Flax Effect! Flax Seeds: The New Wonder Food

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18 Jun 2014

flax_featWhat’s all the craze about? These little seeds contain high levels of dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants! Studies have shown that flax seeds can reduce the risks of cancer, cardiovascular, and lung disease. They also add a unique texture and crunch to your breads, salads, desserts, smoothies, and more!

Kosher status: Flax seeds, meal, or flour are inherently Kosher as long as there are no additives.

Fridays before Shabbat it is customary for Jewish women to bake challah and do the mitzvah of separating challah. Here is a challah with added health benefits and a fabulous taste:

Shabbos Challah Recipe

5 cups warm water
1 cup applesauce or oil
1 cup honey
2 eggs + 3 chia eggs (1 chia egg: 1tb chia seeds mixed with 3 tb water, let sit until becomes gel texture. Read about chia: http://www.ou.org/life/food/chi-chia-seeds-kosher-healthy-easy/)
5 lbs whole wheat flour (usually 14-18 cups of flour)
*note: If 5 lbs of flour is used a blessing is said for the mitzvah of separating challah. When using between 2 2/3 and 5 lbs flour, still separate without a blessing, for less than 2 2/3 lbs no need to separate at all. See step 3 below for how to separate
1 ½ cups flax meal
3 tb salt
6 packages yeast

1 egg mixed with water, sesame or poppy seeds if desired

1) In a large bowl dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water. Set aside 5-10 minutes.
2) Make 3 chia eggs. Set aside 5-10 minutes.
3) Combine honey, remaining cups of water, applesauce or oil, eggs and chia eggs, mix well. Add in yeast mixture.
4) Gradually add dry ingredients and knead dough until elastic. Add flour and/or water accordingly if too dry or too sticky.
5) Allow the dough to rise covered in an oiled bowl for 1 hr.
6) Break off a small piece of dough (approximately a kezayit/olive size) and recite the blessing “Ba-ruch A-tah A-do-noi Elo-Hai-Nu Me-Lech Ha-O-Lam A-Sher Kid-Sha-Nu B’Mitz-Vo-Tav V’Tzi-Va-Nu L’Haf-Rish Chal-Lah,” then verbally declare “Harei zu challah.” This is now an opportune and auspicious time to pray. Then double wrap this piece of dough in aluminum foil and burn.
7) Punch down dough and knead again, form and braid to desired shapes and place in greased pans. Allow to rise 1 hr.
8) Whisk together an egg and 1 tablespoon water and brush over the risen dough. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired.
9) Bake the challah until golden, 45 min-1 hr. Place on a rack to cool.

(recipe credit & inspirations: Spice and Spirit Cookbook, KingArthurFlour.com)

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.