Omega Fields

  • Bread

    Banana Bread
    "One of my favorite childhood memories is the delicious smell of my mother's banana bread as it baked. I've made a few minor changes to my mom's original recipe, and I hope your family likes it as much as mine does”. – Jane Reinhardt Martin, RD,LD
    • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 2/3 cup white sugar
    • 2 tsps baking powder
    • ¼ cup canola oil
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium or 2 large)
    • ¼ cup skim milk
    • ½ tsp vanilla
    • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
    • ¾ cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 2 Eggs

    1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
    3. In food processor or bowl, mash bananas. Then add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, and mix in well together.
    4. Fold in chopped nuts and stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™).
    5. Coat 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.
    6. Pour the batter in loaf pan. Bake for about 50-55 minutes until dark brown, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for at least 10-15 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Baking Time: 50-55 minutes
    Yield: 16 slices

    This recipe is taken from The Amazing Flax Cookbook, by Jane Reinhardt-Martin, RD, LD.

    Blueberry Bread

    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup canola oil
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 3/4 cup soymilk
    • 1/2 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen/thawed blueberries

    1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir the lemon juice, oil, sugar, vanilla, and soymilk with a whisk. Add the stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™). Sift in the flour, baking powder and soda. Stir well and add the blueberries. Mix gently with only a few strokes. Pour the batter into a lightly oiled loaf pan.
    3. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. (Longer if the blueberries are not fresh.)

    Let cool before slicing.

    From Flax: The Super Food

    Flax Prairie Bread (bread machine)What's that good smell!!!
    • 1 1/4 cup water
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 tbsp honey
    • 1/3 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 2 tbsp canola oil
    • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds (optional)
    • 2 cups bread flour
    • 1 tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 2 tsp fast rising yeast

    1. Measure ingredients and place in bread machine pan in order recommended by manufacturer.
    2. Select Whole Wheat Rapid cycle.
    3. When done, remove baked bread from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

    Recipe used with permission from the Flax Council of Canada

  • Muffins

    Banana Berry Muffins

    • 1 ½ cups oat bran
    • 1 egg
    • ½ cup wheat germ
    • ½ cup quick cooking oats
    • 2 large ripe bananas – mashed
    • 4 tablespoons stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 1 ¼ cups rice milk
    • ¼ to ½ cup sugar
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    • ¾ cup ripe whole berries

    1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
    2. Lightly coat muffin tins with cooking spray. Combine the oat bran, wheat germ, quick oats, stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™), sugar, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice in a large mixing bowl.
    3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, add the bananas and rice milk.
    4. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients, stirring just until moist.
    5. Place half of the muffin batter in the bottom of each tin. Add equal amounts of berries to each tin, then cover with remaining muffin batter.
    6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Adapted from “Kitchen in the clouds” by Karen Alexander, M.A.

    Carrot Flax Muffins

    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 3/4 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 3/4 cup oat bran
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1-1/2 cups shredded carrots
    • 1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup skim milk
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. In large bowl, mix flours, stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™ ), oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
    3. Stir in carrots, pineapple and raisins.
    4. Combine eggs, milk, lemon juice, applesauce and vanilla in separate bowl.
    5. Add liquids to dry ingredients, stir until moist (batter will be lumpy).
    6. Coat muffin tin with non-stick spray. Pour batter in tins.
    7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Baking time: 15-20 minutes
    Yield: 18 muffins

    This recipe is taken from The Amazing Flax Cookbook, by Jane Reinhardt-Martin, RD, LD.

    Flaxseed Muffins

    • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 cup quick oats
    • 1/2 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 2 eggs
    • 4 tbsp honey
    • 2/3 cup raisins

    1. Mix all dry ingredients (except the raisins) in a large bowl.
    2. Combine liquid ingredients in a separate bowl. Stir liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients all at once. Add raisins. Stir until thoroughly moistened but lumpy.
    3. Fill muffin tins, lined with paper or foil cups, to about 2/3 full.
    4. Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with jam.

    Muffins or Quick Bread

    • 7 ½ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 3 cups stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 4 cups lemon juice and add buttermilk to make 4 cups liquid
    • 1 dash vanilla extract
    • 1 ½ tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp cinnamon
    • 4 eggs
    • 12 tbsp granulated sugar
    • 2 cups applesauce
    • 3 cups raisins

    1. Use medium size, Teflon pans, sprayed lightly with non-stick spray; don't use paper liners, dough sticks.
    2. Beat eggs and sugar before adding lemon juice and buttermilk to liquid ingredients; avoid over mixing.
    3. Stir or mix dry ingredients into liquid ingredients just enough to dampen dry ingredients, leaving batter slightly rough and lumpy.
    4. Mix additives like dry fruit into liquids, just before adding dry ingredients.

    For Muffins (Yields 48 Muffins – Serving Size 1 Muffin):

    Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full.  Bake at 400F for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Place pan on cooling rack for a couple of minutes.  Remove muffins from pan and place directly on cooling rack when the muffins are cool enough to touch with your fingers.  Serve with jam and or nut butter.

    To Store: cool muffins completely and then place into a gallon ziplock bag or airtight container.  Good for 3-4 days at room temperature or 1-3 months frozen.  To Thaw, leave at room temperature, microwave for 30 seconds, or toast in a toaster oven.

    For Quick Breads (Yields approximately 6 regular 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pans -- Serving Size 1 Large Slice):

    Pour the batter equally in the loaf pans.  Bake at 350F for about 50-55 minutes until dark brown, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pans on a rack for at least 10-15 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.

