Thursday, August 19, 2010
Did you know that you can eat and drink hemp? It's not just for textiles, paper, and fuel. Up until a few months ago, this was news to me. I first learned of hemp as a food product via Gena of Choosing Raw and I found hemp hearts (hulled hemp seeds) at one of my local bulk food stores, which also has a large selection of natural and organic foods.

The following bullet points, taken from the Nahanni River Herbs website and echoed  numerous other places online, list some of the many health benefits of hemp hearts.
  • Contains more required amino acids (proteins) than milk, meat or eggs.
  • Is a complete protein rich source,  much more balanced and digestible than Soy products.
  • Contains about 47% oil, 78% of which is omega 3 and 6 , the essential fats.
  • Has all the essential or omega fats required for human health.
  • Contains several times more omega 3 essential fat than any fish.
  • Provides more energy than energy bars, without their sugar and with much less saturated fat.
  • They are suitable for those unable to eat gluten, sugar, nuts, and meat.
  • Excellent for those troubled with constipation.
  • Perfect for those avoiding carbohydrates.
  • A 42 g serving (4 tbsp) contains 240 calorie energy from 15 g protein,15 g polyunsaturated fats (11.4 g omega 6 and 3.6 g omega 3), 2.7 g mono-unsaturated fats, 2.1 g saturated fats, 2.5 g fiber, 4.5 g carbohydrates, 2 mg iron, 31 mg calcium, 3.8 mg sodium, 3.8 mg vitamin E, 956 IU vitamin D, .42 mg vitamin C, .05 mg B6, .58 mg vitamin B1, 1.6 IU vitamin A.

I haven't branched out very much yet in my hemp consumption and apart from a single swig of hemp milk (which I did not find all that palatable; I don't remember the brand), I've been using my hemp hearts in my soaked overnight oats. My batches turn out such that I have enough for three mornings and this contains a total of three to four tablespoons of hemp hearts. I've mentioned my morning oats in this post. The recipe has since been tweaked some more to include replacing some of the milk with unflavoured natural yogurt, a tablespoon or two of chia seeds as well as, most days, some maca powder. Topped with fresh fruit - whatever I have on hand - I'm still loving these oats.

Hemp hearts help to fill me up and keep me going, extending the staying power of the oats, flaxmeal, nut butter, chia seeds, oatbran, and fruit. On any given day shift, which for me starts when I wake up at 4:45 a.m. to be at work for 6 a.m., I take a bowl of soaked oats topped with fresh fruit with me to eat at my desk very shortly after I get there and before the public starts walking in the door. By my first break, which I take between 9:30 and 10:30, I'm just starting to be ready to eat something else; not because I'm starving but because lunch is still another one to two and a half hours away.

I love that I'm supporting a Canadian company when I buy my hemp seeds. Rocky Mountain Grain Products is an Alberta company producing hemp oil, bars, and seeds.


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