What Can I Use as a Flax Seed Substitute?

Flax seeds are a great addition to many different meals. They can give a dish a delicious nutty flavor and add a lot of crunch. Flaxseed and your flaxseed substitute have many uses like a flax egg substitute. Ground flax seed (or is it ground flaxseed flour) are the healthy egg replacer for vegans and vegetarians.

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Not only that, but these tiny seeds contain vital omega 3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins that are really good for you. Some may even consider them to be a superfood.

You can use them in vegan dishes since they can be great egg substitutes. You can even use them as a flax meal.

Now, perhaps you’re all out of flax seeds. No problem! Here are a couple of substitutes that you can use instead! 

What Can I Use As A Flax Seed Substitute

The Number One Choice: Chia Seeds!

If you don’t have flax seeds, fear not - chia seeds are here to save the day! These seeds are very similar to flax seeds in many respects. They contain a whole bunch of soluble fiber, for starters. This fiber is known as mucilage.

It’s partially why they work so well as egg substitutes, and they are excellent thickening agents for baking. They both contain omega 3 fatty acids, too.

It’s worth remembering, however, that these seeds start to be gelatinous when you put them in moist environments. You shouldn’t use them in all sorts of environments for this reason.

For instance, you should keep them out of your salad. If you want to use the chia seeds to replace eggs though, all you need is one tablespoon of chia seeds that have been ground, then add 3 tablespoons of water.

Allow it to thicken for roughly 10 minutes, and there you have your egg substitute! 

The Silver Medal: Hemp Seeds

Fun fact: hemp seeds are from the same plant family as cannabis! Of course, hemp seeds are legal and are used in a lot of different dishes. They are also incredibly good for you.

They contain those ever so vital omega 3 fatty acids, but they also have a lot of other super important nutrients too. They taste a little nutty too, which is great in a wide variety of meals.

If you don’t like the hard outer shell of a flax seed, you will prefer the hemp seed too. It’s generally much easier to eat.

Hemp seeds don’t work very well as thickening agents, however since they don’t contain mucilage like chia and flax seeds do. They aren’t very good if you are looking for an egg substitute, basically. They can add the flavor that you would get from flax seeds though.

The Bronze: Wheat Germ

If none of the above options tickle your fancy, you can also use wheat germ. It works well in bread and a wide range of other bakery items. It comes from the wheat kernel, and as such it includes a wide variety of nutrients that you would expect to get from wheat, too.

It’s got an abundance of fiber, and you’ll also get your B and E vitamins from it. The mineral content is rather impressive too - you’ll get potassium and iron from eating wheat germ.

As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also be happy to know that this particular substitute is excellent for your immune system.

It can also act as a preventative measure against heart disease later in life. It contains omega 3 fatty acids, much like the chia and flax seed.

This particular substitute can be used for a range of different meals, such as a topping for yogurt or in cereal and oatmeal. It’s pretty versatile! 

What Else Can I Use?

The substitute that you choose depends on why the flax seed is in the recipe. For instance, are you looking for an egg substitute? In this case, yogurt can be used, or you can use tofu instead.

These will bind ingredients together and give the dish that moistness that you would get from egg. If an egg substitute is not what you need, then almond meal can work well as a thickener.

This fellow superfood contains a bunch of great minerals and vitamins too. It delivers on the nutty flavor! 

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community.
She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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