Cholesterol lowering flaxseed muffins and foccacia – simple, but effective!

March 8, 2009 at 9:29 am 6 comments

massive-header-img1is the only word I can use to adquately describe last Friday night. It was the hens weekend for one of my beautiful girlfriends – Lans.  I must say that the food we ate on the night was delicious – salads and skewers, along with, preceded by and followed by many beverages.  Many beverages.  And a nudie swim.  And angry neighbours.  Anyway…  Saturday morning was bright and sunny in Avoca on the NSW Central Coast, but I was not. 

On the way home, I’m mildly ashamed to say we stopped at KFC.  Mr L loves it, and I needed grease, so it didn’t take much arm twisting to get me to the drive through.  We decided to stop at Mr L’s Mum and Dad’s on the way home as they live nearby.  Mrs L (senior), an avid chef and general kitchen wonder woman, has been on a similar wheat free diet to me, so I was interested to hear about what she’d been cooking.

After the KFC had gone down, Mrs L brought out half a muffin, and a small piece of foccacia that she had baked for me to inspect.  Both the muffin and foccacia were made of flax, which I hadn’t eaten before.  Mrs L tells me it is an excellent way to lower one’s cholesterol, and that is one of her current aims, so she has been eating loads of it.  For those who don’t eat wheat, it’s a good alternative to gluten free flour as it’s tasty and it’s fairly light in comparison with some flours.

Mr L (senior) thoughtfully emailed me the recipes that Mrs L had used to make the muffins and focaccia.  I’ve pasted them below.  FYI – you could pretty make any additions to both the muffins and the focaccia.  Mrs L had cranberries in her muffins, but you could use any kind of berry or nut to it.  Raspberries (fresh or frozen) would be delicious.  Similarly – with the focaccia, you could add feta, sun dried tomatoes, etc for a different twist.

If you make these and come up with a great variation – write and let me know!  I’m considering making the focaccia in my Brisbane kitchen tomorrow night – it could well become one of my favourite fruits!

It should be respecfully noted that the following two recipes were created by Laura Dolson.  Thanks Laura!  I guess Laura must be American – her spelling indicates so.  I have not changed any words in either recipe from the original.

Mrs L sprinkled both in toasted, slivered almonds







Chelsie’s Cinnamon Cranberry Flax Muffins

By Laura Dolson
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

• 1 cup whole fresh cranberries
• 1¼ cup flax seed meal (can easily grind your own)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 3 tablespoons cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon nutmeg
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 4 large eggs, beaten
• ¼ cup olive oil
• ½ cup sugar-free syrup such as Da Vinci’s or Torinis or ½ C “sweetening power” from
• other artificial sweetener (if powdered, dissolve in 1/2 cup water)
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 2 tablespoons grated orange peel
• 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional for topping)

Preheat oven to 175ºC.
Liberally butter muffin tins. Makes anywhere from 12 to 24 muffins. Do not use paper muffin liners – they will stick.
1. Pour boiling water over cranberries. Let sit for 5 minutes and pour off water.
2. Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients (minus the cranberries) separately, then mix them together.
3. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes to thicken.
4. Fold in cranberries.
5. Fill each muffin cup about half way, and sprinkle with nuts.
6. Bake about 15 minutes (a little longer if you’re only making 12) or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Keep up to a week in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.
For 12 muffins: Each muffin has 2 grams effective carbohydrate plus 6 grams fibre and 6 grams protein.

Focaccia-Style Flax Bread
Photo courtesy Laura Dolson (thanks Laura!) Flaxseed focaccia with fillings.  Delicious!
Photo courtesy Laura Dolson (thanks Laura!) Flaxseed focaccia with fillings. Delicious!

 By Laura Dolson

 I call this “focaccia” because it is baked in that style—flat on a sheet pan, and then cut up into whatever sized pieces you want. It works for toast, sandwiches, and other bready uses. It is “rough” in texture like heavy whole grain breads. Since it isn’t made with wheat, it doesn’t have the same kind of grain as wheat breads, but the carb in flax is almost all fiber. Flax is very useful on a low carb diet, as well as being amazingly good for you.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
• 2 cups flax seed meal
• 1 Tablespoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1–2 Tablespoons sweetening power from artificial sweetener
• 5 beaten eggs
• ½ cup water
• 1/3 cup oil
Preheat oven to 177ºC. Prepare pan (a 25X38cm pan with sides works best) with oiled parchment paper or a silicone mat.

1. Mix dry ingredients well — a whisk works well.
2. Add wet to dry, and combine well. Make sure there aren’t obvious strings of egg white hanging out in the batter.
3. Let batter set for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken up some (leave it too long and it gets past the point where it’s easy to spread.)
4. Pour batter onto pan. Because it’s going to tend to mound in the middle, you’ll get a more even thickness if you spread it away from the center somewhat, in roughly a rectangle an inch or two from the sides of the pan (you can go all the way to the edge, but it will be thinner).
5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until it springs back when you touch the top and/or is visibly browning even more than flax already is.
6. Cool and cut into whatever size slices you want. You don’t need a sharp knife; I usually just cut it with a spatula.
At 12 servings, each piece of bread has less than one gram of carbohydrate—8 to be exact—plus 5 grams of fibre.

Half of a fabulous flaxseed muffin (left), and plain focaccia (right)

Half of a fabulous flaxseed muffin (left), and plain focaccia (right)


Entry filed under: Gluten free. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lady Flaxalot  |  March 9, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Wow Fruit Loop,

    What an honour being first cab off the rank in the recipe area of your blog, even if I can’t claim them as my own. I have two recipes for the flax muffins, I have not actually tried the recipe listed but have instead used one using half almond meal and half flax meal.
    You can also vary the recipe by using different spices or a combination of spices.

    Keep up the good work.

  • 2. Daughter of Lady Flaxalot  |  July 28, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    You know i love anything that is simple and effective so these must be fabbo!!!

  • 3. Nasrin Namdari  |  March 8, 2010 at 7:55 am

    hi.Dr Laura
    I wanted to ask about fruits,what kind of fruites useful for food diets ?thanks
    have a wonderful Week !

    • 4. myfavouritefruits  |  April 18, 2010 at 3:00 am

      Hi Nasrin, I suspect you might be looking for another blog. I’d suggest googling dietary advice to find an answer to your question 🙂

      • 5. Nasrin Namdari  |  October 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm

        Thanks for Your guidace.
        Good Luck !

      • 6. Nasrin Namdari  |  October 23, 2010 at 1:08 pm

        Thanks for Your Guidance

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