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The Benefits of Hemp Seeds and 5 Terrific Recipes
You have probably been reading all the posts on social media lately about hemp and hemp seeds and thought to yourself, “Isn’t that illegal?” The good news is, no, it’s not illegal and you won’t get high either. The only high you will feel is the emotional high you get when you realize that you are giving your body tons of nutrition and your taste buds tons of taste!
Hemp has numerous health benefits. It offers the perfect omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid balance, it is high in anti-inflammatory compounds, and it can help fight numerous health conditions such as heart disease, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and even certain cancers. Hemp seeds are also high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant which can stop premature aging and supports healthy brain function.
Now that you know more about hemp seeds, take a look at the following 5 delicious recipes that include hemp seeds for a healthy and delicious change of pace to your meals.
1. Crunchy Hemp Seed Baked Potatoes
These are creamy and delicious but perhaps one of the best parts is that they can be wrapped in foil and reheated later on in the week, so they make a perfect take along lunch or a make-ahead meal for busy nights when you know you won’t have much time to cook.
- 4 Large organic baking potatoes, scrubbed clean but leave the skin on
- ½ Cup raw, unsalted cashews
- ½ Cup hemp seeds
- ½ Cup finely chopped fresh parsley, minced
- ½ Cup finely chopped fresh chives, minced
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1.5 Tablespoons yellow miso paste
- Soak the cashew nuts in a bowl of cold water for 1 hour.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Bake the potatoes for 45 to 60 minutes on a baking sheet.
- Cool for 15 minutes, or until they are easier to handle.
- Drain and rinse the cashew nuts.
- Blend the cashews with the yeast, coconut oil, lemon juice, and miso in a food processor or blender until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Slice the top 1/3 of each potato lengthwise and discard the top skin.
- Scoop the inside of the potato into the cashew mixture, removing as much of the flesh without ruining the shape of the potato skin. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
- Mix the potatoes and cashew mixture well. It should have some texture, however, and not be entirely smooth.
- Add ¼ cup of chives, ¼ cup of parsley, and ¼ cup of hemp seeds to the mixture.
- Stuff each potato skin with the cashew/potato mixture.
- Put the potatoes back on the baking sheet and bake for another 15 or 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
- Garnish the tops with the remaining parsley, chives, and hemp seeds.
2. Delicious Hemp Pesto
If you love pesto, you will love this super high protein pesto recipe. Made using hemp seeds rather than pine nuts, mix it with some pasta or use it on your favorite sandwich for a taste you will love.
For the Cashew Cream:
- ¾ Cup of water
- 1 Cup of raw, unsalted cashews
For the Pesto:
- 2 Cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/3 Cup hemp seeds
- 2 Organic garlic cloves, peeled (find out their benefits)
- 2/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil
- Zest from 1 organic lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ Cup cashew cream
For the Cashew Cream:
- Blend the cashews and water in a high speed blender or food processor until super smooth and creamy.
For the Pesto:
- In your blender or food processor, blend the basil, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper, and hemp seeds until coarsely blended.
- Now slowly add the olive oil until everything is smooth and well mixed.
- Stir in the cashew cream.
3. Easy Cheesy Kale Salad
The dressing for this salad is a little salty and a little sweet, yet creamy and super delicious! Serves 4.
- 2 Bunches of Kale, washed and stems removed
- ¾ Cup hemp seeds
- ½ Cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ Cup chopped onion
- 2 Cloves of organic garlic, peeled
- 4 to 6 Medjool dates
- 1 One inch piece of organic ginger root
- 1 Tablespoon no-salt herbal seasoning
- 1 Cup coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon turmeric
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons of water, if necessary, for blending
- 8 to 10 Medium sized scallions, chopped into bite size pieces
- Put the kale leaves in a large salad bowl.
- Put the all other ingredients into your blender or food processor and mix well, using water if it seems a bit too thick. Add additional salt, pepper, or dates if you like.
- Pour the dressing over the kale leaves and stir well.
- Allow to sit and marinate for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.
4. Lemon Hemp Herb Dressing
This is a great dressing for just about any salad you can dream up. You could also use it as a veggie dip. This dressing is raw, soy free, nut free, gluten free, and vegan.
- ½ Cup hemp hearts
- Juice from 1 medium sized organic lemon
- A couple strands of chives, cut into 1 inch pieces
- A few sprigs of fresh dill leaves
- A few sprigs of fresh cilantro and/or parsley
- ¼ Teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ Teaspoon onion powder
- Salt to taste
- 1/3 Cup of water as needed for thinning
- Add all ingredients into your blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add more water 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Add more lemon or other spices to suit your taste.
- Chill before serving.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
5. Banana Chocolate Chia Hemp Pudding
Chia seeds are one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. This recipe makes a terrific dessert, or as a nice change of pace for breakfast. Serves 4.
- 1.5 Cups almond milk
- 2 Tablespoons hemp seeds
- 1 Organic banana
- 2 Tablespoons raw cacao powder
- ¼ Teaspoon salt (find out how to choose the right salt)
- ½ Cup chia seeds
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted
- ½ Teaspoon real vanilla extract
- ½ Teaspoon cinnamon
- Place the chia seeds in a medium mixing bowl.
- Blend the banana, almond milk, cacao, salt, dates, hemp seeds, vanilla, and cinnamon in your blender or food processor until a chocolate shake like consistency is obtained.
- Add the mixture from your blender to the chia seeds and mix thoroughly.
- Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes until the chia seeds swell up and become gel-like.
- Serve with a few goji berries if you like.
- This dessert will last in the refrigerator, covered, for 3 to 4 days.