5 Best Flaxseed Meal Substitutes

Flaxseed is a tiny, brown, oval seed packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which our bodies metabolize more efficiently when the grain is ground. Flaxseed, also known as linseed, has a unique nutritional profile and has become a favorite among those looking to increase their intake of omega-3s. 

Ground flaxseed is often used as a thickener, like starch, for stews and gravies.

1. Wheat Germ Substitute

Wheat germ is a product of milling whole wheat, and it is a nutritious and crunchy addition to baked foods that adds a nutty taste.

Wheat germ is an oil extracted from the wheat kernel. It has a slightly nutty flavor and is used to add flavor to breads and other baked goods. When added to bread dough, wheat germ helps the bread rise higher.

Wheat germ contains thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), folic acid, vitamin E, zinc and magnesium. It also contains fiber, making it good for you in more ways than one!

Wheat germ can be purchased at most grocery stores and health food stores in the baking section. You can also find it online at Amazon or Vitacost if you’re not near a store that sells it locally.

Wheat germ has a mild, almost sweet flavor that makes it a popular addition to baked goods, cereals and raw foods such as smoothies or salads. It also has its own distinctive aroma, which some people find unpleasant but others enjoy because it reminds them of freshly baked bread.

= 3 tbsp ground wheat germ can replace 3 tbsp ground flaxseed

2. Wheat Bran Substitute

The rough covering of wheat berries is a wealth of dietary fiber. The bran is packaged and sold in supermarkets and can be used to add fiber to a variety of dishes, from meatloaf to pieces of bread.

Wheat bran is a fiber supplement used in muffins, rolls and bread, pancakes, and even smoothies.  When combined with breadcrumbs, wheat bran is a coating for chicken or fish.

Wheat bran is the outer layer of grain. It can be made from hard or soft wheat, although most of it comes from soft wheat. The bran layer is removed from wheat berries during milling, and it can then be used in a number of ways.

The best way to use wheat bran is to add it to your diet as a natural source of fiber and nutrients. You can use it to make breads, muffins, and other baked goods, or you can simply sprinkle it on top of salads or other dishes for extra flavor and texture.

The taste of wheat bran depends on how it has been processed. If you are buying whole wheat flour instead of milled flour, then the bran will be included in your purchase and you will not need to add anything else. If you are buying milled flour instead (which contains no bran), then you will need to add some separately before using the flour in cooking or baking recipes.

= 3 tbsp ground wheat bran is an alternative for 3 tbsp ground flaxseed

3. Oat Bran Substitute

Oat Bran is the outer layer of the oat groat, which sits just beneath the inedible hull. While oat groats and steel-cut oats naturally contain bran, oat bran is also sold separately as its product. 

Oat bran is linked to many health benefits, such as improved blood sugar control, healthy bowel function, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Oat bran tastes similar to rolled oats or steel-cut oats, but with an added nutty flavor. It has a crunchy texture when raw and becomes soft when cooked with water or milk.

It is a whole-grain food made from oat groats that have been ground into tiny pieces. It has a nutty flavor and a slightly chewy texture. Because it’s so high in fiber, it may help to lower cholesterol levels and control blood sugar (1).

Oat bran can be used as an ingredient in breads and other baked goods, but it’s also eaten on its own as a cereal or added to other foods.

= 3 tbsp ground oat bran is a substitute for 3 tbsp ground flaxseed

4. Rice Bran Substitute

Bran is the outer cuticle layer and germ directly beneath the hull that remains intact in brown rice but is removed when white rice is polished. Rice bran has a sweet, nutty flavor and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

According to WebMD, rice bran comes from the outer layer of rice (Oryza sativa). Rice bran oil is popular as a “healthy oil” in Japan, Asia, particularly India. 

Although rice bran is used for high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, athletic performance, and many other purposes, there is no scientific evidence to support many of these uses.

= 3 tbsp ground rice bran is a replacement for 3 tbsp ground flaxseed

5. Butter Substitute

Ground Flaxseed may be listed in a recipe as fat. Use butter, margarine, or oil when a recipe calls for this.

Try substituting unsalted butter for a nice flavor boost.

= 1 tbsp butter, margarine, or oil replaces 1 tbsp ground flaxseed

5 Best Flaxseed Meal Substitutes


What can I use to replace flaxseed meal in a recipe?

The following are suitable replacements for flaxseed meal in recipes:

– Ground wheat bran
– Ground rice bran
– Ground oat bran
– Butter, margarine, or oil as a fat

What does flaxseed do to your body?

Flaxseed has been used to improve digestive health or relieve constipation. It is used to help lower total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol levels associated with heart disease.

Is ground flaxseed better than whole?

Ground flaxseed is easier to digest. Whole flaxseed may pass through your intestine undigested, which means you won’t get all the benefits.

About Rachelle

Hi, I'm Rachel! I love cooking and finding new recipes but was always missing one of the ingredients in my kitchen. I created Can I Substitute? for people like me who are one substitute away from a great meal. If you're looking for great ingredient substitutes you've come to the right place. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.