Among the health-conscious crowd, nondairy milks are arguably just as mainstream as their dairy counterparts. Usually, the same types tend to be popular among consumers: almond, soy and coconut milk, for example.
But a newcomer to the scene — flax milk — is popping up in grocery store aisles, health blogs and plant-based recipes. “You can make a plant milk out of just about every type of grain, seed or nut, so it’s not a surprise that flax seeds have been turned into a milk product,” says Sharon Palmer, RD, author of “The Plant-Powered Diet.”
Flax milk has become popular over the years not only for Omega3 benefits, but also for taste.
It tends to be lighter, yet creamier, and a little more neutral in taste than many other dairy-free milk beverages.
Here’s your complete guide to flax milk.
What is Flax Milk?
“Flax milk is made out of flax seeds or flax oil, which is pressed from flax seeds and filtered water,” says Palmer.
It’s generally a mild-tasting nondairy milk and might have starch as well as other vitamins and minerals added to it, she notes.
Flax Milk Nutrition
Flax milks tend to be lower in calories than some other nondairy milks, says Palmer.
At about 50 calories per serving, it’s lower than soy (which clocks in around 110 calories) and almond (which has 60 calories), for example.
It’s also high in heart-healthy fatty acids called omega-3’s, says Palmer. In particular, flax is a solid source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 that is an essential fatty acid, which means your body can’t make it, so you have to take it in from your diet.
However, a downside can be that naturally, flax milk is low in protein, but you can look for variations fortified with plant protein — Good Karma makes some with up to 8 grams of the macro.
Similarly, it’s a good idea to look for flax milks that are fortified with nutrients such as vitamin D and calcium, important for strong bones, immune system, muscular, nerve and brain health. Many other plant milks are fortified with these nutrients as well, notes Palmer.
Flax Milk Nutrition Facts
These are the nutrition facts for Good Karma Unsweetened Flaxmilk:
Flax Milk Benefits
Every dairy alternative comes with a caveat. Coconut milk doesn’t contain much protein. Rice milk is watery and not super nourishing. Almond milk has a big environmental footprint. Soy milk may not be great for those with hormonal issues.
But what about flax milk? It’s definitely not the most popular of the non-dairy milks (yet), but it deserves way more cred.
Flax milk is an incredibly rich source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which is practically fuel for hormonal balance.
Did you know that hormones are actually made from cholesterol, which is found in fats—yes, even healthy fats.
If you’re not eating enough omega fatty acids (particularly omega-3s), your hormonal production may suffer—along with other important bodily functions.
Flax is also comparable to soy in terms of its protein content, which can help balance blood sugar levels and further encourage hormonal balance.
Flax is commonly known to help prevent and treat heart disease, but it’s not just its high fiber content that makes it so heart healthy.
Compounds found in flax have been shown in studies to help lower blood pressure while decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation. These flax-derived compounds may also help protect against cancer and other chronic diseases.
There are a lot of people with soy and nut allergies. If you have a dairy allergy, too, you’re in a tough boat.
The beautiful thing about flax is that it is a seed, which is a much less common allergen here in the US (although seed allergies are possible). For that reason, flax milk can be a great option for those who can’t enjoy dairy, almond, or soy.
Nuts are a water-intensive crop, especially almonds. In 2017, it was estimated that it takes 15.3 gallons of water to produce a mere 16 individual almonds! With California’s ongoing water crisis, that is simply not sustainable.
Flax, on the other hand, is much less water-intensive, grows in 50 countries around the world, and is self-pollinating (let’s give those stressed-out California bees a break).
So, yes, flax milk is pretty great. And did I mention it’s creamy and delicious? Make your own at home or buy from brands like Good Karma. It’s environmentally-friendly, healthy and definitely worth a taste.
Other Flax Milk Advantages
- Flax milk contains no saturated or trans-fat.
- It’s low in calories.
- It’s naturally lactose free, as well as being completely void of cholesterol.
- It’s creamier than a lot of other milk alternatives.
- Flax milks are fortified with minerals and vitamins, including vitamins A, B12 and D, as well as calcium, which equals the nutritional value of other milk alternatives.
Flax Milk Recommendation
Good Karma Flaxmilk is the leader in this space (in fact, there aren’t a lot of brand choices!), and they have expanded their product line to include high protein and single serve options.
