The Hemp Connection + [women's health tips]

Food of the week: Piñalinaza

I know, I know. You may be asking,"What in the heck is that?!" At least that was my first thought.

I came across Piñalinaza product by chance, when in the midst of a bout of homesickness for the latin markets in my hometown of Miami, FL I decided to shop at a Food City in Chandler, AZ instead of my usual Fry's or Sprouts.

Sure there wasn't any salsa music playing, and the prepared foods and the marketing were more Mexican than Cuban, but it felt close enough to home. As I was grabbing a bag of onions and a few mangoes, I saw a little stand off to the side in the produce department. Always on the lookout for an"omega 3 boost," the packaging for the Piñalinaza caught my eye.

So what is it exactly? Simply put, it is flaxseed meal (ground flaxseed) with ground pineapple and prickly pear, as well as some other citrus fruits (orange and grapefruit). At plain sight it looks exactly like regular flaxseed meal. But it has a mild tropical scent to it. If you already use flaxseed meal, I imagine you could use it in the same way you use the regular stuff!

Flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber and omega-3 fats, and as you may have already read in this blog before, the best way to get the benefits of flaxseed is to grind the seeds instead of eating them whole.

How do I use it? Normally I might put a tablespoon or two of flaxseed meal into a smoothie/protein shake or sprinkle it into yogurt. When making a smoothie I tend to stick with a vanilla flavored based as it's the most versatile when adding other flavors to it. This didn't disappoint! I made a vanilla smoothie with unsweetened almond milk (Almond Breeze brand), vanilla flavored whey protein, 2 tablespoons of Piñalinaza and about 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut, the kind you might use in baking. A nice tropical deviation from my usual cinnamon-vanilla smoothie.

I also sprinkled it right into some plain Greek yogurt for a quick breakfast this weekend. One tablespoon and half a packet of Splenda (you can use whatever you like if you need the extra sweetness — Greek yogurt is a bit too tangy for me to eat it unsweetened!). I bet it would tasted even better if I'd had some fresh pineapple chunks to throw in there, maybe some other tropical fruits — papaya, or mango. Unsweetened dried fruit may work too. Hmmm… I may have to go back to Food City and pick up some other things!

By the way, the company (Ibitta) also makes a prickly pear version of the product called Nopalinaza, boasting 4 grams of omega-3 in one 15-gram serving.

If you run across one of these products and get to try it, come back and leave a comment. Tell us what you thought and what you did with it!