Hemp seed has been cultivated around the world for over 12,000 years. It's been used as a fuel, as paper, and as a textile. But it's a rather healthy choice for food with its fiber, chlorophyll, vitamins, and minerals as well as protein. Hemp seed oil is great to use in salad dressings since it has such a robust flavor. It is best used at room temperature, rather than heated or used as a cooking oil. Here's a simple way to whip up a basic hemp seed oil balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing using hemp seed oil, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar, with some spices to boot.
- 3 tablespoons hemp oil
- 1 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Whisk together all ingredients until evenly and well blended.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste. If you have any fresh herbs on hand, you can mince about 3/4 teaspoon and add them in.
- Augment the recipe for a larger batch.
Cooking Tips and Ingredient Substitutions
Just about any kind of fresh herb will work well in this hemp seed oil vinaigrette. Some additions to this recipe include:
- Add a sprig of fresh basil, fresh oregano or fresh thyme
- Use raw apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic vinaigrette
- Add rice vinegar, sherry, champagne or white wine vinegar instead of balsamic vinegar
- Agave nectar or honey can add some sweetness to the dressing
- Add ground cumin for a warm, earthy taste
- A different citrus juice, such as lime or orange gives the dressing added flavor
To make a creamier version of this salad dressing, replace the hemp oil with raw hulled hemp seeds and add 3 tablespoons of water in a high-speed blender. To make it thicker, just store the salad dressing overnight. Note, this recipe is vegan, but it's not a raw food recipe since this recipe uses Dijon mustard. Enjoy your homemade hemp seed salad dressing!
Nutritional Value of Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil
Not only are hemp seeds a perfect protein, but they also include each of the nine essential amino acids, making it a highly nutritious addition to any dish. Just one tablespoon of hemp seed contains 5 grams of protein, making it one of the highest concentrations of plant-based protein. Hemp seeds are also high in magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Hemp seeds also provide a healthy helping of Omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids as well for cardiovascular and brain health.