Hemp: The Superfood
The hemp plant has thousands of uses, from its toughness and versatility in the construction sector, to its remarkable ability to decontaminate radioactive soil in the nuclear sector. After a period of stagnation, Hemp science is advancing rapidly and new uses are being found every day, with more governments turning away from archaic policies to curb its growth, and more funds being allocated
to further research.
One area that perhaps could be considered to be under-utilised is the benefits of
using Hemp in cooking:
The humble hemp seed contains 23% protein and carries all 20 amino acids, including all 9 essential amino acids which the human body cannot produce itself. Another benefit is due to the 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid in hemp, which has great benefits for cardiovascular health and the strengthening of the immune system. Crucially, hemp is a superior source of protein as it is easily digestible and is a better source of essential fatty acids than any other seed.
Hemp is also versatile as a food, and can be made into several different food products including:
Hemp Protein: made from refining hemp seeds and processing them into a protein powder. Hemp protein powders contain a combination of both Edestin and Albumin proteins which makes it a complete protein. These proteins contain a series of essential and non-essential amino acids, all of which are needed by the human body. Hemp Protein can also be used as a vegan alternative to Whey Protein.
Hemp Flour: Hemp Flour is a by-product that comes from refining hemp seeds and is very similar to hemp protein, just less refined. Hemp Flour boasts a variety of vitamins and minerals for a flour and is also a great gluten-free alternative, although its use in baking is best when used in a 3-1 ratio.
Hemp Oil: Hemp Oil is used probably the most popular use of hemp in cooking and is made through cold pressing hemp seeds to extract the oil. Hemp oil has a nutty flavour and is a great substitute in dressings and oil based sauces like a salsa verde or a pesto.
Hemp Hearts: Hemp hearts are hemp seeds which have been hulled and can be used like any seeds or nuts in food preparation, for example in trail mix, salads, on top of oatmeal or in flapjacks. A versatile product, so the possibilities are endless!
Watch this space for incoming hemp recipes and feel free to send yours in - we will publish the best ones!