Amazing Hemp Seeds
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “hemp”? Depending on your age and background you’re probably either thinking “rope” or “dope”!
When it comes to hemp seeds, both of those words are correct. Hemp seeds come from the same plant, cannabis sativa, from which hemp rope and marijuana are derived.
But have no fear; the plants that produce hemp seeds are cultivated in such a way that the seeds contain minutely low levels of the psychedelic drug THC. There’s no way a person could get high eating any amount of hemp seeds.
Why are hemp seeds so amazing? They are touted as the “most nutritious seed in the world” and rank among the super foods. Hemp seeds are a complete protein, meaning that they contain adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids necessary for a healthy diet.
Hemp seeds are also high in fiber (think rope) and very easy to digest. Hemp seeds also provide a perfect blend of the essential fats – omega-3 and omega-6 and they boast a lengthy list of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamins B1, B2 & B6
- Vitamin E
Hemp seeds are available in raw seed form, oil, flour and milk.
Benefits of Hemp Seeds
The blend of proteins found in hemp seeds make them one of the easiest proteins to digest. The proteins in hemp seeds render them more effective than most energy bars for sustained energy. And they do this without the sugar and saturated fats found in many of those bars.
Just four tablespoons of hemp seeds contain: 15 g protein, 2.5 g fiber, 4.5 g carbohydrates and no cholesterol. And because their proteins are so easy to digest, the body is able to absorb more of them.
Hemp seed oil consists of 78% essential fatty acids, beating out most other oils. Hemp oil also has more omega-3s than fish or fish oil supplements. As such, hemp seed products promote cellular health, reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, aid in recovery from disease or injury, and boost the immune system., 
Side Effects of Hemp Foods
Hemp seeds are considered generally safe. The amount of THC they contain is similar to the amount of opium you’d expect from eating poppy seeds. However, there have been a few known cases of people testing positive for marijuana after eating hemp seeds. This is probably due to the fact that the tests are extremely sensitive, revealing parts per billion.
Because hemp seeds are high in oil and fat (good fat), some people may experience mild diarrhea as with any high-fat food. You can avoid this unpleasant side effect by starting out with about a teaspoon of hemp seeds per day and working up to the recommended serving of 2 tablespoons. (Other sources recommend 4 to 6 tablespoons per day.)
Uses of Hemp Seeds
You can eat hemp seeds as you might eat any other seed or nut. They have a light flavor similar to sunflower seeds. Many health food and skin care products already contain hemp seeds. You can also sprinkle them on salads, include them in your favorite granola recipe, or use them in place of other nuts in breads and desserts. Keep in mind that hemp seeds are most nutritious when eaten raw.
Here’s a recipe from Bob’s Red Mill for Hemp Seed Pesto:
- 1 cup basil leaves (washed)
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated or chopped
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup hulled hemp seeds
- Combine basil, parmesan cheese and olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend to the texture you prefer.
- Add hemp seeds and blend only until all ingredients are well mixed.
- Serve right away or stored in a covered container for up to a week.
Serve with crackers, pita bread, fresh vegetables, as a sandwich spread, tossed with pasta, or as a topping on your favorite grilled meat.
Hemp Seed Milk
Hemp seed milk is made by blending the seeds with water. Additional ingredients can be added to taste. The process yields a creamy, nutty-flavored milk.
Hemp seed milk provides all the power-packed protein and nutrients of the raw seed and offers many more options for integrating this super food into your diet. Hemp seed milk is a great alternative for someone with an allergy to dairy products.Hemp seed milk boosts the immune system and can benefit your heart and skin.
Hemp seed milk is easy to make at home in a blender:
- 1 cup raw shelled hemp seeds
- 3 cups filtered water
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Place ingredients in a blender and blend at low speed, then accelerate to high speed for about a minute.
- For a sweeter milk, add soaked pitted dates or maple syrup.
- For richer milk, add 1 Tbsp raw unrefined coconut butter.
Enjoy hemp milk in smoothies, shakes, or over your favorite granola or fruit.
Hemp seeds in their various forms are a highly nutritious food choice! The question is, how will you integrate this super food into your diet for a healthier you?
Will you give hemp seeds a chance? Think how you might use hemp seeds, or hemp seed oil, flour, protein powder or milk in one of your meals today.
If you have tried any hemp recipes, we’d love to try them! Please share your hemp seed recipes! Thank you!