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Got Flaxmilk? North Dakota farmers create a new dairy alternative

Health nuts like to sprinkle a little flax seed into granola, smoothies, and the like, to give their diet a boost of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, with the hopes of reducing cholesterol and helping their hearts, among other things. Historically, flax is usually eaten whole or pressed to create linseed oil (the stuff used for finishing wood), but now, one North Dakota-based farm family has turned it into a milk-like beverage.

John and Stephanie Stober, fifth-generation farmers based near Goodrich, founded Flax USA in 2001 to market the flax they grew to consumers in the form of seed, oil, and pet food. This spring, they launched what is thought to be the first commercial flaxmilk made from col-pressed flax seed oil.

Flax USA says that one eight-ounce serving of Flaxmilk contains just 50 calories, zero cholesterol and zero trans fat, while providing as much calcium as cow's milk. (It's also enriched with Vitamins A, D, and B12.) In contrast to its seed form, flaxmilk contains no fiber and 7 grams of sugars (from evaporated cane juice) and no protein. It's being sold in "original" and "vanilla" flavors at Wal-Mart stores in 1/2-gallon containers for $2.98.

But the big question is, how does it taste?

Flaxmilk USA sent the Hot Dish a sample of "original." It's a cloudy, pale beige beverage with a creaminess comparable to 1% milk. Its flavor is similar to soymilk, or, actually, closer to rice milk, with its thinner consistency and strong sweetness. Those who drink cow's milk will likely prefer its more neutral flavor for drinking by the glass, but flaxmilk's sweetness could be appealing poured over a bowl of cereal or blended into a smoothie.

Has anybody else tried flaxmilk and, if so, what did you think?

Here's a list of the Minnesota Wal-Marts carrying Flaxmilk: 1020 ALBERT LEA MN 1470 WILLMAR MN 1472 HASTINGS MN 1473 MANKATO MN 1577 BUFFALO MN 1609 GRAND RAPIDS MN 1627 DILWORTH MN 1632 ALEXANDRIA MN 1634 LITTLE FALLS MN 1654 BAXTER MN 1657 FARIBAULT MN 1738 HUTCHINSON MN 1861 OAK PARK HEIGHTS MN 1864 BROOKLYN PARK MN 1929 CLOQUET MN 1971 ROCHESTER MN 2274 FOREST LAKE MN 2352 CAMBRIDGE MN 2367 PINE CITY MN 2642 APPLE VALLEY MN 2812 ROCHESTER MN 2882 MAPLE GROVE MN 2937 HIBBING MN 2957 DETROIT LAKES MN 3209 ELK RIVER MN 3233 BEMIDJI MN 3513 SHAKOPEE MN 3534 RED WING MN 3624 MONTICELLO MN 3760 NEW ULM MN 3761 THIEF RIVER FALLS MN 3806 FAIRMONT MN 4244 PARK RAPIDS MN 4253 SAUK CENTRE MN 4257 AUSTIN MN 4374 LITCHFIELD MN 5397 WINONA MN 1722 MARSHALL MN 1858 MONTEVIDEO MN 2820 WORTHINGTON MN


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