Good day all!
Now let’s talk hemp today.
Lately my obsession for hemp seeds has reached new hights. I stopped simply sprinkling raw, hulled hemp seeds on my salads, and started making all kinds of rad creations with it. Who would’ve thought these savory little bad-asses could even be incorporated into wonderful sweet treats (such as Hemp Fudgies?). Hemp seeds are not only very versatile, they’re also true nutrtion powerhouses that I think everyone should incorporate in their diets!
Hulled hemp seed (with the hard outer hull removed) are very high in protein, iron, omega-3 and vitamin E. Hemp protein is one of the few plant-based ‘complete proteins’ (meaning it isn’t low in one of the nine essential amino acids). The protein content falls somewhere between 25 and 35% (depending on the source) which is huge for a plant food. For comparison: the protein content of nuts falls between 4 and 15%. Just 2 tablespoons hemp seeds contains ~10 grams of protein. Vegetarians, vegans and raw foodies concerned with their protein intake would benefit a lot from scooping up a bag today!
Omega-3 is a type of essential fatty acid, meaning our bodies can’t synthesize this nutrient itself. It is a common misconception though that we can only derive this fatty acid from fish (in Holland we even dubbed certain fatty acids ‘fish fatty acids’, how stupid and misleading). In reality, Omega-3 fatty acids are to be found in lots and lots of plant foods (where do you think the fish get them from in the first place? Sea veggies!). Greens actually contain a really percentage of Omega-3′s but because they are so low in fat we would have to eat around 10 cups leafy greens a day (which for some raw foodists is very attainable, though). Other rich Omega-3 sources include walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and the oils made from them. Allthough chia seeds contain the most Omega-3, hemp seeds contain the best ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. Furthermore, hemp seeds seem to contain some special kind of both of these fatty acids, making them the most valuable to the body (don’t ask me why, but I see this is every (science-based) source!). Pretty cool huh? It seems like 3-4 tablespoons hemp seeds a day would provide you with 100% of your daily omega-3 needs. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to regulate the heart and decrease risk of cardiovasculair disease and stroke (but, as with all nutrition science, this is still under some speculation).
Iron is an important nutrient and essential for good health and the immune system (read a more thorough explanation on iron here). Two tablespoons of hemp seeds contain as much as 20-25% of your daily iron needs, that’s crazy!
As you can see, just a few (2-3) tablespoons of hemp seeds is chockfull of nutrition. Add to that that hemp seeds taste delicious and are easily incorporated into many dishes, they make for a wonderful superfood. Make sure to buy raw, hulled hemp seeds. Raw because the essential fatty acids are prone to spoiling when heat-treated. Hulled (with the crunchy outer hull removed) because it increases the protein, iron and omega-3 ratio and it makes them easier to incorporate in your recipes (allthough the hull does contain some very rare and beneficial fiber..).
Here’s a small list of recipes found on mine and other blogs that contain hemp seeds:
- Omega-3 Pesto
- Hemp Fudgies
- Creamy Hemp Basil sauce
- High-protein hemp hummus
- Broccoli-Hemp soup
- Sundried Tomato Hemp Sauce
- Balsamic Hemp Dressing
And last but not least, a new recipe!
Creamy hemp Milk
Yields ~ 4 cups (one liter)
* 3/4 cup hemp seeds
* 3 cups water
* 1-2 T agave or other sweetener
* 1 t vanilla extract
Simply blend until completely smooth, no straining required for this one! This hemp milk is very creamy and smooth and I loooove the taste. Remember that hemp seeds taste slightly nutty so you might have to get used to it. It’s chockful of nutrition and a good base for puddings and oats, for example. Will keep in the fridge for about 3 days (shake before using). You could freeze half of the recipe (in 2,3 or 4 containers or ziplock baggies) if you don’t consume much milk (like me).
Enjoy your day all! Seems like the sun has finally returned over here after another monsoonish morning.