    Orange Bran Flax Muffins

    • 1 ½ cup oat bran
    • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 1 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 1 cup Natural Bran
    • 1 tbsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 2 whole oranges (washed, quartered, seeded)
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • ½ cup canola oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 ½ cups raisins
    • 1 tsp baking soda

    1. In a large bowl, combine oat bran, flour, stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™), Natural Bran, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
    2. In a blender or food processor, combine oranges, brown sugar, buttermilk, oil, eggs and baking soda. Blend well.
    3. Pour orange mixture into dry ingredients. Mix until well blended.
    4. Stir in raisins.
    5. Fill paper lined muffin tins almost to the top.
    6. Bake in 375º F oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.
    7. Cool in tins 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

    Yield: 18 muffins.
    Serving Size: 1 muffin

    Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Flax

    • 1 18 oz. spice cake mix (Note: do NOT use eggs, water, or oil as suggested by box mix)
    • 1 15 oz can pumpkin pie mix
    • ¼ cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • ½ cup raisins

     1. Combine cake mix, pumpkin, stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™) and raisins in a bowl and mix well.

    2. Spoon batter into greased muffin cups (use regular or mini muffin tins). Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full.

    3. Bake at 350ºF for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    4. Remove from oven and let cool.  Serve with cream cheese frosting for an extra yummy treat.

    5. Seal in an air tight container and store for up to a week or you can freeze these and reheat them for later too.

    Baking time: 20 - 25 minutes
    Yield: 24 muffins or about 48 mini muffins

  • Bars

    Granola Snack Bars“Good and chewy!” Justin says.
    • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
    • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
    • 1 cup rolled oats
    • 1 cup crushed graham crackers
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
    • 1/4 cup coconut
    • 1/2 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)

    1. Melt butter in the microwave (or in a large saucepan, over low heat).
    2. Add marshmallows, microwave on high for 1 minute, stir and microwave again until marshmallows are melted. (Or stir over low heat in saucepan until melted and the mixture is smooth.)
    3. Stir in oats, graham crumbs, 1/2 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™), raisins, sunflower seeds, and coconut until thoroughly coated.
    4. Press into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan with greased fingers.
    5. Let cool. Cut into 6 rows lengthwise and 4 crosswise.

    Recipe used with permission from the Flax Council of Canada

    Granola Snack BarsYields: 48 Bars
    Serving Size: 1 Bar
    • 4 oz. Butter
    • 1 lb. Miniature Marshmallows
    • 6 oz. Rolled Oats
    • 8 oz. Crushed Graham Crackers
    • 5.5 oz. stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 5.5 oz. Raisins, chopped
    • 2 oz. Raw Sunflower Seeds, shelled
    • 2 oz. Unsweetened Fine Coconut

    1. In a large saucepan, over low heat, melt butter.
    2. Add marshmallows, cook, stirring constantly until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
    3. Stir in oats, graham crumbs, stabilized ground flaxseed.
    4. (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™), raisins, sunflower seeds, and coconut until thoroughly coated.
    5. Press into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan with greased fingers. (For a thicker bar, press into a 9 x 9 inch pan.)
    6. Let cool. Cut into 6 rows lengthwise and 4 crosswise.

    Scotchy Flax Bars

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup white syrup
    • ½ cup Stabilized Ground Flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 1 cup peanut butter
    • 2 tsp. vanilla
    • ½ cup melted chocolate chips and 1 cup butterscotch chips (optional)

    Sugar and white syrup bring to a boil and add peanut butter and vanilla.

    Stir in 5 cups of crisped rice cereal and 1⁄2 cup of stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™). Press into pan to cool. You can add a frosting mixture of melted chocolate chips (1/2 cup) and butterscotch chips (1 cup) if you desire.

  • Cookies

    Banana Balls

    • 1/4 cup apple, minced
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice plus 1 teaspoon
    • 1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed
    • 2 tablespoons almond butter or other natural nut butter
    • 1/2 to 3/4 cup crushed corn flakes
    • 1/2 cup oats, finely ground
    • 1/2 cup dates, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 2 tablespoons stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 2 tablespoons carob powder and/or unsweetened shredded coconut, optional

    1. In a bowl, toss apple with 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and in another bowl, combine banana with the other 1 teaspoon lemon juice and mix well.
    2. In a food processor or blender, combine dates, banana, and almond butter and puree until mixture starts to liquefy.
    3. In a mixing bowl, combine puree with remaining ingredients (except the optional carob powder/shredded coconut), mixing well.
    4. Take spoonfuls of mixture and form into golf-sized balls, rolling them gently between your palms. Roll each ball in carob powder or shredded coconut. Refrigerate them until chilled, or enjoy right away

    Makes 10-12 banana balls.

    The original recipe, from the Everyday Vegan by Dreena Burton.

    Chocolate Chip CookiesJarrod says, “They’re great! Even the parts between the chocolate chips!”
    • 1 cup butter
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 eggs beaten
    • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 cup chocolate chips
    • 1/4 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)

    1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars.
    3. Add vanilla and beaten eggs.
    4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, chocolate chips and stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™). Add to creamed mixture.
    5. Drop by teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between cookies.
    6. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until golden.
    7. Remove from sheet and cool.

    Yield: 48 cookies

    Used with permission from Flax Family Favorites, from the Flax Council of Canada.

