Hemp Foods
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Hemp Foods

Hemp seed (from Cannabis Sativa) contains the richest source of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) in the plant kingdom and contains a relatively low percentage saturated fats. EFAs promote cellular growth, healthy skin, hair and eyes, aid in immune response, disease prevention, weight control and even in cognitive functions. The human brain is 60% fat - therefore EFAs are critically important to its proper function and good health. EFAs are also the raw material the body needs to produce hormones, the body’s communication network for cellular activity.

Botanically, Hemp seeds are tiny nuts that develop on the female flowers of the Hemp plants. Technically, Hemp seed is an achene, that is, a small, indehiscent fruit that is dry and usually containing an oily germ. (Sunflower seeds are another example of an achene). The Hemp seed, although sometimes called Hemp nut, is therefore in fact a fruit and not a nut. It also does not contain the enzyme inhibitors that block protein digestion, such as those found in legumes (soybeans), grains (wheat) and nuts that normally cause food intolerances or allergies.

The nutritional content of the Hemp seed is impressive, offering 30% complete and highly digestible protein and containing over 36% essential fatty acids, which is 16% more than flaxseed. It is the best source of Omega 3, Linolenic acid and Omega 6, Linoleic acid, as well as GLA, Gamma Linoleic acid (approximately 3%). Hemp seed contains protein, lipids, choline, inositol, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, phospholipids, phytosterols and all nine essential amino acids. The amino acid profile is superior to soybean and cow’s milk. The complete protein in the Hemp seed not only provides all the essential amino acids required to maintain health, it is 65% globulin edestin and contains albumin. 

Hemp seeds have many delightful culinary applications. They can be substituted for dairy, soy or rice protein in the production of non-dairy beverages, frozen desserts, tofu and cheeses. The seeds have a delicious nutty flavour and may be eaten whole and raw as a snack with or without added seasonings. Toasting lightly enhances the delicious nutty flavour of the seeds, but eating them raw will preserve all the nutrients. Hemp seeds can be sprinkled on salads, vegetables, pasta, or added to smoothies, granola, baked goods, soups, sauces, dips, seed cheeses, nut milks and nut balls. Another interesting use for the seeds is to make them into nut butter in a Champion or Green Power Juicer. Nut butter may also be made in a blender, but this method will require that extra oil be added to make the nut butter spreadable. Nut butters can be made with or without added seasonings. (See Hemptons' Recipes for inspiration)

Hemp Seed is easy to digest, making it ideal for people suffering from gut and bowel problems. A recent report, funded by the Canadian government, says that 66 per cent of Hemp protein is high quality, the highest percentage of any plant source. Hemp also contains three times as much vitamin E as flax.

While Hemp Seed is a powerful healer, it is fragile. The essential fatty acids it contains are easily damaged if exposed to light, air or heat. So it is recommend that Hemp Seed should never be cooked at high temperatures and is best eaten raw.

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