Best Substitute for Flax Seeds

Best Substitute for Flax Seeds

8 Best Substitutes For Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are typically used as toppings for main dishes and binders or thickeners to bake batters and doughs, depending on whether you use them as a whole or as a seed meal. It is composed of omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber that are perfect when you want to make healthy recipes. 

When cooking with flax seeds, it’s normal to experience certain drawbacks such as that you don’t have any available on hand or your local grocery stores don’t have them in stock either. 

With that, you must be equipped with the knowledge of substitutes.

For flax seeds, you can substitute them with chia seeds, hemp seeds, psyllium seeds, wheat germ, pumpkin seed meal, sunflower seed meal, yogurt, and tofu. 

Best Flax Seeds Alternatives For Cooking

When looking for flax seeds substitutes, you should consider those ingredients that have a similar, mild nutty flavor or luscious texture or even better—both! Luckily, this article puts up a list of the best substitutes for flax seeds that you can use for your recipes. 

Want to find out more? Read the rest now:

Chia Seeds

Gaining increasing popularity, especially in the health and yogi niches, chia seeds can be a great substitute for flax seeds for your smoothie, baked treat, breakfast dish, savory snack, and oatmeal recipes. 

Chia seeds will naturally thicken whatever they are added to and give a jelly-like consistency. As such, you may need to add more liquid, such as water, milk, or oil, to achieve the same results as flax seeds. 

Other uses of chia seeds include soup and gravy thickeners, breading, spread or dressing for salads, and as a star ingredient in your protein bars since they are rich in omega-3 acids. 

Hemp Seeds

If you want to add a little spark of nutty flavor to your otherwise bland dish, this substitute will do just the trick. Not only does it make your recipe taste twice as good, it is also a source of protein and provides health benefits. 

Hemp seeds are perfect for protein balls, cookies, bread, crepes, vegetarian burgers, pesto, tarts, curries, smoothie bowls, oatmeals, and even popcorn. 

Note that it takes some trial and error before you get the right amount of hemp seeds to put in your baking or cooking. Don’t fret because this is completely normal. Just make sure you don’t overdo it!

Psyllium Husks

When you need to create gluten-free products like cookies, cakes, pizza, and bread but don’t know which flax seed substitute to use, psyllium husks are the perfect solution to your trouble. They can increase the moisture, density, and elasticity levels of your batter and dough mixes. 

Generally, half a teaspoon is already enough but if you want the specifics: for bread, use 2 teaspoons per cup of flour; for cakes, use 1 teaspoon; for cookies, use half a teaspoon; and for muffins, use 1 and a half teaspoons. 

Make sure you eat just the right amount or else you’d feel bloated. When that happens, don’t worry, just drink a lot of water to feel better. 

Wheat Germ
Wheat Germ

Wheat Germ

Want less gluten and carbohydrates in your meals? Use wheat germ as a substitute for flax seeds to get that additional boost in vitamins E and B as well as fiber. 

Wheat germ is commonly used in bread since it is considered to be a type of grain with a slightly nutty flavor and rough texture. You can also use it in making entrees like meatloaf, baked treats like cakes, muffins, and casseroles, or as toppings on cereals and yogurt mixes. 

Add extra liquid like milk, oil, or water to your recipes to balance out the high moisture content. Start with a 1:1 ratio to flax seeds and then adjust according to your preferences. 

Pumpkin Seed Meal

You’ve heard of traditionally roasting pumpkin seeds during the autumn season, but do you know about pumpkin seed meals being a great, and also just as healthy, substitute to flax seeds? Now you do!

Pumpkin seed meals are used to add flavor in your gluten-free recipes such as cakes, protein bars, fritters, muffins, and even in meals such as fried seafood and meat dishes. You can use it as salad and vegetable toppings or as breadcrumbs.

The best ratio when using these substitutes is one tablespoon of pumpkin seed meals for every two tablespoons of flax seeds or 16 grams you typically use. 

Sunflower Seed Meal

Looking for a substitute free from gluten, grain, and nuts.

But is also friendly for paleo and keto diets? Sunflower seed meal is the best companion for your recipes and nutritional lifestyle. 

Sunflower seed meal is easy to find in your local grocery and health stores. There are also excess bins where people usually sell their leftovers after making too many jars during harvest season. 

Not only are they great for your favorite baked treats, most especially bread, but they can also be used in a variety of savory snacks such as tortillas, veggie burgers, veggie, and gluten-free pâtés, fish-based wraps, and cob loaves. 


Even though it has a liquid goopy texture, yogurt is a great way to bind various ingredients together.  Using plain yogurt for baking will do the trick without having to overpower your dish. 

An awesome bonus is that you can match the yogurt you plan to use to the flavor of the baked treat or dessert you’re going for—if you want a blueberry cheesecake, choose blueberry-flavored yogurt. Now, isn’t that fun?

Yogurt adds enough moisture and texture, with fewer calories and fat content, perfect for brownies, cookies, bread, and cakes. There is also an added subtle tangy flavor you’d enjoy for sure.


Last but not the least, this one’s definitely a flax seed substitute you didn’t see coming. It’s best for savory dishes but is just as good for dessert and baked goods. 

Tofu can be a great binding and fluffening agent, great for recipes that call for stir-frying, baking, grilling, pan-frying and scrambling. It also acts as a vegan alternative for dairy products when you want a healthier option or if you’re lactose intolerant. Truly a versatile ingredient! 

Make sure you purchase unflavored tofu to avoid overpowering any of the dishes you want to create, especially desserts. 

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