    Crispy Shortbread CookiesThese cookies are dangerously delicious!
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 cup butter
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp cream of tartar
    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans(chopped or ground)
    • 1 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 1 cup quick oats
    • 1 cup rice krispies

    Preheat oven to 350º F. Beat together the white sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, and applesauce in a large bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar. Set this bowl aside also. Combine all the set aside mixtures with the nuts and stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™), then add in the quick oats and rice krispies. Drop by rounded heaping teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350ºF for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 50 cookies. Each cookie contains 1/3 tablespoon flaxseed.

    Recipe used with permission from Flax Your Way to Better Health by Jane Reinhardt-Martin RD,LD

    Farmland Flax CookiesCaleb says, “Can I have another one, these are awesome!”
    • 1 1/3 cups butter
    • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
    • 2 1/3 cups stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 1 tbsp baking soda
    • 3 cups oatmeal
    • 1/2 tsp salt

    1. In a bowl, cream butter and sugars; add stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™).
    2. In another bowl beat eggs and vanilla together, combine with flaxseed mixture.
    3. Sift together the flour and soda. Mix in oatmeal and combine with other ingredients.
    4. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    5. Form into balls, slightly flatten and place on cookie sheet.
    6. Bake 13-15 minutes.
    7. Remove from sheet and cool.

    Recipe used with permission from the Flax Council of Canada

    Flax Butterscotch Cookies

    • 1 cup canola
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 2 ½ cups oatmeal (put in blender until it becomes powdery)
    • ¼ cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 2 cups butterscotch chips
    • 2 squares chocolate, grated
    • 1 ½ cups almonds, chopped

    Cream canola and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Mix together flour, oatmeal, stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™), salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir into creamed mixture. Add butterscotch chips, grated chocolate and almonds. Mix until blended.

    Form into 1 inch balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake at 350º F for 10 minutes.

    Flax Hermit Cookies

    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup cold strong coffee
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup raisins
    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
    • 3/4 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

    Beat together butter, sugars, coffee and egg. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix until combined. Form into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake at 375ºF until no indentation remains when touched, about 8 - 10 minutes.

    Flax Oatmeal Cookies with Carob Chips

    • 1 cup canola
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 1 cup oatmeal
    • ½ cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 2 cups carob chips
    • 1 ½ cups almonds, chopped

    1. Cream canola and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
    2. Mix together flour, oatmeal, stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™), salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir into creamed mixture. Add carob chips and almonds. Mix until blended.
    3. Form into 1 inch balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes.

    Yield: 72 cookies

    Flax Thimble Cookies

    • ½ cup butter
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 1 large egg, separated
    • ¼ tsp vanilla
    • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 2 tbsp stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 1 egg white, whisked till frothy
    • 1/3 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • ¼ cup jam or jelly

    1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add beaten egg yolk and vanilla.
    2. Stir flour into creamed mixture. Roll into small balls, dip in egg white and then roll in stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™).
    3. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and dent the center. Bake at 350ºF for 5 minutes. Dent cookies again and continue to bake for 8-10 minutes. When baked, fill centers with jam or jelly.

    Yield: 24 cookies

    Peanut Butter and Flax Oatmeal CookiesCookies that are good for you, and taste good too!
    (And if you don’t want to take the time to bake them, just eat the dough! Yum!)
    • 3⁄4 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)`
    • 3⁄4 cup maple syrup
    • 3⁄4 cup sugar
    • 1⁄2 cup plus 1 tablespoon stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 1⁄4 cup plus 3 tablespoon soy milk
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 3 cups quick or old-fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
    • 1-3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup raisins

    Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, syrup and sugar until creamy. Add stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™), soymilk, and vanilla; mix well. In a separate bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, and baking soda, salt, and mix well. Add to the peanut butter mixture, and mix well. Stir in raisins. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely.

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

    • 1/3 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™) plus 1 tablespoon
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/3 cup oats
    • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 cup natural peanut butter
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup corn or maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 5 ounces vegan chocolate, coarsely chopped, or vegan baking chips

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon flax and 1/4 cup water. Let sit while preparing remaining ingredients.
    In a medium-sized bowl, mix flour, oats, 1/3 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™), baking soda and salt.

    In a large bowl, beat butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, syrup, flax mixture and vanilla with an electric mixer until well-blended and fluffy. Stir dry ingredients into peanut butter mixture in two additions. Stir in chocolate. Cover and refrigerate, if necessary, until dough is no longer sticky. (30 minutes)

    Grease two baking sheets. Roll a heaping tablespoonful of dough into a 1 1/2 inch ball and place on baking sheet. Flatten cookies slightly with a fork. Bake until puffed but still soft, about 8 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool.

    Adapted from a recipe on Herbivore, the vegan cooking email list.

  • Desserts

    Apple Crisp

    • 6 cups sliced apples
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp white sugar
    • 1 tbsp cornstarch
    • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/3 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1/3 cup Quick Cooking Oats

    1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
    2. Combine apples and lemon juice in a baking dish, coated with nonstick spray, and toss gently to coat.
    3. Combine sugar, cornstarch and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir with a whisk to blend.
    4. Add cornstarch mixture to apple mixture and toss well to coat.
    5. Combine stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™), remaining cinnamon, brown sugar, and oats in a separate bowl. Sprinkle evenly over apple mixture.
    6. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until apples are tender and topping golden brown.

