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, also known as hemp nuts, are edible. Along with being eaten just as they are, hemp seeds are used in a growing number of food products that can be added to other dishes, including hemp milk, hemp butter, hemp protein and even hemp tofu.
Hemp is considered one of the world's most nutritious plants. The 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.
Culinary Uses of Hemp Seed
Hemp seeds are 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. Hemp has a slightly nutty flavor, perhaps best comparable to pine nuts, but of course, the texture is quite different.
How to Use Hemp Seeds
Try sprinkling hemp seeds over a salad or 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. They 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, you should definitely be a fan of eating hemp products and hemp seeds! Hemp is widely considered to be among the most sustainable plants on the planet. It doesn't deplete the soil, as some crops can, and it can easily be cultivated in a variety of places. Hemp 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 little to no THC, which is considered a drug in most countries. Confused? 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. However, even for culinary purposes, the hemp plant is still illegal to grow in the United States. Most organic hemp seeds found on the market in the U.S. are actually from Canada.