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Hemp seed: the hippie heart

When you think of hemp, you may be reminded of hippie tie dyed clothing, soaps and other products commonly found at market stalls. Hemp is a robust plant that has been used to not only create clothing, and soap but also furniture, paper, rope, and other body care and edible products. These products have been popular for many years, mostly by people looking for ethical and natural alternatives to commercial and toxic ingredients.

You may also associate hemp with cannabis. And indeed hemp comes from the hemp plant, a different variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Despite controversy, or misinformation, the level of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC’s) is so low that the effects are non-existent…in other words, you can’t get high from consuming hemp seeds. Hemp seed oil is also very safe and should not be confused with CBD oil which is commonly used to treat serious health concerns.

Hemp seeds, also known as nuts or hearts, are now recognised for their incredible nutrient value. An average serve contains 35% protein, 47% fat, 12% carbohydrate. Half a cup of hulled hemp seed will satisfy the recommended daily intake of protein. It’s one of the best sources of essential fatty acids (EFA’s) containing all three Omega’s – 3, 6 and 9.

Hemp seeds are an excellent source of vitamin B, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, iron and all the essential amino acids. They are mild in flavour, slightly nutty so will not overpower other flavours. Add it to smoothies, baking, porridge, sprinkle over muesli, salad or vegetables. It’s versatility means you can add it to almost anything.

The choices in food products have increased to include hemp protein, cold-pressed oil, energy bars, bread, butter and chocolate.

Try this simple milk substitute recipe: add 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds to 1 cup of spring water. Blend and watch it turn into a creamy nut milk. Enjoy!

Choose wisely. Live vibrantly.

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