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Baking time: 40 minutes
    Yield: Serves 8

    Cheese Cake Cups“These are so good – and with the Mega Omega® crust – they’re good for you!”
    - Christine Mischo, Sheboygan, WI
    • 2 8-ounce packages of Neufchatel Cheese or Cream Cheese
    • 2 eggs
    • 3/4 cups sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 20 tbsp stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™) - Used to cover the bottom of the baking cup.
    • Cherry pie filling (optional)

    Preheat oven to 375ºF.
    Cream cheese, beat in eggs, add sugar and vanilla, beat until smooth.
    Cover the bottom of the baking cup with 1/2 to 1 tbsp. stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™) in 15-20 paper cupcake baking cups and put in muffin tins.
    Fill muffin cup 3/4 full with cheese mixture.
    Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly brown.
    Cool and put cherry pie filling on top (optional).

    Recipe cheerfully submitted by Christine Mischo, Sheboygan, WI – one of our loyal Mega Omega® customers!

    Cinnamon Flax Scones

    • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    • ¼ cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
    • 1/3 cup butter
    • ¾ cup buttermilk
    • ½ cup raisins (optional)
    • 1 egg

    1. Thoroughly mix flour, stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™), sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
    2. Cut canola oil into dry ingredients until a pea-sized, mealy texture is formed. Add buttermilk. Do not over mix.
    3. Place dough on floured breadboard with raisins. Knead 5 to 7 times to incorporate the raisins. Roll until dough is ½ inch thick. Cut into triangles 2 inches wide by 4 inches long.
    4. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with an egg white glaze (1 egg white mixed with 1 tbsp water) prior to baking.
    5. Bake at 375ºF for approximately 25 minutes.

    Yield: 12 scones

    Cranberry-Apple Crisp

    • 4 cups peeled, thinly sliced baking apple
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
    • 3 tablespoons apple cider
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 1/2 cup all–purpose unbleached flour
    • 1/4 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
    • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
    • 1/8 teaspoons salt
    • 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 3 tablespoons canola oil

    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
    2. Combine the apples, cranberries, cider, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the flour in a bowl. Mix well. Place the apple mixture in a large oval gratin dish or an 11 x 7 inch baking dish.
    3. Combine the 1/2 cup of flour and the stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™). Add walnuts, wheat germ, salt, and cinnamon; mix well. Stir in the oil until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (Rub the topping gently with your hands to make uniform crumbs.) Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the fruit, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until it is crisp and bubbly. Serve warm.

    Try other combinations of fresh fruit, such as peaches and blackberries, with this same topping. To keep the topping crisp, reheat leftovers in the oven rather than in the microwave.

    Double Chocolate Brownies

    • 3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup soft tofu
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 1 cup chocolate chips, divided
    • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly oil an 8” x 8” baking pan.
    2. In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Stir in sugar and salt, and mix well.
    3. In a food processor or with a hand blender, combine tofu, water, vanilla, and stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™), and puree until very smooth.
    4. Melt half the chocolate chips and add to tofu mixture. Puree until completely smooth. Stir this mixture into dry mixture. Fold in remaining chocolate chips. Add canola oil just as it comes together, mixing until just well combined. (Add more oil if necessary.)
    5. Pour batter into oiled baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

    Two-Hour Buns

    • 2 tbsp fast rising instant yeast
    • 8 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 3/4 cups stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • ½ cups granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 3 cups lukewarm water

    1. In a bowl, mix yeast, 4 cups flour and ¾ cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™).
    2. In a large bowl, beat sugar, eggs and salt. Add water and stir.
    3. Add flour mixture to the liquid and beat until well blended.
    4. Add remaining flour and knead.
    5. Let rise 15 minutes.
    6. Punch down and let rise again 15 minutes.
    7. Punch down and form into buns.
    8. Place on greased baking sheet allowing 2 inches between buns.
    9. Let rise one hour.
    10. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake 20 minutes. Remove and cool on a rack.

    Yummy Flaxseed Bonbons

    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup tahini
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa
    • 1/2 cup stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 3/4 cup dried cherries or blueberries
    • 1 cup puffed rice cereal
    • 1/4 cup flaked coconut

    1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine syrup and tahini and bring just to a bubble. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa. Mix in stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™), cherries or blueberries, and cereal.
    2. Place coconut on a plate. Form mixture into balls using approximately one tablespoon for each ball. Roll balls in the coconut until coated. Serve in individual bonbon paper cups if desired.

    Variation: Use peanut butter or other nut butter in place of tahini.

  • Beverages

    Fruity Flax Seed Morning Shake

    • 8 oz soymilk
    • Strawberries-frozen
    • Raspberries-frozen
    • Blueberries-frozen
    • Banana
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 2 tbsp freshly stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)
    • 1 tbsp Wheat Germ

    Mix together in blender or hand mixer. If using fresh fruit rather than frozen, you may want to add a few ice cubes to chill the shake.

    The Wide World of SmoothiesBasic smoothie:

    (Makes 2 servings)
    • 1 banana
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 cup frozen strawberries (5 or 6 medium sized)
    • 1 tablespoon sweetener, such as maple syrup or sugar
    • 1 cup soy milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon stabilized ground flaxseed (Mega Omega® or Simply Omega-3™)

    Mix all the ingredients in blender and blend until thoroughly combined.

