How to Make Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil offers a variety of healthy benefits. It is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are thought to help with the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. You can purchase the oil at many health food stores, but you can also make the oil at home. With a hot or cold oil press, you can produce pure oil from flaxseeds. If you don't want to invest in a press, you can make whole flaxseed oil, which requires boiling the seeds in water to release its oils. Because it's prepared with water, though, it is diluted so it isn't a true oil.
Pressed Flaxseed Oil
1 pound (454 g) flaxseeds
Whole Flaxseed Oil
1 to 2 tablespoons (10 to 20 g) whole flaxseeds
2 cups (473 ml) water
Creating Pressed Flaxseed Oil
Set up the press.To make flaxseed oil, you can use a hot oil press or a cold oil press. Hot presses are usually freestanding machines that you must turn on and allow to heat up before you can use them. Cold oil presses are usually attachments that connect to a juicer. Turn on or attach your press according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- A hot press usually produces more oil because the heat helps soften the seeds to make it easier to extract the oil. It also makes the process go more quickly.
- You should usually allow a hot press to heat up for at least 10 minutes.
- A cold press usually requires more time to produce oil. However, it often leads to a better-tasting oil with more nutrients.
Add the seeds to the machine’s funnel.You can use any amount of flaxseeds based on how much oil you need. However, if you’re making oil for the first time, it’s best to start with a small amount to get used to the process. A pound (454 g) is usually a good amount to start with. Place the seeds in the hot press’s hopper or the cold press’s feed compartment.
Crank or turn on the machine to extract the oil.Some hot presses only require pressing a button to start the extraction. However, others require hand cranking to produce the oil. With a cold press attachment, you’ll need to simply turn on the juicer to start the extraction process.
- Consult the manufacturer’s guide for the press or press attachment to ensure that you know how to use it.
- Make sure that you have a container or collection cup set up beneath the extractor’s spout so you don’t lose any oil.
Process the seeds according to the type of extractor you're using.The amount of time necessary to process all of the seeds depends on the amount and the type of extractor you’re using. For 1 pound (454 g) of seeds in a hot press, it will usually take 5 to 10 minutes. With a cold press, it may take up to a half hour.
Cap the container of oil.When you’re finished extracting the oil, turn off your extractor. If you collected the oil in a collection cup, use a funnel to transfer it to an airtight container. Close the container, making sure that it's tightly sealed.
Let the oil sit for a few days.There may be sediment in the oil that you'll want to separate out. If you allow it to sit for 2 to 3 days, the sediment will settle at the bottom so it's easier to siphon off the oil.
- If your extractor is equipped with a sieve or filter, most or all of the sediment will already be removed so this step may be unnecessary. You may still want to let the oil sit, though, to be sure that all of the sediment is removed.
Filter off the oil and discard the sediment.After a few days, open the oil and pour it through a sieve into a second airtight container. Close the container, and store it in a cool, dry location. It should stay fresh for up to 2 years.
- If you don’t have a sieve, you can usually just pour off the oil from the top of the container because all of the sediment will be at the bottom.
Preparing Whole Flaxseed Oil
Boil the water.Add 2 cups (473 ml) of water to a small saucepan, and place it on the stove. Heat it on high until it comes to a boil, which should take about 5 minutes.
Add the seeds and lower the heat.Once the oil is boiling, mix 1 to 2 tablespoons (10 to 20 g) of whole flax seeds into the water. Reduce the stove’s heat to medium-low, and let the seeds cook.
Continue to cook the seeds for about 8 minutes until the mixture thickens.With the pan uncovered and the heat on medium-low, let the seeds boil in the water. The water should become thick and glossy, and you may also notice streaks that look somewhat like egg whites when the oil is ready.
Allow the mixture to cool.When the seeds are finished cooking, turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove. Let it cool on the countertop for 20 to 30 minutes.
- There's no need to strain the seeds from the mixture after it's cooled. They will actually break down during the cooking process, so they soften and release their oils. However, if you prefer to remove the seeds, you can run the oil through a sieve after it's cooled.
Transfer it to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.When the oil is cool enough to handle, pour it into an airtight container. Close it securely, and place it in the refrigerator for storage. It should stay fresh for up to a week and half.
Video: Homemade flaxseed oil for grow thick and long
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