I am someone who is generally mindful of what I eat, but I am by no means a saint – I love the odd takeaway every now and again and quite frankly life wouldn’t be complete without cake and chocolate. And I don’t, as far as I know, have any intolerances to food nor do I omit certain foods from my diet due to moral reasons. However, I’m always looking for ways to make healthy food swaps that don’t impact on taste, because ultimately the taste of what we eat is by far the most important factor, right? And yes of course it helps if it looks all fancy schmancy and yes knowing there’s a whole heap of healthy goodness packed in each mouthful does make you feel all glowy and virtuous, but if it doesn’t taste good then it’s highly unlikely you’ll continue eating that food in the long term.
When I was sent some products from Good Hemp, I was really intrigued as I’d read about the health benefits of hemp, but couldn’t quite shake off the association with ‘wacky backy’ and dark, incense scented hippy shops. Plus, whenever I’ve tried plantbased products before, particularly milks, let’s just say I haven’t exactly been blown away.
I was set the challenge of coming up with some recipes that used the ingredients and you can see the results by clicking on the links below:
Sweet Potato and Spinach Fritters
Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Hemp Seed Flapjacks
I was pleasantly surprised at how versatile the products were – the hemp oil has a smoke point of 165ºC making it suitable for all types of cooking yet is also delicious as a salad dressing or toast drizzler; the hemp seeds can be scattered on cereals, soups, salads etc., but can also be used to great effect in baking and as an alternative coating to breadcrumbs; and the hemp milk, like the oil and seeds, works equally well when consumed cold or as an ingredient within a recipe, such as the base for my chicken pie sauce.
But why would choose hemp instead of bog-standard milk, chia seeds and olive oil?
Well, turns out hemp is hella good for us that’s why. In fact if we’re doing some comparisons – hemp oil has 25 times more Omega 3 and 40% less saturated fat than olive oil, hemp seeds contain 50% more protein than chia seeds and a big old glass of hemp milk contains 50% of your recommended daily intake of Omega 3 and, perhaps most importantly, is dairy free making it suitable for vegans and people who are dairy intolerant. In fact, the protein contained within hemp is one of the very few sources of plant proteins that contains the same amino acids as milk, meat and eggs.
Oh and let’s put my worries to bed about the whole marijuana thing…
OK so they’re related yes, but it’s the hemp seeds rather than the leaves that are used to produce hemp food products, and the strain of hemp plant used in food is different to that of the illegal version and certainly won’t get you high no matter how much hemp milk you guzzle!
All in all I was really impressed by all three products and would recommend them to both vegans and meat eaters alike, as a means of incorporating some extra nutrients and good fats into your diet. All three of my recipes used the products in such a way that I wouldn’t have to change the way in which I cook and I was really pleased with how they behaved, how they looked on the finished meals, and most importantly how they tasted.
*Products gifted for review.