    Other Variations:

    • Add soy protein powder and increase the liquid ingredients.
    • Substitute soy ice cream forthe soy milk, for an extra thick, extra rich smoothie.
    • Add chocolate syrup.
    • Add peanut butter or other nut butters.
    • Add 1/2 cup soy yogurt.
    • Substitute frozen blueberries and peaches for the banana and strawberries.
    • Add strawberry jam if fresh or frozen strawberries are not available.
    • Substitute vanilla-flavored soy milk and delete vanilla extract.
    • Substitute other types of non-dairy milk—almond milk, rice milk, or oat milk.
    • Substitute mango cubes, fresh or frozen, for the strawberries.
    • Add wheat germ

    If using fresh fruit rather than frozen, you may want to add a few ice cubes to chill the smoothies.

    For a thicker smoothie, add more bananas. For a thinner smoothie, add fewer bananas.

  • What? Is It Time For My Horses's Shots Again, Already?

    Written By Walt Friedrich

    Well, maybe, but let me pose a few questions first:

    Other than for Tetanus, when was the last time you had a vaccination?

    Do you consider your immune system to be reasonably strong?

    When you’re in the midst of a crowd, do you ever feel unsafe because there may be people nearby who have a contagious disease?

    Now, ask yourself the same questions with respect to your horse.

    Interesting, isn’t it? If you’re like most folks, you haven’t been vaccinated since you were a child (except maybe for Tetanus, if you cut yourself in the barn recently). And yet, you’re not worried about being near sick people in a crowd. If you give it some thought, would you come to the conclusion that you’re still protected from those illnesses because of all those childhood injections you endured, and your immune system is strong? It’s a logical explanation – we know contagious diseases can spread easily (evidenced, for example, by shocking conditions in some third-world countries), yet you – and most everyone you know – are spared. Well, feel good about it. You should. In large part, it’s because of those childhood injections – even though they took place many years ago!

    S0 now consider the contrast between your situation and your horse’s: if you’re like most horsepeople, your horse is younger than you are – and yet your horse may have received “shots” regularly, perhaps every year, while you received them only ONCE, long ago. His kind has been around at least as long as ours, and, like us, he’s survived pretty well – and, also like you and me, without benefit of all those injections during most of those millennia, thanks to our good, strong immune systems! See the dichotomy?

    The typical domestic horse is the subject of repeat inoculations every year or two, and always against the same threats! How strange. As history has amply demonstrated, his immune system is quite adequate, and for all but the current miniscule percentage of his species’ total history he received no injected protection, but now he’s apparently considered to have such a weak immune system that it needs frequent reinforcement inoculation.

    The pharmaceutical companies that formulate the injectibles tell you, virtually in unison, that it is simply not safe to take your horse to a horse show and risk exposing him to other horses, or that there is imminent danger that a bug may bite your horse and infect him with some horrible virus, and therefore your horse should be vaccinated again...never mind that he was just boostered last year. Yet you, without a booster, are at the same horse show, even though you are just as much at risk as is your horse. Why are you not pressured to receive the same injectable precaution?

    Which leads to the obvious question: could it be that yearly vaccinations for our horses are unnecessary? Over the years your horse has very likely been vaccinated for the same diseases repeatedly, and to some of them he has developed immunity. Yet powerful stuff is pumped into his system with every booster shot -- could the practice of over-vaccinating our horses actually be causing him harm?

    No-one is claiming that horses should never be vaccinated, but rather that over-vaccination is a problem. Make note, however, that some changes have actually been made in some parts of the world: there is often a longer time interval between tetanus vaccinations than there is with most vaccines, for example. Perhaps we should be traveling farther down this path.

    Let us pause for a moment and consider that much that you have just read might be called the contrarian viewpoint. It’s logical, we need to give it that, but it’s also pretty strong. But now let’s have a look at the other side of the story.

    A newborn foal is very well-armed as he enters life, provided he receives his mother’s colostrum as he suckles. His natural protection is quite limited, but the colostrum contains his mother’s full repertoire of antibodies. A great way to start life, better even than your and my childhood vaccinations.

    When he’s six months old, or thereabouts, his inherited immunity has declined somewhat, but he has also begun to develop his own immune system inventory of protection, adding to what’s still there from his mother. He should now bolster his colostrum-provided protection  by getting his first array of shots -- the equine version of our childhood inoculations.

    So far so good, he’s ready to face the world. But it’s the adult world, now, and he faces adult horse situations. Since the purpose of vaccinating is to stimulate the immune system to create protective antibodies, his new arsenal will protect him from future attacks. But some of these menacing microbes are great at evasion – they mutate, with the result that the stock of antibodies in the bloodstream and cell walls may not work on an attack by a mutation, and he can suddenly be in trouble. Further, the lifetimes of different antibodies are not all equal, some quite short, in fact. Consider the common cold in you and me – one cold is never enough, it seems, because we continue to “catch” them throughout our own lives. Either the antibodies we’ve built up are short-lived, or maybe what we “catch” is a mutation that’s changed enough that our antibodies may not recognize it. The same considerations apply to our horse. Pharmaceutical companies that develop the injectibles need to be constantly alert for new strains, and must develop new vaccines to counter them. It is a long-term, continuous effort, a sort-of early-warning system, to track tomorrow’s potential invaders.

