I think Hemp Milk gets overlooked because many people have visions of Cheech and Chong and School Daze when they hear the word hemp. While Hemp milk, or more specifically, hemp seeds, do come from the same hemp plant that keeps the worlds’ drug dealers in business, it contains little to no THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive substance found in marijuana. In addition, it contains a wealth of health benefits, many of which cannot be found in any other natural source.
Hemp milk is made from hemp seeds and contains a three-to-one ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. This has the benefit of preventing heart disease and certain cancers . It also contains many other nutrients not found in regular milk like Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, magnesium, calcium, fiber, iron, potassium, ascorbic acid, and beta-carotene. There are also a few less well known nutrients such as phytosterols, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin and thiamin.
Hemp milk also contains 10 essential amino acids, which not only makes it a good vegetarian source of protein, it also boosts the immune system. Hemp protein does not contain enzyme inhibitors found in some soy proteins that can interfere with the body’s ability to assimilate essential minerals. Hemp protein may also be more digestible than soy protein because unlike soy, it doesn’t contain oligosaccharides, complex sugars that can cause flatulence if not properly broken down during digestion. Without going into gory detail, I can tell you that I know several people who have experienced this phenomenon. :)
Hemp milk contains no sugar, no cholesterol, and is gluten free. Some claim that drinking hemp milk increases their mental capacity, and a healthy heart. It is said to reduce the risk of heart-related illnesses like heart attacks, hypertension, stroke, and many other ailments. Hemp milk balances the keratin in the body, which helps encourage healthy skin/complexion, nails, and hair. Another important benefit of hemp milk, unlike dairy milk, is the fact that it has absolutely no cholesterol, which means you don’t have to worry about gaining weight from drinking it!
Some words of wisdom – all hemp milk is not created equal! I prefer the Pacific Natural Foods brand, as it tastes much better than most of the others I’ve tried. It comes in original and vanilla, sweetened and unsweetened varieties. For adding to Matcha Tea, I prefer Vanilla but for most purposes Original is best. Another option is to make your own. I’ve experimented with this, and find that the flavor isn’t quite as appealing as the Pacific Natural, but definitely worth a try. Organic shelled hemp seeds can be purchased online or at most local health stores such as Whole Foods.
How To Make Your Own Organic Hemp Milk!
- 1 cup hemp seeds (shelled)
- 5-6 cups of purified water
- Natural Sweetener, such as Agave Nectar or Raw Honey (to taste)
- Optional (organic vanilla)…again to taste
- Combine the water and the Shelled Hemp Seeds in a blender. Use more water to achieve a skim milk consistency and less water to produce a heavier cream consistency of the milk.
- Turn blender on high for 2-3 minutes, or until you reach your desired consistency. (the VitaMix™ works amazingly for this)
- After blending you can sweeten the milk by adding: Organic Agave Nectar, raw honey, or Organic Vanilla. Blend again to mix sweetener. You can drink it thick or strain it through cheese cloth or nut bag to remove the large seed particles.
- Recipe Makes: 6-7 cups
- It will stay fresh for 3 days in the refrigerator in a sealed glass container (I use a mason jar). Shake well before each use.
Happy Hemp Days, Everyone!!