Hemp, the controversial ingredient that actually has some surprising benefits …
You may have heard the recent buzz around town “Hemp as a food has been legalised” but in fact Hemp seed oil has been used as a food and medicine source in China for over 3,000 years.
Now that Food Standards Australia & New Zealand have acknowledged Hemp as a highly nutritious food with many health benefits, the market for Australian Hemp is expected to quadruple over the next 2 years. With stocks set to rise let’s look at some of the perks Hemp may offer not only your health but also the environment.
Hemp seeds are exceptionally rich in healthy fats, protein and various minerals while coming from the same plant species as cannabis (marijuana), you most definitely won’t test positive in a drug test as Hemp seeds contain little to no THC. With a mild, nutty flavor the hemp plant can be eaten as a seed, oil, flour or protein powder making it easy to add into your smoothie, salad, baked goods and can be consumed directly without heating or soaking.
Some benefits include:
- Nutritious, whole protein, containing 21 amino acids, including all 9 essential amino acids
- The second highest source of whole vegetable protein, and the optimum Omega 3 : 6 profile
- Whole hemp seeds contain over 30% healthy fats and are exceptionally rich in Omega 3, essential for brain function, growth and development. A diet rich in Omega 3 has also been shown to contribute to reducing inflammation, heart disease, blood pressure and depression
- High amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc
- High amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber, which may benefit digestive health
- Contains more protein than both chia seeds and flaxseeds
According to Australian Trade Minister Dr. Craig Emerson demand for protein rich foods is set to soar. Due to increasing production of grain and livestock (causing 10% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions) Australia must start to look beyond animal products to service this demand.
Hemp has environmental benefits with a 90 – 140 day harvest cycle, and capacity for carbon fixing in a range of products making hemp the single best candidate for the carbon farming initiative.
Hemp as a plant is one of the most versatile of crops with a wide variety of uses not only for food but also in fiber, fabrics, building materials, paper and bio plastics so watch this space!
So, want to give it a try?
Cacao & Hemp Protein Balls
- 1/2 cup hemp flour
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1/4 cup nut butter
- 2 tablespoons hemp protein
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- Place all of the protein ball ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth and combined.
- Combine the decorating ingredients in a small bowl.
- Roll the protein ball mixture into tablespoon sized balls and coat in decorating mixture.
- Place on a tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 small garlic cloves large
- ½ lemon juice
- 1 pinch oregano *to taste
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan *optional
- 2 tablespoons hemp oil
- 1 pinch salt
- Place hemp seeds in a small frying pan over a medium heat.
- Lightly toast hemp seeds, stirring frequently to ensure they don’t burn.
- Place the toasted hemp seeds, pine nuts, basil, garlic, lemon juice, oregano and Parmesan (if using dairy) into a food processor.
- Process until the mixture forms a crunchy paste.
- Add the hemp oil slowly with the motor running until the desired consistency is reached.
- Add salt to taste.
Will you be trying hemp in your diet?
For more information and recipe ideas visit Hemp Foods Australia: www.hempfoods.com.au