I’ll admit it, I’m known as the Office Health Freak. I’m the first to group-email everyone about the miraculous new chocolate pudding plant, black sapote, tell my colleagues how much sugar is in an avocado and how many calories are in a cup of grapes. Yes, I am that girl.
So with all the hyperawareness about what I’m putting in my body, I am thrilled to talk about hemp. Hemp is truly amazing. In fact, the more I learn about it, the more respect I have for this versatile plant. It’s like nature’s duct tape and then some. You can build a home with it, you can wear it, write on it, bathe with it, and my favorite way to take advantage of hemp: Eat it.
Loaded with omegas 3 and 6, all 10 essential amino acids, and a dose of fiber and easily digestible protein, it is very low on the glycemic index, which is good news for diabetics trying to prevent blood-sugar spikes. Hemp is also ideal if you have allergies or are following a gluten-free or vegan diet.
With all of hemp’s health benefits and nutty flavor, you can understand why it is not only the new darling of the superfood world, but is also quickly making its way into the mainstream. Of course, Whole Foods carries a wide variety of hemp products, however, even retailer-to-the-great-American-masses Wal-Mart is selling foods made with hemp.
Yet you need not step foot into an actual store to get your hemp fix as most products are available from a variety of online retailers. With this in mind, here are five ways to get more hemp into your diet.
Tastes great and froths nicely for your lattes. Bonus: If you’re lactose intolerant and have nut and soy allergies here’s your replacement. And one eight-ounce glass contains the following healthy nutrients:
• 900 mg omega-3 fatty acid
• 2,800 mg omega-6 fatty acid
• All 10 essential amino acids
• 4 grams of digestible protein
• 46 percent of RDA of calcium
• Zero cholesterol
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin E
• Vitamin B12
• Folic acid
• Vitamin D
Hemp Seeds (whole or hulled/shelled)
Add these to granola, hot cereals, smoothies, breads, muffins, protein bars and salads. You can also blend them to make homemade hemp butter.
Hemp Protein Powder
Great in smoothies and homemade protein and granola bars.
If you buy the cold-pressed variety, which retains hemp’s health properties, you will want to get a small amount and be sure to refrigerate the oil as it does not have a long shelf life. With a low smoking point, it is best used to make salad dressing, dips, mayo or added to smoothies.
Hemp flour is made by extracting the oil from the seeds. However, because is doesn’t rise and contains no gluten, it is not a flour that can be used on its own. A three-to-one ratio is recommended, while some brands suggest substituting half of a recipe’s flour for hemp flour for a “hearty” loaf.
Now that you’re ready to try hemp, check out these great recipes:
What are some of your favorite hemp products or recipes? Let us know below.