Flaxseed oil is made by pressing the seeds of the flax plant to release the natural oil. As you are probably well aware by now, the oil is a great source of omega-3 and has many other essential fatty acids that have great health boosting properties. You can of course buy this off the shelf, but have you ever considered making flaxseed oil yourself at home?
How To Make Homemade Flaxseed Oil?
Flaxseed oil can easily be made by amateurs at home by following some simple steps. There are a few different methods and various pieces of equipment available that may improve the yield of the oil from flax seeds, but in general the same basic process applies whichever way you decide to go about it.
As with any other natural or food product, it is much preferable to produce flaxseed oil yourself, instead of just buying a finished product from a supermarket shelf that may contain additives or preservatives. You will get much fresher product and you can be sure it is made from the best quality ingredients, with none of the unnatural additives or chemicals that we find in virtually all modern day processed foods.
For a totally pure product you could go as far as growing the flaxseed plants, thus insuring there are also no pesticides or chemicals used in the growth that inadvertently always make their way into the finished product.
Growing Flax From Scratch
You may think that it would be a lot of trouble to grow flax from scratch, but it is actually much easier and quicker than you would expect. Initial germination of the plant seed takes around two to three weeks (this should be done inside the house or in a greenhouse if you have one) and the fully grown plant will be ready to harvest in three months.
A standard soil type with reasonable drainage will be fine and we have found it’s not really suitable to be grown in pots or containers. Your seeds will be good to harvest when the seed pods turn yellow and you see them start to split open. Just cut the pods off the plants, and leave them indoors, in a dry place that’s not directly in the sunlight.
Once the seeds are ripe the pods become extremely hard and this is the time to separate the seeds from their seed pods. A normal yield will be around 6 to 10 seeds per pod so you will need quite a few plants to make a reasonable amount of oil.
Many people like to do the full process themselves from growing the plant right through to pressing the oil. Other people may simply not have the available garden or allotment size to allow them to grow their own flax plants.
How To Make The Flaxseed Oil From The Seeds
Producing the actual oil is a very similar process to making olive oil. We have found that a small press is a brilliant tool if you want to make a reasonable amount of the oil, though many people will boil the seeds up to release some of the oil, though we found this to be a very unsatisfactory method.
You need to decide whether you want quantity or quality with the oil and heating the seeds in water will definitely reduce the quality. Our preferred method of “cold pressing” will definitely give you the best results.
If you put your seeds through the press you will get a good amount of the oil which will be fairly pure and all that will be required is to filter the oil through a sieve or a muslin cloth to remove any impurities or particles form the seeds. This is a matter of taste but I like to have a smooth oil with no bits in it.
The oil is then ready to use immediately. Pure seeds that are lightly pressed will produce the best oil as in being similar to olive oil, but the quality will reduce with the oil that needs higher pressure to release.
That’s all it takes to make flaxseed oil yourself, good luck and please feel free to let us know how you get on or leave us a comment. We are always keen to know if anyone has taken this challenge and curious to hear about their results.