Flax (also known as common flax or linseed), Linum usitatissimum, is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is a food and fibre crop cultivated in cooler regions of the world. The textiles made from flax are known in the Western countries as linen and traditionally used for bed sheets, underclothes, and table linen. The oil is known as linseed oil. In addition to referring to the plant itself, the word “flax” may refer to the unspun fibres of the flax plant. The plant species is known only as a cultivated plant and appears to have been domesticated just once from the wild species Linum Bienne, called pale flax.
Flaxseeds occur in two basic varieties: brown and yellow or golden (also known as golden linseeds). Most types have similar nutritional characteristics and equal numbers of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The exception is a type of yellow flax called solin (trade name Linola), which has a completely different oil profile and is very low in omega-3 FAs. Flax seeds produce a vegetable oil known as flaxseed oil or linseed oil, which is one of the oldest commercial oils. It is an edible oil obtained by expeller pressing, sometimes followed by solvent extraction. Solvent-processed flaxseed oil has been used for many centuries as a drying oil in painting and varnishing.
Toasted linseeds are great for adding texture to your soups, salads and stir-fry’s and great for boosting your nutritional daily intake. The smooth, nutty taste is often used in bread making, either add to the dough or sprinkle on top.