H is for…Hemp Seeds!
We’ve had Chia seeds already and today I’m featuring another nutritious little one- Hemp seeds. No, you won’t get high from eating these I’m afraid! Hemp seeds and marijuana do come from the same plant, cannabis, but different varieties with different properties.
Just like chia, hemp seeds are packed with protein, EFAs, Vitamin E and minerals, not to mention they’re really tasty. They have quite a distinctive flavour, slightly earthy and sweet.
I frequently use them in my meals but almost always just sprinkling them on top of whatever it may be. From salads and soups, to porridge, non-dairy yogurt and fruit. I’ve also recently discovered these flavoured hemp sprinkles from the UK company Good Hemp. They come in 3 flavours: Asian Spice, Italian Herbs + Sweet Cinnamon and are extra tasty. I can especially vouch for the Italian Herb being good on pesto pasta .
For my A-Z challenge I decided I had to incorporate them into a recipe like I did for my Cheesy Tofu Scramble + Chipotle Sweet Potato Tacos. I left it to the experts to come up with the recipes though and made 3 hemp recipes from 3 of my favourite bloggers.
First up was these Happy Hemp Two-Bite Brownies from Ricki Heller. They’re grain-free and also don’t contain any refined sugars. I use coconut sugar in my baking already but hadn’t found a good brand of stevia until recently so had avoided stevia sweetened desserts. I won a giveaway for some NuNaturals products and have to say these are unlike any others I’ve tried. Stevia can often have a bitter aftertaste but this one is completely undetectable.
Back to brownies. Ground almonds and hemp seeds are the main ingredients leaving them with that perfect fudgy brownies texture- a slightly squidgy middle whilst still being crisp on the outside.
Next, I made Gena from Choosing Raw’s Beet and Hemp Granola. This was my first time making granola of any kind and I was so pleased with how it turned out. Gena gives either the option to dehydrate or oven bake but as I sadly don’t own a dehydrator I had to go with the latter. I’m sure it didn’t compromise the taste but it might have resulted in the darker colour of mine, not quite the pretty beetroot pink it was before baking.
I don’t buy store-bought granola as it’s far too sweet for me but this had just the right amount of sweetness- all natural from dates. The goldenberries (Incan berries) added a nice chewy, tangy contrast too.
I served mine with almond milk and berries (N.b My blackberries were from the freezer which is why they look a little icy still!) . I’m excited to try out a bunch of other granola recipes now I know how easy it is to make, and far healthier and cheaper than buying it.
Hemp recipe number 3 was another breakfast recipe. Dreena Burton’s “Hempanana Smoothie” from her latest book Let them Eat Vegan (See this post for my review).
This is a super simple concoction but needs no adornment. Just frozen banana, almond milk, a generous helping of hemp seeds and a dash of cinnamon. Hemp seeds are very soft so they blend down easily and leave the smoothie dreamily creamy! I ran out of straws ( I need to get myself a reusable one….) and slurping this from the glass left me with a thick milk moustache. I’ll definitely be making this again and again.
Incidentally, I just came across this recipe for Chocolate Hemp Banana Ice Cream the other day, which, along the same lines, uses hemp for richness. Can’t wait to try it out.
Have you tried hemp seeds? How do you use them?