Flax is a multi use plant. The fibers from the plant are used to make linen. The oil from the seeds are used to make paint, solvents and finishes for wood furniture. The flax seed when grown as a food source is high in nutrients, fiber and essential fatty acids helpful to the motabolism.
I use flax seed quite a bit in bread baking. I make a high fiber bread which includes oat and wheat groats (soaked and dried chopped grains), wheat bran and flax seed. When making granola, I also include a few tablespoons of whole flax seed and when making up a seed mix to coat seeded baguettes, I combine flax seed with fennel seeds, sesame and poppy seeds.
When using flax seeds, always buy organically grown seeds. Flax seeds grown for other uses than a food source contain potentially toxic pesticide, fungicide and fertilizer residues.
I just can't get away from the crunchy granola style cooking sometimes-but at least now folks don't consider this style freaky anymore.