Here I am, yet again, espousing the wonders of our foods. This one is pretty special. Hemp Seeds.
Years ago, I discovered these little wonders and have been using them in some form or another since.
One of the very special properties of these little jewels is that they contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids, of which you know you should get a good balance of to help reduce your risk of heart disease. I know they are not exactly on my AIP protocol, but after reintroductions, and if well tolerated, they can be a very healthy part of your diet. They are also a really great source for plant protein and fiber.
What are they? They are a part of the Cannabis Sativa hemp plant as described here from Hempseed.ca – “Hemp seeds are the seed of the Cannabis Sativa plant which, when grown for seed or fibre and with low THC, is known as hemp. Hemp seed has been called the first cultivated crop by humans as it appears in texts from the beginning of recorded history. Hemp seed has no drug content and is purely a health food item. People eat hemp seed for it’s protein, essential fatty acid and fibre content.”
There are four main components of the hemp seed: the whole seed, unhulled, can be eaten as a snack, but is used mainly to make hemp oil; shelled seed, this is the hulled part which can be eaten and has a lovely smooth nutty flavour, it can be added to anything you wish such as salads, soups, smoothies, etc.; hemp oil which is produced from the whole seed, and contains the essential fatty acids needed to help your immune system work well; hemp flour or protein powder which is produced from the fibers left over after making the oil and is used in recipes for things like smoothies – ground hemp containing under 35% protein is considered flour, where above is considered healthy protein powder.
Hemp seeds are: one of the most nutritious foods available in nature; they are easily digested by the body; contain both Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids to help with the immune system and cholesterol levels; helps heal immune deficiency diseases; they are low in carbohydrates and calories, but are high in proteins and natural fats; and are a superior source of protein for vegetarians.
They can be eaten as a snack; be added to a smoothie; sprinkle on salads, cereal, yogurt, oatmeal; use as a breadcrumb substitute to coat chicken or fish; blend with water to make hemp seed milk (my newest love); use ground up as a condiment; toast them and eat like popcorn!
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts is the brand I buy (usually from Costco) and find it to be very tasty. You can also find it in your local grocery store in their health food section (most times).
There are a lot of recipes out on the internet that you can search and get some great results from soup to smoothies and everywhere in between – you could look at Manitobaharvest.com/recipes for some interesting recipes to use your hemp hearts in.
I couldn’t resist putting up a recipe for Garlic Butter Cauliflower Hemp Seed Breadsticks I found on-line at WholesomeYum.com, so here it is – click the link to get the recipe.
I hope you enjoy some hemp seeds real soon.
Have an incredible day and week ahead.