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Grinding Flax Seeds In A Pepper Mill?


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#1 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 08 July 2006 - 11:19 AM

Hi. I have started looking into Flax, and so far it looks like the whole freshly-ground seeds are the best, most healthy way to use Flax. The magnesium and fatty acid content among other things looks like it will benefit me right now. So how best to grind them is my next question.

There are suggestions to use a coffee grinder, but that seems like overkill to me. They are after all just tiny little seeds. Besides, that would be a much larger machine than I'd need, since the amount of ground Flax required is so small. There would likely be a lot of waste, woud there not? Also, the convenience of something hand-held would make it far more likely that I'll bother to use it. If a pepper mill will work, that seems like a good idea to me. I'd probably add some sesame seeds, and maybe some other stuff too. The sesame would help to give the proper balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids too. I know I could use a mortar & pestle, and might just do that if it turns out to be the overall best solution.

I've looked up pepper mills, and like everything else, there are good ones and bad ones. Of course, I don't want a piece of junk. One possible issue I'm wondering about is since Flax seeds are oily (from what I've read), might they easily clog up the grinder? Some units are advertised as suitable for Flax and other seeds, but we all know how claims are exaggerated in order to make a sale.

Any suggestions or ideas on this topic would be much appreciated!
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#2 Ursa Major

 
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Posted 08 July 2006 - 01:31 PM

Well, you're right, oily seeds will probably gum up your pepper grinder and render it unusable. A coffee mill is a better option. If you feel you only need a small amount, what you can do is freeze what you don't use immediately. The ground flax will keep fresh, and you won't have to grind new ones so soon.
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#3 AndreaB

 
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Posted 08 July 2006 - 01:39 PM

I use a coffee mill to grind my flax seed when I have it.
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Me HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0301; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2, 7)
Husband HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0302; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2,8)



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#4 Green12

 
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Posted 08 July 2006 - 03:39 PM

I use one of those mini electric coffee/spice grinders. It really doesn't grind that much at a time, maybe 1/2 c. or less and it makes it so easy. I would do a couple batches at a time and then store in a clean/dry glass jar with an airtight lid in the fridge (or a ziploc bag would do), then it's ready for when you need it.
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#5 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 09 July 2006 - 01:53 AM

I use one of those mini electric coffee/spice grinders. It really doesn't grind that much at a time, maybe 1/2 c. or less and it makes it so easy. I would do a couple batches at a time and then store in a clean/dry glass jar with an airtight lid in the fridge (or a ziploc bag would do), then it's ready for when you need it.

Thanks. I was wondering if anyone had tried one of those. I saw one actually advertized as a Flax Mill, and it said it was good for other stuff too. It's about 6 1/2 inches tall, or something like that, and was 50 bucks. At the moment I'm still a bit skeptical of them. I did also find a hand-held pepper/spice grinder (and I think it also mentioned Flax seeds) which has ceramic blades, and battery operated. I don't care if it's hand-powered really, and in fact I think it might be better just so there's less to give trouble. That is of course unless Flax is hard to grind. The ceramic idea sounds like a good thing to use in the case of seeds, especially oily ones. What is yours made with?

On the other hand there's the mortar & pestle which are like 10-15 bucks for a nice porcelain one. A bit less convenient, but maybe good health isn't going to come any easier. Are the seeds easy enough to grind by hand, or will I be at it awhile to get them edible?
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#6 eKatherine

 
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Posted 09 July 2006 - 03:06 AM

Thanks. I was wondering if anyone had tried one of those. I saw one actually advertized as a Flax Mill, and it said it was good for other stuff too. It's about 6 1/2 inches tall, or something like that, and was 50 bucks. At the moment I'm still a bit skeptical of them. I did also find a hand-held pepper/spice grinder (and I think it also mentioned Flax seeds) which has ceramic blades, and battery operated. I don't care if it's hand-powered really, and in fact I think it might be better just so there's less to give trouble. That is of course unless Flax is hard to grind. The ceramic idea sounds like a good thing to use in the case of seeds, especially oily ones. What is yours made with?

On the other hand there's the mortar & pestle which are like 10-15 bucks for a nice porcelain one. A bit less convenient, but maybe good health isn't going to come any easier. Are the seeds easy enough to grind by hand, or will I be at it awhile to get them edible?

A coffee/spice mill shouldn't cost more than $30. It really is what you need. These specialty items are lower-volume and more likely to break down, not less.

You definitely don't want a mortar and pestle. It takes a lot of work, and still won't grind as fine. It crushes, so you end up with whole husks in your meal.
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#7 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 09 July 2006 - 03:22 AM

A coffee/spice mill shouldn't cost more than $30. It really is what you need. These specialty items are lower-volume and more likely to break down, not less.

You definitely don't want a mortar and pestle. It takes a lot of work, and still won't grind as fine. It crushes, so you end up with whole husks in your meal.

Wow, thanks for letting me know about the problems of using a mortar & pestle for this! So I guess then the seeds are too tough to eat whole?

Thanks for the link too. I'll keep these all in mind. Any experience with how long the grinders typically last? Here's one of the ones I found advertized for Flax: http://www.fantes.co..._mills.htm#flax

I've never purchased anything like this before, so I just don't know what to look for or avoid yet.
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A spherical meteorite 10 km in diameter traveling at 20 km/s has the kinetic energy equal to the calories in 550,000,000,000,000,000 Twinkies.

#8 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 09 July 2006 - 03:36 AM

I just ran into something about grinding salt, and how natural salt which still has moisture requires a grinder with an all ceramic grinding mechanism. That seems to back up my guess about the ceramic and the oily seeds.

Here's a hand-held one with ceramic grinders claiming to work for Flax and other stuff: http://www.peppermills.com/
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#9 eKatherine

 
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Posted 09 July 2006 - 03:50 AM

I just ran into something about grinding salt, and how natural salt which still has moisture requires a grinder with an all ceramic grinding mechanism. That seems to back up my guess about the ceramic and the oily seeds.

Here's a hand-held one with ceramic grinders claiming to work for Flax and other stuff: http://www.peppermills.com/

The reason you need a ceramic mill for salt is because salt will corrode away any metal it is exposed to in a short period of time.

That mill is specifically designed to broadcast pepper, grind it and spread it evenly over the top of a dish. It may be used for other things. It's a work of art, but that's not how you are intending to use your ground flaxseed, is it?
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#10 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 09 July 2006 - 05:00 AM

The reason you need a ceramic mill for salt is because salt will corrode away any metal it is exposed to in a short period of time.

That mill is specifically designed to broadcast pepper, grind it and spread it evenly over the top of a dish. It may be used for other things. It's a work of art, but that's not how you are intending to use your ground flaxseed, is it?

Ah, the corrosion I can understand. Good point. But yeah, I was thinking of just sprinkling it on finished dishes, just like salt or pepper, which is why I thought of the pepper mill things. I don't know what else I'd put it on. I haven't had time to get fancy in the kitchen in awhile :( I understand it's best uncooked anyway.
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#11 Green12

 
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Posted 09 July 2006 - 08:05 AM

A coffee/spice mill shouldn't cost more than $30. It really is what you need. These specialty items are lower-volume and more likely to break down, not less.


I agree, this is what you need. I have had mine for years, with no signs of giving out. You just load the seeds in, pop the top on, and about 3-4 pulses is all it takes to grind them up really well.
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