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unshelled hemp seeds

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

Hemp seed, unpeeled, raw - cannabis sativa - on wooden spoon and around it.

Hemp seeds, peeled, raw, spread in glass bowl and unpeeled next to it.

Unshelled hemp seeds in a bowl. You can eat unshelled hemp seeds raw.

The photo shows a plate with unshelled hemp seeds (left) and shelled hemp seeds (right).

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Hemp is one of the oldest agricultural and ornamental plants in the world. We distinguish between industrial hemp and hemp that is grown for recreational or medical use. It is believed that hemp originated in Central Asia. Today, it is both cultivated and found growing wild around the world in climates ranging from temperate to tropical. Hemp is an annual, herbaceous plant with serrated leaves that have a palm-like shape.

General information:

From Wikipedia: Hemp or industrial hemp (from Old English hænep), typically found in the northern hemisphere, is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products … Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp both derive from the species Cannabis sativa and contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are distinct strains with unique phytochemical compositions and uses.”

Nutritional information:

“100 grams of hulled hemp seeds supply 586 calories. They are 5% water, 5% carbohydrates, 49% total fat and 31% protein. Hemp seeds are notable in providing 64% of the Daily Value (DV) of protein per 100 gram serving.
Hempseed amino acid profile is comparable to other sources of protein such as meat, milk, eggs and soy. Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score values (PDCAAS), which measure the degree to which a food for humans is a “complete protein”, were 0.49-0.53 for whole hemp seed, 0.46-0.51 for hemp seed meal, and 0.63-0.66 for dehulled hemp seed.
Hemp seeds are a rich source of B vitamins, the dietary minerals, manganese (362% DV), phosphorus (236% DV), magnesium (197% DV), zinc (104% DV), iron (61% DV) and dietary fiber (20% DV).
Approximately 73% of the energy in hemp seeds is in the form of fats and essential fatty acids, mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic, oleic and alpha-linolenic acids.

Culinary uses:

“Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, ground into a meal, sprouted, or made into dried sprout powder. The leaves of the hemp plant can be consumed raw in salads. Hemp can also be made into a liquid and used for baking or for beverages such as hemp milk, hemp juice, and tea. Hempseed oil is cold-pressed from the seed and is high in unsaturated fatty acids.”

Commercial uses of hemp:

“Hemp is used to make a variety of commercial and industrial products including rope, clothes, food, paper, textiles, plastics, insulation and biofuel … Cannabis flower essential oil, also known as hemp essential oil, is an essential oil obtained by steam distillation from the flowers and upper leaves of the hemp plant … Hempseed oil is cold-pressed from the seed and is high in unsaturated fatty acids.”

Cultivation:

“Hemp is usually planted between March and May in the northern hemisphere, between September and November in the southern hemisphere. It matures in about three to four months.”

Interesting facts:

“In 2011, the U.S. imported $11.5 million worth of hemp products, mostly driven by “growing” in demand for hemp seed and hemp oil for use as ingredients in foods such as granola.

In the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) treats hemp as a purely non-food crop, but with proper licensing and proof of less than 0.2% THC concentration, hemp seeds can be imported for sowing or for sale as a food or food ingredient. In the U.S., imported hemp can be used legally in food products and as of 2000, was typically sold in health food stores or through mail order.”

“Hemp is possibly one of the earliest plants to be cultivated. An archeological site in the Oki Islands near Japan contained cannabis achenes from about 8000 BC, probably signifying use of the plant. Hemp use archaeologically dates back to the Neolithic Age in China, with hemp fiber imprints found on Yangshao culture pottery dating from the 5th millennium BC.”

Raw hemp seeds have a slightly nutty flavor and contain all of the essential amino acids. The unshelled variety is preferred for salads.

Three Ways to Eat More Hemp

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Hemp seeds are considered a superfood, packed with plant-based protein and a nutrient-rich profile that includes fibre, minerals, healthy fats and vitamins. They are allergen-free and hemp is sustainable to grow.

For those looking to increase the protein content in their diet, hemp seeds are an excellent option. More than 25% of hemp seeds’ total calories is from high-quality protein, compared to chia seeds and flaxseeds whose calories are 16-18% protein.

But how to eat more hemp? Here are three ways!

1) Hemp seeds – shelled or whole

Hemp seeds are small brown seeds which come from the hemp plant and have a slightly nutty flavour. They come in a hard hull or shell.

The seeds can be eaten whole, with the shell left on, and add a lovely crunch to recipes such as our vegan flapjack. Some people also separate the seed from the hull, and then grind up the hull into a fibre-rich powder that can then be used in food.

In some parts of the world, whole hemp seeds are roasted and eaten as a popular snack, like popcorn, often sold from street-food stands in bags or cones.

However, for convenience, many people opt for shelled hemp seeds, also called hemp hearts, where the shell has already been removed. Shelled hemp seeds are softer in texture and paler in colour.

