Hemp as a food. An interesting amount of nutrients
When most people think about hemp and cannabis they think about happy people, having fun smoking weed.
Anyway, besides hemp for buildings, hemp is a great source for nutrition too.
The first thing I came into, were hemp seeds and hemp oil. I used to use them to dress salad and other fresh vegetable dishes. They are tasty and crunchy: a great mix up with salad.
Beside the fact that I love the colour of hemp seeds, it happens that they have a lot of proteins (almost soy-bean level) with a good distribution of essential amino acids and a good quantity of unsaturated fats: especially omega-3. Besides Hemp seeds are also rich in fibers, vitamins and minerals.
Containing CBD they also prevent brain diseases and the best results have been found for Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases.
So what we can expect from hemp seeds are: proteins, carbs, fats, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zing and folate. Not bad for some ancient seeds.
And what about hemp oil?
Well, I tried it as well, but I have to be honest, I do not fully like its taste. I tried it on salad, on pasta and a few other dishes and yeah, that taste was really much for me.
Anyway, hemp oil comes from seed and as you can probably guess, the nutritional basis are very similar to the seeds, except for fiber that does not make through the squeezing process.
Proteins and fats are still present in the oil and they are in a readier and more concentrated form than seeds. That is why, a lower quantity of hemp oil is needed to act like a correct diet supplement.
Besides, hemp oil is also amazing for skin purposes, making it a great tool to improve dermatitis, psoriasis and acne and researchers give this merit to the high concentration of fatty acids (the same we mentioned before for the seeds, but in a concentrated form.
Here in the image the oil I tried. The supplier is Molino Crisafulli (http://molinocrisafulli.com/), an Italian producer of hemp derived products, and according to some researches, their quality is really top notch.
After the oily part, we must mention the carbs side! And here, I am particularly referring to the hemp flour.
Yeah, do not get it the wrong way: this flour will not make “space-cakes” or other fancy things. It’s a normal flour particularly rich in proteins. Anyway, I tried it and also the hemp flour has a very tough flavour. I made several attempts and I found out that it should not exceed the 20% of the total flour of the stuff you will be cooking. Besides, if you are doing a cake, keep in mind that hemp flour does not have gluten, making it not suitable for a soft desserts, since non-gluten flours are going to become very hard after cooking them.
One of my favourite recipes with hemp flour is the apple pie.
Instead of traditional flour we use a non-refined (usually type 1) flour. On the total amount of flour, we replace 10% with hemp flour. Do not be scared if the cake will result some kind of greener than usual. That’s the hemp flour effect.
The taste will be quite different from the traditional flour since hemp flour has its specific taste, but from a nutritional point of view, you will be adding more proteins to the cake, making it not just a sweet dessert, but a more nutrient dish. You can make yourself attempts to find the correct balance between flours.
Anyway, those three main hemp foods are just the base material from which the most part of hemp-addicted foods are made. You will be able to find hemp seeds in chocolate, in mixed-seeds for salads while you will be able to find also Italian pasta made with hemp flour.
These are completely different tastes from what you have been used to. Make sure you will give them a try!
Cover image credits https://hempfoundation.net/top-50-hemp-products-you-can-get-online/