What are Hemp Seeds?
The hemp seeds you can pick up at your local grocery store come from the same hemp plant renowned for its durable fiber. The seeds of the hemp plant are edible (known as hemp seeds, or sometimes called "hemp nuts") and along with being eaten just as they are, hemp seeds are used in a growing number of food products today, including hemp milk, hemp butter, hemp protein and even hemp tofu!
Read on to find out what you need to know about these fantastic little seeds.
- Cooking with hemp seeds: Hemp seed recipes to try
- A complete list of hemp food recipes: Hemp oil, hemp seeds, hemp powder and more
Nutritional Benefits of Hemp Seed
Hemp is considered one of the world's most nutritious plants. Hemp seeds contain all of the essential amino acids making them an ideal source of protein for vegans and raw foodists. The essential fatty acids (both Omega-3s and Omega-6s) are abundant in hemp seeds and come in a ratio that is highly beneficial to humans. Magnesium, iron, and potassium are in good supply along with fiber. Some of hemp seed's supply of antioxidants comes from its vitamin E content.
Curious about the exact nutritional benefits of hempseeds? Here's everything you need to know about hempseeds and your health, including a complete nutritional profile.
See also: Shopping for hemp seeds
Culinary Uses of Hemp Seed
Hemp seeds are being used in many packaged products, usually found in health food stores. Some of these products, such as hemp milk and ground hemp flour, are relatively simple to make at home from the seeds. Other products are not so easily replicated such as hemp oil, hemp ice cream, and hemp protein powder.
See also: How to make homemade hemp milk
What do hemp seeds taste like? Hemp has a slightly nutty flavor, perhaps best comparable to pine nuts, though, of course, the texture is quite different.
How to Use Hemp Seeds
Try sprinkling hemp seeds over a salad, as a topping on granola, puddings or other desserts. Frequently sold as a superfood, hemp seeds can be added to smoothies both at home and in many cafes and juice bars. Hemp seeds can also be used in baking and cooking though the nutritional content is at its highest in its raw state.
More Reasons Why You Should Eat Hemp
if you care about the environment and sustainable living and eating, you should definitely be a fan of eating hemp products and hemp seeds! This is because hemp is widely considered to be among the most sustainable plants on the planet. Hemp doesn't deplete the soil, as some crops can, and can be easily cultivated in a variety of places. It grows quickly and is quite hardy as a plant, able to withstand disease and pests.
Is Hemp the Same as Marijuana or Cannabis?
Though hemp comes from a variety of Cannabis, the hemp plant contains extremely low levels (or none at all) of THC, which is considered a drug in most countries.
Confused? Think about this: A similar situation would be the amount of opium found in poppy seeds. It is not possible to use industrial hemp as a drug. The plant is known for being extremely easy to cultivate, with fantastic yields. The hemp plant, even for culinary purposes, is still illegal to grow in the United States. Most organic hemp seeds found on the market in the U.S. are actually grown in Canada.