The Hemp Pantry sells delicious organic shelled hemp seeds and these can be enjoyed in a number of ways. They can be eaten raw, baked or toasted.

Here are a few ideas:

· Sprinkled on salads

Add a tablespoon of hemp hearts to just about any salad to enhance its superfood credentials.

A favourite is a fresh and colourful tabbouleh salad with parsley, tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, olive oil, bulgur wheat, pomegranates and hemp hearts.

Hemp seeds can also be used to make hummus and dips.

· Mixed with granola or cereal

A healthy, protein-rich breakfast kickstarts your day and fuels you all morning.

Why not add hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds to your favourite vegan granola, top with fruit and coconut yoghurt for a delicious and filling first meal of the day.

· Added to soups and stews

A few hemp seeds can be added to any soup or stew, whether cooked from scratch or shop-bought, to improve the healthy nutrient profile.

Brighten up your lunch with our bright-green vegan pea, mint and hemp soup.

· In cakes and bakes

Hemp seeds can be an ingredient in cakes and bakes recipes. For inspiration, see our flapjack recipe.

As they have a slightly nutty flavour, they can be used in place of nuts in many recipes. They can be included in cakes, such as carrot or banana, in muffins and in energy bars for an extra shot of protein.

· With pasta

Hemp seeds can be sprinkled on top of pasta, or used as a key component of the sauce.

Make some hemp pesto or add hemp seeds to our vegan bechamel sauce recipe with some vegan cheese for a moreish creamy pasta.

· To make delicious bread

Hemp seeds work perfectly in bread recipes, adding a delicious nutty taste and complementing other seeds.

Spread our vegan butter alternative Veurre® on warm hemp bread as a perfect accompaniment to soup.

· As a dairy milk substitute

Shelled hemp seeds can also be used to make hemp milk, which is a great dairy-free alternative to milk.

Simply blend 100g shelled hemp seeds with 1 litre of water. There’s no need to filter it and it will last up to five days in the fridge. It has a mild nutty flavour and perfect to use on your morning cereal.

· Toasted

For a toasty flavour and more of a crunch, you can toast hemp seeds in a frying pan or in the oven.

The browned seeds can then be added to salads, soups, eaten as they are, or used as an ingredient in baking and cooking.

· Confectionary

Hemp seeds are very versatile and can even be enjoyed in sweet treats – they are a key ingredient in our mouth-wateringly good vegan fudge which comes in five flavours from lemon drizzle to chocolate.

2) Hemp seed oil

Hemp seed oil is made from pressing hemp seeds. It is not the same as CBD oil which comes from the flowers, stalks and leaves of the hemp plant.

Hemp seed oil is packed with healthy polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. It contains a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids, which is considered the ideal ratio. For this reason, it has been dubbed ‘nature’s most perfectly balanced oil’.

The Hemp Pantry’s organic cold-pressed hemp seed oil has a mild nutty, slightly grassy flavour. It’s a light-green oil that is perfect for drizzling over salads, vegetables and soups. It can also be used to make salad dressings, dips and pesto.

Hemp seed oil can also be applied topically like olive oil or coconut oil to nourish the hair and skin.

One thing that’s not recommended is frying with it. Hemp seed oil has a low smoke point which means it starts to burn at a lower temperature than other vegetable oils.

3) Hemp protein powder

Whole hemp seeds that have been pressed to remove the oil are then grinded into a fine powder.

This fine powder is considered a complete protein source as it contains all nine essential amino acids. These cannot be made in the body and can only come from food.

Essential amino acids perform a number of vital roles in our body including in our nervous, reproductive, immune and digestive systems. They are also widely known for their role in muscle repair and development.

The Hemp Pantry’s organic hemp protein powder contains 50% protein and has a natural, earthy, slightly nutty flavour. For a massive protein hit, add hemp protein powder to smoothies and shakes, cakes and bakes, porridge and cereals. See our vegan berry and hemp smoothie recipe for a fresh and fruity drink.

We add hemp protein powder to our tasty Kakaoboll. These bite-sized cacao, coffee and oat balls are inspired by the traditional Swedish sweet treat. They are perfect for a mid-morning snack, a before-during-or-after workout energy boost or to satisfy a sweet craving.

Eat more healthy hemp

Brimming with protein, fibre, healthy fats, minerals and vitamins, it’s no surprise that hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, and hemp protein powder are popular choices for those on plant-based, vegan, protein-rich or healthy diets.

Delicious and versatile, hemp can be eaten at every meal of the day, including in snacks and drinks!

To check out our hemp-based, organic vegan products, including shelled hemp seeds, hemp seed oil and hemp protein powder, please visit our online shop.

Hemp seeds are considered a superfood, packed with plant-based protein and a nutrient-rich profile that includes fibre, minerals, healthy fats and vitamins. But how to eat more hemp? Here are three ways!