Saturday, February 16, 2013

Superfoods: Hempseed

Right off the bat especially with this post if you didn't know before, yes I am a Conservative Christian Hippy! How those all go together I'm not sure, but that's me in a nutshell. So on to the next caped crusader: hempseed. It is wonderful! Some of you may have heard of it and already have it in the kitchen, and other ones may be more familiar with it's cousin of the same plant. Rest assured that while industrialized hemp and marijuana are essentially the same plant, they are completely different.

The difference lies in how the plant has been cultivated. Industrialized hemp, mostly grown in Canada, is grown close together. That closeness allows the stalks to grow very high. That's great because it an environmentally friendly outlet for many products produced commercially. Marijuana is grown very spread out to produce lots of bushy leaves, for well, you know. Industrialized hemp is NOT psychoactive and doesn't test positive for THC.

So lets discuss the benefits of hempseed. It is a versatile seed because it can be used in smoothies, on salad, mixed with other seeds and grains, in desserts, and even for dairy free milk. It is a lovely complete plant protein. Three tablespoons gives 11 grams of protein, enough for one meal. It also is a good source for calcium. Since it is a seed, and not a grain, it is gluten free. It is often my preferred protein source in smoothies for myself and my children. I often suggest this to parents of picky children who don't like to eat animal foods like meat, fish, or eggs for protein. Utilizing plant protein is much easier on the digestive system, so if you are an omnivore switch protein sources and have a wide variety.

Try this recipe for hemp milk:

1 cup of hempseeds
3-4 cups filtered water, see how thick you want it
* Optional: 2 dates for sweetness

Blend together, and enjoy. Straining hemp milk is also optional.

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