    Of course the vaccine manufacturers are in business for profit, and if their products do not do the job, then veterinarians will not use them and horse owners will not buy them.  If a vaccine does not do its job well, it will not last long on the market.  On the other hand, manufacturers must act conservatively and make realistic evaluations of their products. They would be out on a legal limb if they claim more than a product can deliver.  Thus, it seems safe to assume that the effects of a vaccine will last longer than the suggested time between booster shots. Updates are needed by the immune system so that its protective inventory is always up-to-date and prepared; it gets updated every time the horse is in contact with an infecting agent as well as every time he gets booster shots. A pretty good protection scheme, that – but the manufacturer must make sure his updated vaccine is available and delivered before it’s obsoleted by further mutation. Immunology is a pretty complicated science, wouldn’t you say?

    So we can see why manufacturers “push” repeated shots – often, today’s formula is updated from that of an earlier version, and while he certainly is in business for profit, the manufacturer is also in business to keep our horses healthy – and so are our veterinarians. It’s obvious that veterinarians in general are very honest in not providing any products to horse owners that do not bring good value for their cost. Most believe in an item completely or they will not provide it to a client or patient. Certainly, there are exceptions to that observation, but in general, our veterinarians take pains to provide an extra level of service to us and to our horses, and in so doing, many will join the manufacturers in “pushing” regular boosters.  

    Well, there you have it. A dichotomy. On one hand it seems to appear that we’re over-vaccinating, at significant cost to ourselves and possible harm to our beloved horses. But on the other hand, pharmaceutical manufacturers and veterinarians need to be sure that they are providing more than just adequate care, and doing so in a timely fashion.

    It is a dilemma. We can second-guess them all day long, but who among us would risk arbitrarily tweaking the rules of the game, so to speak, when the stakes are so high? The take-home is that it is probably wise to provide booster shots to our healthy horses in order to keep them that way, but do the difficult research to determine how often your horse gets vaccinated and against what dangers. They should not be a cookie-cutter answers, like “annually” and “for everything”, but rather customized for your own horse’s circumstances. Remember, we are the ultimate decision-makers. If we think that giving yearly shots is too often, it’s easy to schedule them only every two years – or every three – or however frequently we deem is enough. Considering all the unknowns, one action seems to make good sense – discuss your specific situation in detail with your vet. There is a large fund of knowledge in every vet – we should all partake of it, and our horses are the beneficiaries.

  • Still Saying Goodbye

    Written by Jenny Pavlovic

    We lost our beloved dog Bandit to multiple myeloma in March. I had a beautiful pendant made with some of his ashes inside, and I wear it on a chain around my neck, or on a bracelet. I mentioned before that I had a hard time deciding where to release Bandit's ashes, so I’ve been releasing smidgens of them in many of the places we had good times together. I had released some of his ashes up on our hill where we walk and play every day, and earlier in July I released some under the orange 'Moose that Wouldn't Move' ( and in my parents' yard in Wisconsin where we used to play ball when we visited.

    One Saturday morning in July I took some ashes along on errands. I released some at the Washington County Fairgrounds where Bandit and I spent many hours doing tracking training. Last summer Bandit and I often went there on Saturday mornings while Chase was resting at home (in Cay's company) from a week of radiation therapy. I'm very grateful that Bandit and I had this time alone together, even while Chase required special care for his cancer treatments. As I released Bandit's ashes there, a red-tailed hawk circled and called out. When I looked up I saw a rainbow sun dog, a colorful ring around the sun. I thought about the time Bandit and I had spent there together, not just tracking, but sitting on the tailgate under a large tree waiting for the tracks to age, enjoying the morning. And I realized that I still have many tears left, some that I let go of that morning.

    It's funny how life often turns out differently than you plan and expect. I thought all that time Bandit and I spent tracking would lead us to tracking and versatility titles, but really that time together was the gift in itself. The dedication and determination to spend that time together, driven by goals that we ran out of time to complete, gave us the gift of that time. The real purpose of it all was a surprise because I never thought I’d lose Bandit so soon. I’m left with these memories of precious time alone with Bandit, time we might not have had if I’d only been able to focus on taking care of Chase.

    Later that Saturday morning in July, Chase and Cay and I went for a walk by the St. Croix River in our home town of Afton, Minnesota. I released more of Bandit’s ashes to the wind in this one more place where Bandit and I had shared good times. We had taken one of our last walks away from home there, when the river was iced over, long after Bandit had revealed that he could no longer track.

    Then on the way home Chase and Cay and I stopped at Afton State Park in the St. Croix River Valley, up on the hill behind our house, where Bandit and I did much of our tracking training. There I released more ashes to the wind. While I was turning the truck around to head home, a spotted fawn cantered out from behind a tree. I was emotionally drained and hungry and wanted to go home, but I paused to watch and enjoy the moment. The fawn's twin leapt out from behind the other side of the tree. They cavorted together for a moment right in front of the truck, then galloped off into the woods. What an amazing gift, something I might have missed before.

    Bandit never fit into a box any better than I do. He led me to all of these places, taught me so many things on our remarkable journey together. Yes, I feel very sad missing Bandit. But I also feel thankful for the time we had together, because I know the deep well of sadness is directly related to how remarkable our bond and our love for each other were.

    On a Sunday in July, we visited Bandit's mama Sparkee at his birthplace near Lake City, Minnesota. Bandit's formal name was 'Hillhaven Bolt out of the Blue', and Sparkee is the blue! Spark, still beautiful at age 15, has lost much of the function in her back end and may not be with us much longer. I gave her my love and thanked her for giving us such a special boy. I scattered some of Bandit's ashes in a wildflower prairie on this farm where he was born, while Chase and Cay enjoyed running in the field.

