Hemp Protein : It is not what you think; really!
Hemp has been around forever. Hippies used to use it to make clothes as well as to eat. But at that time hemp was really a fringe product; associated with unsavory characters and the lifestyle no one wished for their kids.
But now, hemp has recovered from a blotted reputation and is known for its tremendous protein punch. Hemp protein is sold in powders, seeds, milk, butter and oil. It has a nutty flavor that fits well into the food tastes and routines you already have. In fact, you can replace hemp butter with the spread you use now, and it is likely that no one would even notice it. Hemp is used for many reasons; protein being the main one. It is an alternative to soy protein.
OK. So you know you are wondering…but isn’t hemp Marijuana? Isn’t “hemp” just a euphemism for weed? No. Hemp is not weed. There is a teensy bit of THC (the chemical that makes you high in marijuana). But the amounts are so small that not only will you not get high, it takes equipment from the NASA space program to detect it. So, you do not have to worry.
So why is hemp suddenly all the rage? Well, it is a source of lean protein that is vegetarian. Hemp has vital proteins that kids need in early development, and adults need for good enzyme formation and good metabolism. It is great for people who exercise a lot. Tired muscles are recuperated by hemp protein. Hemp is about 37 percent protein just like soy is. The difference is that hemp has the Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids that are needed for brain function and good heart health. These fatty acids are known to delay or even reduce the effects of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Hemp is a reasonable alternative if you cannot each fish, for example, and hemp protein is better than popping a dietary supplement pill.
Many plant proteins are labeled “incomplete” proteins because of the low amounts of one or more of the nine essential amino acids. But this “incomplete” label is an unwarranted negative spin. All plant proteins do contain each of the essential amino acids. It is just that many of them, like grains and legumes, do not have enough of the amino acids to qualify as “complete”. However, hemp protein supplies enough of each of the essential amino acids to contribute to the human body’s requirements. One of the awesome elements of hemp is that it has arginine and histidine, two amino acids that kids need as they develop.
Another great aspect of hemp is that its protein is heavily made up of Edestin, a protein that is ONLY found in hemp. This makes hemp the superior source for this protein in the plant world. Edestin is a type of plant protein that is similar to protein found in the body. Because of this, hemp is very good at helping cells recover and repair themselves. When purchasing a hemp protein powder you should be looking for a brand that supplies at least 50% protein by weight, supplying 15 grams of protein per 30 gram serving.
The other great attribute of hemp powder is that it is easy to digest and is high in fiber. All you need to do is grind the hemp seeds into a powder, or buy hemp powder and add it to yogurt or a fruit smoothie. Other types of fiber, like whey, can bother many people’s digestive system causing bloating and excess flatulence. Finally, to date, no one has ever been known to be allergic to hemp.
There are many ways to include hemp protein in your diet. Hemp is sold in many forms. If you get shelled hemp, you can add it to soups, salads, stir fries, oatmeal, and more. Also, hemp seeds are a great addition to baked goods like muffins, cookies and quick breads.
One caveat: do not cook with hemp oil. Because it has so many unsaturated fats, it is a bit unstable. But you can add cold hemp oils to Salad dressings, Pesto and dips.
Here are some useful recipes with hemp from Vegetarian Times
1. Grated Carrot and Celery Root Salad with Hemp Seeds
SERVES 4 | 30 MINUTES OR FEWER
Dark flecks of shelled hemp seed play off the bright color of carrots in this salad.
2 medium carrots, peeled
8 oz. celery root, peeled
3 green onions, chopped (% cup)
¼ cup shelled hemp seed
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
4 tsp. hemp seed oil
1. Grate carrots and celery root using finest grater setting of food processor. Transfer to bowl, and stir in green onions and hemp seed.
2. Whisk together mustard and vinegar in small bowl. Whisk in hemp seed oil. Season with salt and
pepper, if desired. Add vinaigrette to carrot and celerymixture, and toss to coat.
PER ½ CUP SERVING: 119 CAL; 4 G PROT; 7 G TOTAL FAT (
Banana Nut Bread
• 2 eggs
• 1/3 cup organic apple sauce
• 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
• 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
• 1/2 cup HempProFibre
• 3/4 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. sea salt
• 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about three medium)
• 1/4 cup Hemp Hearts
• 1/4 cup cacao chocolate chips or carob chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease 5 x 9-inch loaf pan.
2. Combine applesauce, buttermilk, oil, maple syrup and sugar. Stir in eggs and hempseed nuts.
3. Sift together dry ingredients. In large mixing bowl, combine wet and dry mixtures, and add banana. Stir until smooth.
4. Pour into pan and bake for 55 minutes.
PER SERVING: 340 CAL; 11G PROT; 13G TOTAL FAT (1.5G SAT. FAT); 46G CARB; 70MG CHOl,
170MG SOD; 3G FIBER.