Hooray for hemp! After major changes to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code on November 12, plant-based protein advocates can now rejoice. It’s now legal to enjoy all of hemp’s nutritional benefits. If you’ve been avoiding this protein-rich super food due to legislation, now is the time to start exploring nature’s jack-of-all-trades. Not only is it full of essential nutrients, it’s one of the easiest food items to cook with and eat. From what actually is, to its bad rap as a hallucinogenic, we’re here to sort fact from fiction. Not to mention, provide you with tips for seamlessly incorporating more kernel-sized goodness onto your plate.
As of November 12 2017, you’re free to sprinkle seeds on your salads, toss your vegies in hemp oil, and spoon some hemp protein into your smoothies. This versatile food has so many purposes!
Hemp is a domesticated crop that’s received a lot of criticism despite its nutritional richness. Yes, it’s a variety of cannabis plant, but there are many different types of cannabis plants, and not all are psychoactive (read: will make you hallucinate). Hemp actually contains less than 1% THC, which is the chemical compound that causes an altered neurological state. In the past, moves to legalise hemp for commercial sale were banned, as it was believed consuming hemp would result in positive drug tests. We now know this isn’t true.
In terms of nutritional density, hemp is comparable to flax and chia seeds. It has more than 50% - 75% protein than flax and chia, making it a great source of alkalizing protein for plant-based diets. On top of that, it’s also one of the very few complete sources of plant protein, containing all of the amino acids our bodies can’t make themselves. Whether you’re eating the seeds, consuming the oil or the protein powder, hemp will give your diet an instant hit of protein, plus omega 3 fatty acids. This is the kind of fat you don’t want to cut back on, as it offers anti-inflammatory benefits, smoother hair, skin and nails, and it also assists with brain health too. Other notable vitamins include its high levels of B vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese and Zinc, just to name a few of hemp’s bragging rights.
Is there anything that sounds more appetizing than a hemp heart? Hemp hearts, or hulled hemp seeds, are the shelled part of the crop. It’s most commonly found in the bulk aisle of your health food store. In terms of flavor, they have a mild, nutty taste that could be described as a cross between a sunflower seed and a walnut. Delicious! Hemp hearts can also be pressed to extract oil, which you can use in salad dressings. Due to its low flash point, it’s ideal for light cooking and baking, but will start to smoke and release nasty free radicals if used at too high a temperature. With the left over and dried hemp pulp, you’ve got a deliciously versatile plant-based protein powder. Or you could also make your own hemp seed milk by soaking the seeds, blending the mixture, and then strain using a nut milk bag.
Hemp hearts are versatile enough to simply sprinkle on top of savoury salads or sweet breakfast meals. Due to their mild and nutty flavor, they work well with almost any food. They’re also gluten free and great for those with nut allergies, so work well as a substitute for breadcrumbs. There are so many ways to eat hemp, and so many benefits too. They’re versatile, delicious, and absolutely power-packed with vitamins. The possibilities are endless! We are excited to share our innovative way of adding hemp into your diet with our new refined sugar free Blueberry & Hemp flavored coconut yoghurt. Both nutritious ingredients are complimentary to each other and will make breakfast easy and delicious.