    How do I even know all the ways Bandit changed my life? How do I let go of a dog who so profoundly taught me things I needed to know? One thing I hope I never forget is that we only have this present moment and we'd best enjoy it. Yes, the lawn mower won't start, the light switch isn't working right, and things seem to go wrong all of the time. But we can still play ball and enjoy this beautiful day and not wait for everything to be perfect in order to be happy. Things are seldom going to be perfect, but if we enjoy this present moment, they might just feel perfect right now. Bandit would whack me on the leg with the rubber chicken, or poke me with the jolly ball, to remind me of this. He was always much wiser than I.

    While in hindsight Bandit showed signs of being ill as early as February or March of 2013, his tests came back normal and he held it together until September. Sometimes I wonder how he ran tracks at all last summer, and I hope I didn't work him too hard. I don't think it's a coincidence that he didn’t quit tracking until the September morning after Chase successfully completed his daily radiation therapy treatments. I think that Bandit held it together until he knew that Chase would survive colon cancer. Bandit knew that I couldn’t bear to lose both of them at the same time. He was that wise and intrepid, and I'm sure he took care of us in many ways that I'm not even aware of.

    I'm still saying goodbye, while yet noticing the many ways Bandit stays with us as we make our way without his physical presence. I haven't been able to track with the other dogs yet this year, even though I know they would enjoy it and benefit from it. Visiting the fields to release Bandit's ashes is a step toward being able to function that way again. Maybe now I can think of it as going to the tracking fields to visit him and create new memories with Chase and Cay. We'll see, as somehow we carry on.

    The garden I built in Bandit’s memory is growing and blooming like crazy, a reminder that life goes on. Somehow we do too.

    At the end of June a friend emailed me about a senior red Australian Cattle Dog in jeopardy in Illinois. An unclaimed stray, he was running out of time and urgently needed rescue. Oh, what a tug at my heartstrings. This old guy, called ‘Pops’, reminded me so much of Bandit. His spirit seemed to bust right out of the photo. He was described as being very friendly. He gets along with other dogs and sounds like a very sweet old guy.

    The folks at Homeward Bound Waggin’, Inc. in Quincy, Illinois ( and were looking out for Pops and could pull him, get vet care, and transport him to Minnesota. I checked around for a rescue group to take him in. The Top Dog Foundation in Minnesota (, known to be a friend to older dogs, agreed to take him into one of their foster homes.

    Once Pops arrived in Minnesota, he was found to have a broken or dislocated jaw. On July 23rd, he had surgery to repair his jaw and remove three painful teeth. Pops is reportedly doing well. You can follow his progress on Facebook at If you’re interested in meeting and possibly adopting Pops, please contact the Top Dog Foundation. If you would like to donate toward his veterinary care, please go to Homeward Bound Waggin’ would appreciate your support too. If not for them, Pops probably wouldn’t still be here! Thank you!

  • Heat Stress in Horses

    Written By Dr. Kris Hiney

    How to cope so that summer is great for both of you!

    As we approach the hottest part of the summer, it is important to review some basic strategies that will help us avoid heat stress in horses.  Often it is the summer months where we get the most enjoyment from spending time with our horses, but it is our job to make sure that we don’t overdo it with them.

    So what conditions might make our horses over heat? Obviously high environment temperatures are the key, but also prolonged or intense exercise, or inadequate hydration may all contribute to heat stress.  Horses, just like us, dissipate the majority of their excess body heat through sweating.  Horses have a tremendous ability to sweat, and can sweat as much as 10-12 liters per hour.  Depending on the environmental temperature and the work load, it is possible for horses to become dehydrated in as little as 2-3 hours.  Horses that have inadequate access to water will not be able to sustain the same sweating rate as a horse with proper hydration.  For tips on water intake in horses please see Optimization of Your Horse’s Water Intake.  Horses also physiologically don’t help themselves out when it comes to hydration.  When we sweat, our sweat is hypotonic, or has less electrolytes in it, than does our blood.  Horses on the other hand, have either isotonic (the same) or hypertonic (more electrolytes) than does their blood. This allows horses to sustain sweating rates longer than we can.  So what does that matter? It is  the increase in tonicity of the blood through fluid loss that drives thirst.  As horse’s blood does not increase in electrolyte concentration with sweat loss, they may not have the natural stimulus for thirst.  Therefore a dehydrated horse may not actually drink when offered water. 

    So when is it important to back off from activity with your horse?  Always think about both the temperature and the humidity.  Adding these two values together provides the heat index.  Horses will cool themselves normally, providing a normal hydration state and avoiding fatigue, if the heat index is below 130.  Conditions above a heat index of 150, such as 90 degrees Fahrenheit with 60% humidity, require more assistance in cooling.  With a heat index above 170, you might want to consider doing something else instead!  These conditions could be dangerous for both your horse and you!  Maybe consider watching a training video instead and give your horse a break.  If you have to ride, consider setting your alarm clock for the early morning hours or late in the evening.  More importantly, if you have to haul a long distance, it may be better to drive at night.  Trailers may often have inadequate ventilation to keep your horse cool.  In addition, the muscular work of balancing puts an additional heat load on the horse.  If you are considering a night trip, make sure that you are capable of driving at night or consider a good audio book to keep you awake.  It is important that everyone arrives at their destination safely.

