How to Cook with Hemp Oil

This uncommon ingredient is rich in fatty acids

Hemp Oil
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In terms of popularity, hemp seed oil might not be on the same level as, say, olive oil or even coconut oil, but that could be due to the confusion that surrounds the product. Usually referred to as just hemp oil, this product is different than hash oil—also known as CBD hemp oil—which is made from the Cannabis flower and contains THC. Instead, standard hemp oil is made by cold-pressing hemp seeds and has no psychoactive properties.

A key characteristic of hemp oil is its translucent green color, which might be off-putting at first. Hemp oil does need to be stored in the refrigerator, both before and after opening. Most hemp oils are raw (and made from raw hemp seeds), cold-pressed, and unrefined.

Cooking with Hemp Oil

Hemp oil is darker and more flavorful than more neutral oils you might be used to, such as vegetable oil. The taste is nutty and earthy, making it ideal for use in salad dressings or as a bread dip. However, because of that interesting flavor, hemp oil is not suitable for anything sweet or anything delicate that might get overpowered by the strong flavor. For example, you might not want to use it in a raspberry vinaigrette, but instead, use it in non-sweet dressings. For example, try hemp oil vinaigrette dressing, which made by blending it with balsamic vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, and garlic. Hemp oil honey mustard dressing is made with apple cider vinegar, honey, and mustard.

Hemp oil is also perfect for being drizzled on rice or grain salads such as tabouli, used as a dip for toast points, or as a part of blended sauces such as hemp hummus, hemp pesto, or even homemade mayonnaise. Add a small amount to a smoothie or drizzle it on top of hummus. Hemp oil can be used in the marinade of fish or chicken, such as combining honey, soy sauce, hemp oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and hot sauce for grilled salmon.

Hemp has a low smoke point, which means that it will start to smoke and change flavor with anything more than just a little bit of heat. You can warm it up, but make sure it doesn't actually too hot. In other words, you won't be able to deep-fry or stir-fry with it.

Nutritional Qualities of Hemp Oil

Along with hemp seeds and hemp protein, hemp oil is a way to get the benefits of this superfood. Advocates of cooking with hemp oil point to the seed's rich omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids content. This makes it an alternative to fish and fish oil for vegetarians and vegans as those are typical sources of omega-3 fatty acids. At 5 to 7 percent saturated fat, hemp oil is also low in saturated fat compared with many other culinary oils.

Hemp oil has a 3-to-1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. This is said to match the balance required by the human body. One tablespoon provides the daily requirement for essential fatty acids.