Hemp. We know what you’re thinking…but it’s not just the cousin of marijuana and material for surfer friendship bracelets anymore! Humans have used hemp for over 12,000 years for food! It is easy to cultivate, environmentally sustainable, requires barely any pesticides and replenishes the soil in which it grows. All this AND it makes your diet healthier? You betcha!
Hemp is full of heart healthy fats including omega-3 fatty acids, powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, reducing your risk for heart disease. Hemp oil is the richest known plant source of these fatty acids and provides 85% of your daily requirement in just 1 tablespoon! Go ahead and add it to salad dressing or oatmeal to get the benefits today!
Hemp is full of Protein – 3 tablespoons (about 30 grams) of hulled hemp seeds pack about 11 grams. Sprinkle it on a salad or stir it into soup and enjoy a well rounded vegan meal without much prep.
How else can you add hemp into your diet? Add the seeds to smoothies or yogurt if you feel like cooking but these days there is a variety of products that include hemp as a major (or minor) ingredient including milk, granola, breakfast cereals, bars, breads, baking mixes, chocolate and even ice cream. Check the nutrition label to make sure the product contains primarily unsaturated fats, and lots of protein, without tons of sugar so you know you’re getting hemp’s strongest health benefits.
My favorite hemp recipe right now: Tabouli Salad with Hemp Seeds. Enjoy!
1 huge bunch curly or flat parsley
½ white onion, diced
1 organic tomato, diced
1 small cucumber, chopped
3 TBSP hemp seeds
Juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove
¼ cup cold-pressed olive oil
½ tsp Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
Chop the parsley and put in bowl w/ onion, tomato and hemp seeds. In a blender combine dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour 1/2 the dressing over the salad (save the rest for another salad) and mix well. Top with sliced avocado or lean protein like chicken if really hungry. Serves 2.