High in protein and healthy fats, and low in cholesterol and sodium, hemp truly is a superfood. No other single plant source has the essential amino acids in such an easily digestible form, nor has the essential fatty acids in as perfect a ratio to meet human nutritional needs.
Hemp also is a good source of zinc, and a very good source of magnesium.
Adding more hemp to your diet can help create more demand for this sustainable crop, which requires no fertilizers or pesticides. The hemp plant is one of the earliest-known cultivated crops, and has many uses, including textiles, fiber, wood, plastic and fuel alternatives. And no, it won’t get you high or make you test positive for drugs.
Available in concentrated protein, shelled seeds or oil, there are unlimited ways to include hemp in your everyday diet. Here, courtesy of Care2, are five foods in which you can eat hemp:
1. Salad—Adding raw organic hemp seeds to a salad gives your dish a nutritional lift as well as flavor boost. Consider switching your salad oil to hemp oil.
2. Smoothies—Hemp is a prime plant-based protein alternative to whey, which can acidify the body and create extra strain on your kidneys. You can use concentrated hemp protein, or for a creamier smoothie, use shelled hemp seeds.
3. Breakfast—Many people start their day with a bowl of heart-healthy oatmeal. Sprinkle in a couple tablespoons of hemp seeds to up the nutritional value even more, and to add a subtle nutty taste. You can also sprinkle hemp seeds in yogurt or any other breakfast cereal.
4. Dairy substitute/ice cream/milk—Skip the store brands that have the added carrageenan, and make your own by blending 2 to 3 tablespoons of raw organic hemp seeds with 4 to 8 ounces of water. The water-to-seeds ratio can vary, depending on whether you prefer a thinner milk or a thicker cream. A good rule of thumb to make a quart of milk is 1 cup hemp seeds to 4 parts water. Try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon and a few drops of liquid stevia and vanilla. Blend the mixture on high for 45 seconds to a minute, preferably with a high-speed blender. To remove lumps, strain through cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. Store in a mason jar and shake before pouring. Use within a few days.
5. Pesto—Try this recipe for a pesto for pasta, pizza, or as a spread on flax crackers.