How To Roast Flax Seeds Using a Skillet, Oven or Microwave


Flax seeds are a popular ‘superfood’ and offer plenty of health benefits. They are actually one of the oldest crops, and have been grown since the start of civilization.

You can choose from golden or brown flax seeds. Both types boast the same health benefits and which you use is a matter of personal preference.

Find whole and milled flax seeds in the grain or bulk food section of the grocery store, as well as at most health food stores.

Does Roasting Flax Seeds Destroy Nutrients?

Roasting and cooking foods such as flax seeds helps make them easier to digest. Which in effect leads to increased nutrient absorption. Just don’t overcook the seeds using too high of temperatures.

Roasting flax seeds is a great way to break open the seeds outer covering. Which allows your body to digest the seed better and absorb nutrients much easier.

This is why eating ground flax seed is better than whole.

As far as nutrient loss due to roasting goes, make sure to avoid extremely high temperatures. You don’t want to burn the seeds obviously as it can destroy nutrients as well.

How to Roast Flax Seeds in a Skillet

  • Heat a nonstick skillet over a medium flame.
  • Add ½ cup of flax seeds.
  • Roast them for 3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Let them cool completely.
  • You can now store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How to Roast Flax Seeds in the Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spread ½ cup of flax seeds in one layer on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Roast them for 4 minutes
  • Stir the seeds.
  • Roast them for another 2-4 minutes.
  • Take the baking sheet out of the oven.
  • Let the flax seeds cool completely.
  • You can now store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How to Roast Flax Seeds in the Microwave

  • Spread ½ cup of flax seeds in a single layer, in a microwave-safe dish.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of oil or melted butter, then stir to coat.
  • Microwave for 1 minute on high.
  • Stir the flax seeds then give them another minute on high.
  • If they are not done, you can cook them for a further 30 seconds.
  • Repeat until they are golden and fragrant.
  • You can now store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How Long Do Roasted Flax Seeds Keep?

You can keep roasted flax seeds in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

For best results, ensure they are in an airtight container. Before roasting, whole flax seeds will keep for up to a year in a sealed container in a cool, dark place.

Should Flax Seeds Be Roasted Before Grinding?

If you plan on grinding up your flax seed, which is highly recommended to make them easier to digest. You might wonder if they need to be roasted first? Here is why it is unnecessary.

Flax seeds do not need to be cooked and can be eaten raw. Grinding them up is enough to make flax seeds even more edible.

Roasting can increase the flavor of the flax seed, as you can add in spices like turmeric while roasting.

So your ground flax seed that has been roasted first can have a different flavor. but you can grind raw flax seeds without having to roast them first.

Appetizing Ideas for Using Roasted Flax Seeds

Roasted flax seeds can be used in various ways. Try sprinkling some over your cereal in the morning, sprinkling them over soup, or adding them to salads.

They can be added to stews or baked goods like breads, crackers, muffins, and cakes. Why not add some to your next meatloaf recipe? Maybe toss a small handful into your morning smoothie, and there is no need to grind them first, since the blender will do that for you.

You can replace ½-1 cup of flour in a recipe with ground roasted flax seeds, or substitute a tablespoon of ground roasted flax and 3 tablespoons of water for an egg in a recipe.

Another idea is to substitute all or part of the flour in a breading recipe with ground roasted flax seeds. This would make a great coating for chicken tenders or fried fish. 

Incorporate them in energy balls or protein balls, or use them as an ingredient in vegetable burgers.

The only limit here is your imagination. You can add these healthy little seeds to any recipe where a crunch or toasty flavor would work.

Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

These fiber-rich seeds help you to feel full longer, which can help with weight loss. Fiber also helps stimulate the digestive tract.

These seeds are also rich in thiamine and magnesium. They are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which can help fight autoimmune disease, reduce inflammation and are believed to lower the risk of some cancers. Flax seeds also contain lignin, which is thought to reduce blood pressure. 

These tiny seeds are well worth including in your diet, for their health benefits as well as their delicious toasty flavor.

Their nutrition benefits are enclosed in their hard seed coats however, which is why roasting or grinding them is best. 

Roasted flax seeds are much easier to digest. If you don’t roast them, these seeds will pass through your system without their nutrients being available and utilized.

Roasted flax seeds offer a nutty, toasty flavor whether you use them as they are or grind them up after roasting. To enjoy the nutritional benefits of flax seeds, aim to eat 1 or 2 tablespoons every day. 

There are various ways to roast these seeds. Although the skillet is perhaps the most popular way, you can also oven roast them if you have the oven on anyway, or even zap them in the microwave if you prefer.

Eric M Wilkens

Content writer and recreational cook. I also enjoy craft beer, comedy and the outdoors.

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