Hemp oil has many advocates. The oil from hemp seeds is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. This makes it an alternative to fish and fish oil for vegetarians and vegans as those are typical sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp oil is also low in saturated fat compared with many other culinary oils. Along with hemp seeds and hemp protein, hemp oil is a way to get the benefits of this superfood.
However, you need to know its limitations due to its low smoke point and flavor profile when using it in recipes.
Hemp Oil Facts
Hemp oil is a dark oil, and you may find the color a bit off-putting at first. It is a deep green hue. Once you get used to it, you may actually find quite beautiful, if not exactly appetizing at first. Hemp oil does need to be stored in the refrigerator, both before and after opening. Hemp oil producer Manitoba Harvest say that hemp oil can be left unrefrigerated for a couple days, but any longer and you risk it going rancid.
Most hemp oils are raw (and made from raw hemp seeds), cold-pressed, and unrefined. certified organic and non-GMO.
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.
Hemp Oil Taste
Hemp oil is darker and more flavorful than more neutral oils you might be used to.
The taste is nutty and earthy, making it a great oil to use in salad dressings or as a bread dip. It is not really suitable for anything sweet or anything delicate that might get overpowered by the strong flavor. You may not want to use it in a raspberry vinaigrette, but instead, use it in non-sweet dressings.
Hemp Oil on a Raw Foods Diet
Nearly all hempseed oil, including two of the more popular brands, Nutiva and Manitoba Harvest, is organic, unrefined, and cold-pressed, meaning that it should also be raw. Check the label to make sure that it says "cold-pressed" or "raw."
Cooking With Hemp Oil
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 get hot, as in any kind of frying. You won't be able to deep-fry or stir-fry with it.
Hemp oil is perfect for salad dressings, drizzled on rice or grain salads such as tabouli, as a dip for toast points, or, use it in 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.