    Now, let’s say that we are going to ride and there is a heat index of 145.  What can you do to provide assistance to the horse for cooling?  Obviously we need to carefully monitor our horse throughout activity.  But we can help actively cool our horse through the  four ways animals to exchange heat: through the process of radiation, conduction, convection and evaporation.  Sweating obviously employs evaporation as a major way for the horse to dissipate heat.  Clearly a well hydrated horse is necessary to maintain stable sweating rates to dissipate thermal load.  But the environment plays a great role in how effective evaporative cooling may be.  High humidity levels will limit evaporation, which is why paying attention to the heat index is so key.  Water applied to the horse can greatly aid in cooling as it evaporates off the horse’s body.  Applying cool (not cold) water to areas which have large blood vessels near the surface of the body is the most effective.  Blood will cool as it passes through these areas and then return to the trunk of the body to help dissipate the heat load.   These areas include the legs of the horse and the neck of the horse.  The major blood vessels in the horse’s leg lie to the inside, so pay more attention to applying water to these areas. Continual application of cool water will prevent the warming of the water on the surface of the horses’ skin.  Otherwise, use a scraper to remove the warmed water and increase the rate of evaporative cooling.

    Convection is another major way that an animal loses heat.  Convection simply is the heat that is lost due to air movement.  If you think about wind chill factors in the winter you can easily see how effective wind is in cooling!  Supplying fans or keeping the horse in an area with wind flow is ideal.  Misters with fans are often used in dairies in aiding with cow comfort, combining these effective cooling techniques.  If humidity is not high, these are fantastic methods to keep horses cool.  Fans with higher velocities will also provide more effective cooling.  If you live in a hot climate and have access to electricity, putting a fan near the arena will aid in cooling during rest periods.  Always make sure that your horse’s rate and respiration rate have dropped before returning to work.

    We often think of radiation as a way to add heat to a system, but radiation simply means heat transfer through space.  The sun adding heat to the horse is an example of radiant heating.  We can avoid additional heat load by keeping the horse in the shade or riding in shaded areas.  The horse can also transfer its heat through space to any object that is cooler that it is.  While not practical, horses standing next to ice blocks would be radiating heat to the block.  However, standing under trees allows the horse to radiate some heat up to the leaves of the tree which are continually cooled by their own evaporation. 

    Finally, the last method of heat transfer is through conduction, or the direct transfer of heat between objects of differing temperatures.  An example of conductive cooling would be a dog lying on a cooling mat or digging into the cool earth.  Any surface that is cooler than the horse that its body is in direct contact with will aid in cooling.  This is why cool water applied to the horse’s body helps to cool it. Remember the key is that the water is cool, not cold.  Cold water can actually result in vasoconstriction which can limit blood flow to the horse’s skin.  If a continual supply of water isn’t available, placing cool wet towels on the horse’s body would be an example of conductive cooling.  However, continual reapplication of cool towels is necessary as the horse’s body heat is transferred to the towels.

    Next month we will discuss conditioning programs to prepare our horses for work in the heat, as well as dietary adaptations that may keep them cool.





  • Bad Weather Travel Tips from USRider

    The severe summer weather season is upon us, and when things get rough, we’re reminded to DUCK:

    ·         D – Go DOWN to the lowest level.

    ·         U – Get UNDER something.

    ·         C – COVER your head.

    ·         K – KEEP in shelter until the storm has passed.

    Just how do you DUCK if you’re on the road and threatened by bad weather, including hail, heavy rain, thunderstorms and tornadoes? Getting to safety could be particularly tricky when you’re on the road hauling your horses. 

    USRider recommends that you check tire pressure before each trip. This is especially important with temperature changes. If you are traveling from a warm climate to a cold climate, air pressure in your tires will drop. On the other hand, when traveling from a cold climate into a warm climate, the air pressure will rise.

    Another tip is to drive extra cautiously. Even in light snow or rain, slow down to a safer speed and allow greater following distance in front of your rig. Drive defensively, turn on your hazard lights, and, if the precipitation or wind gets too high that you cannot see, pull way off the road or preferably at the next parking area available and wait it out.

    When faced with the possibility of a tornado, NEVER attempt to take shelter under an overpass or pull in to the nearest gas station. Instead, find a route that will lead you to a solid building that you can take shelter in. Now, we all know this is hard when you are driving in a remote area. Be sure to stay updated on weather reports and plan accordingly. If you notice a pattern as to what time a storm usually hits the area you are heading, try to plan around it. This may delay your arrival time, but safety is all that matters.

    If you find yourself in a real weather emergency and need to pull off to the side of the road, ALWAYS keep your horses in the trailer. The horses will be safer there rather than being tied to the outside of your trailer. Tying them outside will actually increase the chance of injury versus being inside the trailer where they are shielded from hail, rain or flying debris.

    In heavy rain storms, you can follow similar rules as you would if you were driving in snow. Roads will be slick. When there are large volumes of water on the road, your chance of hydroplaning increases. So, what if you are traveling at high altitudes where rain is present? If you stay overnight and plan to leave early the next morning, be careful! Temperatures drop immensely over night at high altitudes. This causes any excess water on the road to freeze and become a sheet of black ice.

    Through its Equestrian Motor Plan, USRider provides emergency road service to its Members in the lower 48 states as well as Alaska and Canada. Designed for those who travel with horses, USRider provides emergency roadside assistance and towing services, along with other travel-related benefits geared especially toward horse owners, such as towing up to 100 miles plus roadside repairs for tow vehicles and trailers with horses, emergency stabling and veterinary referrals.

    For more information about USRider, visit the USRider website at or call (800) 844-1409.

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