Flax Milk Taste
Though flax seeds can’t rival the natural cream of coconut or richness of cashews, it turns out that a dairy-free milk beverage made with cold pressed flax oil does have the smooth consistency of dairy milk. Plus it tastes pretty darn impressive.
Each serving of Good Karma Flaxmilk contains 1200 mg of Omega 3, is low in calories (just 25 per cup in the Unsweetened), and is fortified with vitamin A (10%), vitamin D (25%), vitamin B12 (25%), and calcium (30%). The Original and Vanilla do contain some sugar (cane sugar) but less than many comparative brands (7 and 11 grams, respectively).
This flavor was much sweeter than I expected, almost hinting at dessert.
The flavor is VERY vanilla, which I absolutely loved. It also has a semi-rich, 2% like texture that was incredibly smooth and easy to drink.
I found it to be less thick than coconut milk beverage but smoother and more fulfilling than almond milk beverage.
I think this one could be a big hit in almost any sweet recipe! As well as in everyday drinks like hot cocoa, coffee, and tea.
flaxmilk (filtered water, cold pressed organic flax oil), cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, vanilla extract, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, gellan gum, xanthan gum, natural flavors, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B12. (I have no idea why natural flavors is listed twice.)
For my own personal use (beyond reviews), I typically purchase Unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage, so this was the flavor of Good Karma Flaxmilk I was most curious about.
Truthfully, it wasn’t as scrumptious as the flavored varieties for the obvious reason: no sweetener.
However, my interest in milk alternatives isn’t for sipping, it’s for everyday smoothies and recipes.
The Unsweetened Good Karma Flaxmilk added just the right amount of body to my breakfast smoothies, and the fairly neutral yet somewhat savory flavor seemed like a fluid fit for most dishes.
flaxmilk (filtered water, cold pressed organic flax oil), tapioca starch, tricalcium phosphate, sunflower lecithin, natural flavors, sea salt, gellan gum, xanthan gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B12.
Flaxmilk + Protein
Good Karma Flaxmilk + Protein comes in various flavors and sizes. You can get half gallons in Unsweetened and Unsweetened Vanilla and shelf-stable quarts in Unsweetened and Lightly Sweetened Vanilla. For on the go, they also have single-serve bottles and lunchbox cartons in Unsweetened, Vanilla, and Chocolate.
The ingredients in the Flaxmilk + Protein are pretty much identical to their regular Flaxmilk, but with pea protein isolate added.
We did purchase the larger half gallons for a little while, and liked them.
Flax Milk Recipes
Apple Pie Smoothie Bowl
Ingredients for Bowl:
- 1 cup of Good Karma Unsweetened Flaxmilk
- 1 cup apple sauce, unsweetened
- 1 whole apple, sliced and pitted
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ingredients for Baked Apple Topping
- Place the ingredients for the smoothie bowl in a mixer on high until fully blended. Set aside.
- In a medium pan, heat up the coconut oil and add the apples and cook on low for about 10 minutes, add the sugar and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Assemble your bowl and top with baked apples!
Free from: Dairy, gluten, soy, nuts and eggs
Spiced Hot Chocolate Flax Milk
Spiced Cocoa Mix
- 1 Cup Coconut Sugar (low GI, high in vitamins, minerals, & amino acids)
- 1/2 Cup Raw Cacao Powder
- 1 Tbsp Rice Flour
- 2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cloves
- 1/2 Tsp Chile Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Ground Allspice
Spiced Hot Chocolate Flaxmilk
- 1/3 Cup Water
- 3/4 Cup Spiced Cocoa Mix
- 4 Cups Good Karma Flaxmilk (Original or Protein+ Original)
- 3/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Spiced Cocoa Mix
Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Mix well. Spoon into 1-pint food storage jar with tight-fitting lid. Pack down firmly. Seal and store in a cool, dry place up to 2 months.
Spiced Hot Chocolate Flaxmilk
- Bring water to a boil in large saucepan over high heat. Whisk in Spiced Cocoa Mix until dissolved. Reduce heat to medium, stirring 1-2 minutes until thick and smooth.
