba Ganoush

Well made baba ganoush is sublime. The one you will enjoy best comes about through trial until you get the balance of flavours you enjoy. You can’t be too precise with ingredients as the aubergines are never quite the same size or flavour. Feel free to vary the addition of spices, herbs and tahini to taste or what you have available .

The three top tips to making baba ganoush well are:

  1. Really blacken the skin of the aubergine. Whether you cook it over the gas, on the barbecue or under the grill cook it past the point where you think it must be done!
  2. Squeeze/drain water out thoroughly
  3. Add a generous amount of chopped fresh herbs, either mint, parsley or both.

Dairy-Free Flax Oil Butter 1, Simple spread

Cold pressed linseed (flaxseed) oil makes a great alternative to butter for bread or crackers.

Dairy-free & Vegan; spread as butter

We love using our cold-pressed linseed oil – including high lignan – as delicious easy butter alternative. If you need a dairy-free, vegan butter try Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed oil.  It’s great on crackers, bread, toast and even wheat-free breads.  It’s lovely as a dipping oil too, really good with spelt and traditionally made artisan breads or cooked veg and potatoes.

Small children especially seem to love dipping bread into the mild-buttery flavour of Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed oil as an alternative to butter.

Healthy Butter Alternative

Using our linseed oil as a healthy butter alternative means no saturated fat, no cholesterol, no animal fats and no milk protein.

Fewer calories per slice too!

Another advantage is you tend to use less oil because it is liquid, a few drops and far fewer calories go a long way. Helps keep you slim.

Omega-3 too

Probably the main reason you have a bottle of Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed oil for omega-3.  Use it as a spread instead of butter on your bread and you will be making a good addition to your daily omega-3 intake. It’s lovely with marmalade or savoury foods.

Dairy-Free Flax Oil Butter 2.

Healthy dairy free butter spreads from the fridge

Dairy-free and Vegan Butter

This looks almost just like ordinary butter and spreads from the fridge; this version is best for savoury use. It’s really easy to make.  Great on bread, crackers toast or veg. Good in any baking but don’t grill or fry with it.

Healthy Butter Alternative

This is a really healthy alternative to butter, no hydrogenated fats, no cholesterol, no animal fats and no milk protein, no additives, no anti-biotic residues and GMO-free.

Omega-3 too

As a bonus it has Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed oil which is an great source of essential omega-3 fatty acid.

Tincloth, Tin cloth, Oilskin

Royal-Navy-wearing-oil-skins
1914-1918, UK woman wearing oilskin
1914-1918, UK woman wearing oilskin

Linseed for waterproof fabrics

Linseed oil has a long history in making waterproof fabrics often including tincloth and oil-skin.  Tincloth is a extra hard-wearing close woven fabric coated with a blend of linseed oil and beeswax. It is extremely waterproof and hard and was worn by miners of the Alaskan gold rush. More recently oilcloth was extensively used for weather resistant, waterproof clothing in WW1 and WW2.

Tincloth recipe:

Tincloth is made by mixing equal parts boiled linseed oil (you can use a raw oil but it will take longer to dry) and beeswax, heating it gently until it melts and combines. You can add a little turpentine to make it thinner and easier to apply. It is then used to coat the canvas by painting it on or dipping it, then the fabric is hung up to dry, preferably with direct sunlight.

Dairy-Free Flax Oil Butter 3, Savoury Butter

Healthy dairy free butter

Dairy-free and Vegan Butter

This looks almost just like ordinary butter and spreads from the fridge; this version is best for savoury use. It’s really easy to make.  Great on bread, crackers toast or veg. Good in any savoury baking but don’t grill or fry with it.

Healthy Butter Alternative

This is a really healthy alternative to butter, no hydrogenated fats, no cholesterol, no animal fats and no milk protein, no additives, no anti-biotic residues and GMO-free.

Omega-3 too

As a bonus it has Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed oil which is an great source of essential omega-3 fatty acid.