Hemp-The Gateway Seed
Yesterday I enlightened you on the wonderful nutritional value of mushrooms. Keeping with this theme (it is summer concert season, after all), today is all about hemp. I’m sure memories of college bong sessions come rushing back, or images of hippies dancing around in hemp clothing with hemp bead necklaces. Ahh, nostalgia. But did you know you could eat hemp too?
First off, let me make this point clear: you do not get high from eating hemp seeds. Sorry for the let down. But what you DO get when you eat this superfood are incredible nutritional benefits. They are packed with loads of amino acids, protein, vitamins, and essential fatty acids (EFA) which are wonderful for your health.
Let’s take a closer look at Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). These are fats that your body cannot produce on its own, and therefore needs to get these fats from an outside source. You can think of these particular fats as the “good” guys (yes, there ARE good fats, much different from the saturated fats in they typical American diet). The two types are linoleic acid (Omega-6) and linolenic acid (Omega-3). These EFAs are found in hemp seeds and in the perfect proportion that you body likes (Note that we get more than enough Omega-6 in our diet, which is why you hear a lot about Omega-3s ie. fish oils, which are not as prevalent in our diet and hence we need to consume more of them)
Another important aspect of hemp seeds are amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. One of the proteins in hemp is globulin, which helps to manufacture antibodies in your body, aiding your immune system. The hemp seed has 65% globulin, the most of any plant source.
They also contain plant sterols which have been known to lower cholesterol. They also contain vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Not only are hemp seeds super healthy, they are delicious! They have this wonderful nutty flavor, making them a perfect addition to almost everything from your morning oatmeal to salads. Matt makes mean vegan hemp seed chocolate chip cookies. Ask him for his recipe!
Hemps seeds can be found in any health food store, as well as hemp oils. Because of their high fat content and tendency to spoil quickly (remember walnuts?), it’s best to store them in the refrigerator. I highly recommend you picking up some hemp seeds on your next shopping trip and experiment with these tiny superfoods!
Here’s a recipe I found online at www.hemp-guide.com to get you started:
Hemp Pancakes Recipe
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, why not start it with yummy hemp pancakes recipe! This recipe combines the goodness of whole wheat flour, the nutrition of hemp and the added option of super foods such as blueberries. What better way to kick start your morning!
3 Tbsp Hemp Seed Oil
1 cup organic whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons HONEY (optional)
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup plain organic yogurt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vanilla
Combine flour, shelled hemp seed, baking powder & soda, and salt in bowl. Combine eggs, yogurt, and water. Whisk in butter. Pour into dry ingredients. Use blender to mix to smooth consistency. Cook on (buttered) pan / griddle (medium heat). Cook until tops are bubbly – turn and cook until browned.
Makes about 16 pancakes – can be frozen and heated up in toaster afterwards.
Optional: add in Berries while cooking!
Makes: About 16 pancakes