- Add Good Karma Flaxmilk and vanilla. Heat until hot, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Pour Spiced Hot Chocolate Flaxmilk into four mugs and top with a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Gluten Free Matcha Waffles
- 2 cups of gluten free flour blend
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 3 tablespoons of Matcha Powder
- 2 cups of Good Karma Flaxmilk Unsweetened Vanilla + Protein
- 4 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Toppings: Your favorite fruit and maple syrup
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and matcha. Slowly add in the flaxmilk, mixing until fully blended. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and stir. Spray the hot waffle iron with a non-stick spray and pour in enough batter so that it runs to the edge. Cook for 2 minutes. Repeat until all batter is used.
Yield: 3 waffles
How to Make Your Own Flax Milk
This homemade flax milk can be whipped up in minutes and can be sweetened to your liking with dates, stevia, or honey.
By simply adding a little more sweetener at a time you can adjust exactly how sweet you like it! Bonus feature, it only takes 1/3 of a cup of flax seeds to make this nutritious delight, making it very cost effective to make at home.
- 1/3 cup flax seeds
- 3 cups water (plus 1-1.5 more cups)
- Cheesecloth or unworn pantyhose
- 2 dates (or stevia or honey to taste)
- Combine flax seeds and 3 cups water in blender
- Blend until thick and creamy
- Run thick milk through cheesecloth (or pantyhose to strain seed particles)
- Once strained, blend 1-1.5 more cups water plus dates to desired consistency
- Can be used right away or chilled for later use
Other Non-Dairy Milk Options
Pros: Almond milk has a nutty hint, but its flavor is fairly neutral overall. It works in both sweet (cereal) and savory (soup) dishes.
Cons: For some reason, it can be tough to find the unsweetened plain version, which has 0 g sugar, in grocery stores.
Nutritional Stats: 40 calories, 0 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 45 percent calcium, 25 percent vitamin D
Pros: If you love whole milk and cream, you’ll dig the thick texture of coconut milk. And even in the unsweetened type, the coconut flavor supplies sweetness.
Cons: Like coconut meat, the milk is high in saturated fat; it packs nearly a third of the daily limit for women on a 1,600-calorie diet.
Nutritional Stats: 50 calories, 5 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 10 percent calcium, 30 percent vitamin D
Pros: Hemp seeds have a sweet, nutty flavor, and they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can hydrate skin and may boost heart health.
Cons: Hemp milk is pricier. Otherwise, we have no complaints, so if you have the cash, bottoms up.
Nutritional Stats: 70 calories, 1 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 30 percent calcium, 25 percent vitamin D
Pros: Rice milk is sweet choice, best for those with soy and nut allergies, but sometimes processed with the allergens, so check labels.
Cons: It’s too watery for coffee or tea. Plus, you don’t get much nutritional bang (protein, omega-3s) for the calories.
Nutritional Stats: 90 calories, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g protein, 30 percent calcium, 25 percent vitamin D
Pros: Soy milk is the only nondairy variety that’s naturally high in filling protein, so it’s good for vegans and folks with lactose intolerance.
Cons: Scientists are still investigating soy’s potential link to breast cancer. If you’re worried, consult your doc before sipping regularly.
Nutritional Stats: 80 calories, 1 g saturated fat, 7 g protein, 30 percent calcium, 30 percent vitamin D
Pros: This pick is mildly nutty but not overpowering. And it’s thick, so it stirs smoothly into coffee and tea
without leaving gross lumps.
Cons: The grayish color may be a turnoff if you’re drinking it straight from a glass.
Nutritional Stats: 45 calories, 1 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 30 percent calcium, 25 percent vitamin D
Flax milk is loaded with health benefits, and has a mild taste, so it’s versatile and easy to use in a variety of recipes. Plus, its creamy texture means it pairs well with coffee.
It’s also good option for someone who might be allergic to soy or doesn’t like the taste of it.
And, because it’s uniquely an impressive source of omega-3’s compared to other plant milks, it can be a healthy choice for someone looking for a dose of the fatty acids.
But be aware of the lack of protein. In fact, if you use nondairy milks daily in your diet and have a potential for falling short on protein (or work out regularly and need a little bit more than the average person), consider either the protein-fortified option or a nondairy milk that naturally has more protein, such as soy or almond.
Have you tried flax milk? Let me know what you think!
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