Patchouli. Marijuana. Hemp clothing. The munchies. Before going dairy-free five years, that’s the extent of my knowledge of hemp. Even now the word hemp brings back memories of funky bright-colored clothing strewn about the entrance of a shop on Newbury St in Boston. The thick smell of patchouli took my breath away that I never actually made it past the hemp clothes to browse the store.
Hemp isn’t just for stoners though. Beyond clothing, hemp is a nutritional powerhouse that every healthy family can appreciate, especially those with dairy-intolerant children. The seeds provide a good dose of protein, healthy fat, vitamins and minerals. With so many people finding relief from going dairy-free, most grocery stores will carry packaged hemp milk. While I’ll turn to this option when traveling, I prefer to make hemp milk that’s free from additives and thickeners often used in shelf-stable hemp milk. Fortunately, turning hemp seeds into hemp milk is a breeze. No cheese cloth needed!
Most plant-based proteins do not contain all essential amino acids and often need to be combined with other foods to ensure the diet is complete. This isn’t an issue with hemp protein because it has all essential amino acids. Hemp is especially beneficial for vegans and families with children who don’t like meat or cow’s milk.
Nut-free nutty flavor
Say that three times fast. There’s always someone in a family of nut allergies, who’s jonesing for nut flavor. In their whole form, shelled hemp seeds are warm, toasty and nutty. Good news, according to Dr. Andrew Weil, hemp seeds and nuts don’t pose a threat to individuals with nut allergies. Yum!
Magnesium is a natural calming mineral that the body needs for extensive functioning. It supports a multitude of chemical reactions and is required to help muscles relax. Most people are deficient in magnesium, especially adults and children with finicky eating patterns. Read more about this powerful mineral from Dr. Mark Hyman.
Homemade Hemp Milk
1-3 TBS hemp seeds
1 C filtered water
1/4 – 1/2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
1. Combine hemp seeds, syrup and water in blender
2. Pulse it a few times. Let it run for 5-10 seconds. Let it sit for 5-10 seconds and then pulse another few times.
3. Filter with mesh tea strainer
4. Chill and drink!
Note: You can eat the hemp pulp for a healthy dose of fiber!