What are flax seeds and flax seed meal?:
Flax seeds are very low carb, high nutrition seeds that are useful in a low of recipes. They are the seeds of the flax plant, which linen cloth is made from. Flax has a pleasantly nutty taste. The whole seeds keep well, but they need to be ground into meal for us to get their full nutritional benefit. A simple spice or coffee grinder can do this in seconds.
What are flax seeds good for?:
Where can I find it, and which kind is best?:
Health food stores and specialty stores (e.g. Trader Joe's) carry flax seed, and many regular grocery stores as well. Whole flax seed stays fresh for up to a year if stored safely, however flax seed meal (ground flax seed) goes rancid more quickly. If you question how long the product has been on the shelves or how it has been stored, it is highly recommended that you purchase whole flax seed and grind it yourself. It's also less expensive to buy it whole.
I see brown ones and golden ones. Which is best?:
Brown and golden flax seeds have similar nutrient composition, despite advertising hype.
I can't find flax seeds where I live. Are there online sources?:
Does the kind of coffee grinder matter?:
I don't think so. I got a super-cheap one and it works fine - flax isn't as hard to grind as coffee, I don't think. In 5-10 seconds the flax is meal. However, I will say that mine only makes about 1/4 cup at a time so I have to have several gos at it if I'm making a recipe that uses a lot of flax meal. You might want to consider that when making your decision.