Food Trend: HempBy Oxygen's Staff Blog|Oxygen Staff|2012-10-11 | Comments: 0
Jennifer Vine, Fact Checker
Give me a couple hours and I could easily spend it at a good health food store. Yep, I’m one of those, the Sunday stroller of the aisles, just there to browse and check out as many labels and items as I can. You could say I’m easily intrigued by the latest health foodie trend, so it was no surprise for me to discover hemp and be won over by its benefits.
Brought to you by the same plant that provided you with your childhood friendship bracelets, hemp has exploded on the health foods front, along with other super seeds like chia and flax.
Packed with fiber, protein and healthy fats, hemp delivers a variety of nutrition-packed products, from hemp oil to protein powder, from hemp milk to the delicious shelled seeds.
One use of hemp that ignited particular intrigue came from trainer and fitness consultant and Oxygen blogger, Kim Lyons, with a cauliflower popcorn recipe from her 10-day fat-loss plan, featured on Dr. Oz. I discovered that not only does the nutty flavor and chewy satisfying texture of the hemp seeds go amazing with this dish, but they are delicious on any roasted vegetable – zucchini, carrots, broccoli, you name it. I’ve also introduced these great little seeds to salads and sprinkled them on top of Greek yogurt and oatmeal.
As for hemp protein powder, my first experience with it wasn’t as love-at-first-taste. I mixed some plain hemp protein powder with unsweetened almond milk and a few frozen blueberries and the result was a bit comparable to swamp water. I love a good handful of spinach in a shake, but this combination with the leafy greens undertone of the hemp was just not quite right. But it’s not all bad! With a fine powder consistency, unlike whey, regular hemp protein is easy to sneak into savory dishes, like soups, sauces and dips for a protein punch without that “chemically” aftertaste or compromised grainy texture.
Vegan-friendly and gluten-free, hemp earns its stars as a health food. “Hemp is one of the only plant-based complete proteins – containing all the essential amino acids in amounts that are closer to dairy and meat products than any other seed except soy,” says registered dietician and Oxygen’s Easy Does It columnist, Tiffani Bachus “For vegans and vegetarians, that is very promising as proteins are necessary for building and maintaining muscle mass.”
As many seeds and nuts are renown for their healthy fat content, hemp proves itself as being something a bit beyond the ordinary. “Hemp seed contains the perfect 1:3 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 – an ideal balance of fatty acids producing a positive effect on the inflammatory processes.”
- 2 heads of cauliflower
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp shelled hemp seeds (try Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts)
- pepper to taste
Cut up cauliflower into popcorn–size florets. Mix with some pepper, olive oil and hemp seeds. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes at 420°F, flipping/tossing halfway though.
For an easy protein boost in your diet, check out this information on hemp and other protein powder options.
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