Loving the BITE: 3 Simple Hemp Seed Recipes
What’s all this buzz about Hemp Seed (Hemp Hearts)? I’ll admit it, I’m a newbie in this department. How many of you have tried hemp seeds? After being inspired by Darryl’s review and what I’ve found in researching them, I’m now on-board the hempseed nutrition bandwagon. Why?
They are simply a natural whole food with a whole-lotta nutrition to offer. Healthy fats, highly absorbable proteins, and more! To help any other newbies out there, here are 3 simple ways to add them to your diet:
Hemp Seed Power Cereal: Mix ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds, 2 tablespoons hemp seed, 2 tablespoons cacao nibs, 2 tablespoons unsweetened dried berries, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp salt, 1 tbsp raw shredded coconut. Drizzle with 1 tsp organic raw honey and enjoy with any type of milk or yogurt. Or, just spoon some hempseeds onto your favorite cereal for any extra healthy fat and protein boost.
Hemp Seed Bars: In a large bowl, mix ¼ cup chia or flax seeds, ¼ cup sesame seeds, ¼ cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup whole hemp seeds, ¼ cup dried fruit, ½ teaspoon sea salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/3 cup melted organic coconut oil, 1 Tablespoon vanilla, and ½ cup organic honey. Once well-mixed, immediately transfer to a large cutting board. Cover with oiled waxed paper (oil side down) and press flat with your hands or with a rolling pin. Place in refrigerator until firm, then cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator.
Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce: Since hempseeds are often described as having a pinenut-like flavor, they work well in pesto recipes. In a food processor, mix 2 c organic hemp seeds, 1 c extra virgin olive oil, 2-4 garlic cloves, juice from 2 lemons, 1-2 cups fresh basil (to taste), salt and ground black pepper to taste. If you’d like, you can also add ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Process until smooth or desired consistency.
Hemp seeds are a concentrated source of nutrients. We’re talking SuperFood qualities. Darryl did a great job of covering it in his Hemp Seed post. In addition to his review, I’ll add mine.
Add hempseeds to your diet, and you’ll get:
Protein. Highly digestible and absorbable protein including all essential amino acids – this makes hempseeds a “complete” protein. What’s more, the structure of the proteins, which are globular proteins, are similar to ones manufactured in our blood making them readily digestible and usable by our bodies. Eat 100 calories-worth of hempseeds and you’ll get 5.5 grams of protein – a great source of vegetarian protein at that!
Plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (ALA). Eat 100 calories worth of hempseeds, and you’ll get 1.5 grams of ALA omega-3s (these are different than the DHA/EPA found in fish, but super-beneficial nonetheless). In fact, since you’ll only get about 5 grams of omega-6 fatty acids, you’re intake of omega-6s to omega-3s is less than 4:1. Why’s this important? Overall, we want to strive for a ratio of 4:1 omega-6:omega-3’s or less to reduce our bodily inflammation, reduce heart disease, and promote healthy blood sugars and overall wellness. Since most Western-Diet foods are heavy on the omega-6’s, we need all the help we can get from high omega-3 foods.
You’ll also get a good amount of Vitamin E, fiber, calcium and iron packed into a great-tasting seed. And on the other hand, here’s what you won’t get: very little or no sodium, cholesterol, trans-fats, colorings, flavorings, or unnatural chemicals.
And in case you’re wondering about any hempseed – marijuana connection, www.nutiva.com states “Marijuana and hemp both come from the same species of plant, Cannabis sativa L., but from different varieties. There are different varieties of Cannabis, just as Chihuahuas and St. Bernards are different breeds of dogs, Canis familiari. Marijuana is the flowering tops and leaves of psychoactive varieties of Cannabis that are grown for their high THC content. Hemp, also referred to as industrial hemp, are low-THC varieties of Cannabis that are grown for their seeds and fiber. Hemp is grown legally in just about every industrialized country except the USA.” You can find more detailed information and hempseed FAQ at http://nutiva.com/faq/hemp-faq/ .
Lastly, remember to store any hemp products in the refrigerator or freezer, and to use them within 8-12 weeks of opening. If you want to expand beyond seeds, you can find hemp oil, hempseed powders, and hempseed products.
If you’ve never tried them before, this week’s a good week to try something new. Just like a new cycling route, new foods keep healthy eating fresh and intriguing!
Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.