2nd Time Around: DIY Flax Seed Gel

 As you all know, my first attempt at making flax seed gel was a complete and utter failure. Not only did I make a mess (I'm looking at you, kitchen strainer thingie), but I had an airhead moment and added coconut oil to my mix. Coconut oil is awesome for many reasons, but unfortunately, once cold it congeals. So when I poured it into my first batch of gel that had yet to cool off, it looked good. But a few minutes in the fridge turned my DIY project into Frankenflax. Instead of a smooth, golden-brown goop, I was stuck with a jar full of goopy mess with white blobs. I tried to convince myself that it was cool as long as I rubbed the gel in my hands before applying it...but that didn't last for long. Eventually, I gave up on the gel and just threw the entire container away.

Last night, I was chillin' on the Insta (I think that's what the cool kids are calling Instagram these days), and saw Hey Fran Hey promoting her latest vid; flax seed gel. I don't know about you, but Fran has an awesome motivating aura about her. Her website and videos make me feel like I can conquer the world in the blink of an eye. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but she is pretty inspiring. Annnnd she responds to comments and inquiries on her posts, which I love. In this particular video, she and her friend made whipping up flax seed gel look like a walk in the park. I still had a TON of flax seeds (they're only $1.19 a pound at Sprouts), and some oils that don't congeal. Why not give it another shot?

This time around, I am happy to report DIY success! Even as I type this post, I can't help but periodically grab my cooling bottle of flax seed gel and swish it around in the bottle just to make sure my eyes aren't deceiving me. I just checked again -- we're still claiming victory here! As I revel in my success, here's a step-by step breakdown of what you'll need:
  • Small Pot
  • Measuring Cup
  • Spoon
  • Storage Container
  • Straining mechanism (I prefer nylon stockings, because you can just throw them away afterwards. I used a strainer the first time, and cleaning out all the little metal holes was a pain in the...)
  • Plastic bowl (with lid if you're going to use the same bowl to store the gel in)
  • Storage Container (optional, if different from your plastic bowl)
  • Super straining mechanism (tongs, or some other kitchen utensil you can use to smoosh the seeds between to get all the goop out)
  • 2-3 of your favorite oils that are NOT solid when cooled
  • Water
  • Flax seeds (brown or golden...either one works)
Got all your stuff? It seems like a lot, but everything has its place. Let's go!

Note: In Hey Fran Hey's video, she adds Aloe Vera and Jamaican Black Castor Oil to hers. As with all things natural, do what works for you. I don't particularly care for castor oil all up in my hair, as a transitioner. For my add-ins, I chose jojoba, sweet almond, and vitamin E.

    • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in your small pot (on a medium flame/heat).
    • While waiting for your water to boil, create a "net" over your bowl/storage container by covering it with your nylon stocking or strainer.  

    • Scoop 4 tablespoons of flax seeds into the boiling water, and stir periodically. After 2-3 minutes, a white foam will appear. Let the seeds continue to boil until you reach 5-6 minutes, then reduce to a low flame. The white foam should dissipate and while stirring, and you will be able to see that the water has visibly thickened. Continue stirring, and allow the water to thicken until you reach 12-13 minutes.

    • Turn off the flame, and get ready to strain! Pour gel slowly into the straining mechanism. Pick up stocking and use your super straining mechanism to smoosh down then length of the stocking to squeeze all the gel out. I found these white spatula scraper things to be perfect-- it was almost like being able to use my hands to squeeze the excess gel out.

    • Once your seeds have been strained, you can either store them for future use (that's super recession proof!) in your fridge, or toss them. I personally just throw mine away. Flax seeds are super cheap out here, but I understand that readers from other areas may not have that same luxury.
    • Pour in desired amount of your favorite oils, and whisk the gel with a spoon as if you were beating an egg.

    • By this time, your gel is cool enough to pour into a storage container. Let it further cool down, then store in the fridge for use.

    Tip: A good storage container is everything. Not only will it make your product easier to dispense and use, but it will help preserve it longer. Last time, I used an old Shea Moisture container that I cleaned out. This time around, I wised up and cleaned out a shampoo bottle with a squeeze top. That way, I can keep my gel pure and not worry about grubby little bacteria from my hands finding their way into my products. If you don't have any good storage containers, Target has travel-sized squeeze bottles for $1.09.


    1. Thank you for this article, it was super helpful. I'd just gotten done making my flaxseed gel and was wondering what additives people use. The super tip from THIS article was re-using a squeeze bottle instead of, let's say, a plastic, flat parmesan cheese container. LOL I used an old Shea Moisture Detangler bottle. Thanks again.