If someone says, ‘hemp,’ what do you think of? Wait – let’s try that again. Here’s what you should be thinking: Super plant.
This plant has been used for centuries with countless applications in paper clothing, rope, building materials, and more. (Fun fact: The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper). Its seeds are the source for nutrition-packed foods like hemp hearts, powder, and oil. They are high in Omega-6 and Omega-3 acids, and they are higher in protein as a percentage of weight than beef, chicken, fish, peanuts, or almonds.
Enjoying the “Hearts”
Recently we’ve been enjoying hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest, which grows its crops in Canada. The “hearts” comes from shelling and de-hulling the hemp seeds. They are like little soft grains that are tan-colored with flecks of green. How do you eat them? You can sprinkle them over cereal, salads, or yogurt. Personally, we love them in smoothie bowls.
In addition, as we learned in a recent Manitoba Harvest demonstration, you can make them into a delicious milk. Seriously, it’s so easy and it’s amazingly frothy and creamy.
Here’s the basic recipe (courtesy of Manitoba Harvest):
- 1 cup hemp hearts
- 5-6 cups filtered water
Combine the water and the hemp hearts in a blender. You can adjust the desired thickness by using more or less water.
Blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until creamy and smooth. Blend longer for a foamier milk.
If desired, strain the milk with cheese cloth prior to serving.
Sweeten or flavor as desired.
Once you’ve made your milk, you can sweeten or flavor it to your heart’s desire (sugar, honey, agave syrup, cocoa, cinnamon, and so on). You can pour it over cereal, incorporate it into cereals, or use it in baking. It’s very versatile, and taste-wise, it got a big thumbs-up from our kid tasters.
History and Preconceptions
It’s true that this plant has a lot of preconceptions, some unfair. Many people associate it with marijuana, and although it is a species of Cannabis sativa, it is NOT. It contains only 0.001% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and will not cause a psychoactive effect, nor will it cause a false positive drug test.
Hemp had been a staple crop of U.S. agriculture since the 1600’s. As modern-day nutrition-conscious people continue to discover its value, U.S. sales of these products have now reached over $500 million per year.
To learn more about its fascinating history in the U.S., visit the Hemp History Week site.
Blogger disclosure: I received a free sample from Manitoba Harvest. Manitoba Harvest is one of the advertisers who participates in the Healthy Ad Network, of which Jolly Tomato is a participant. I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.