What are Hemp Seeds?
Hemp seeds come from the same hemp plant renowned for its durable fiber. The seeds of the plant are edible (known as hemp seeds, or hemp nuts) and are used in a growing number of products today. See also: Cooking with hemp seeds: Hemp seed recipes to try
Though hemp comes from a variety of Cannabis, the plant contains extremely low levels (or none at all) of THC, which is considered a drug in most countries. A similar situation would be the amount of opium found in poppy seeds. It is not possible to use industrial hemp as a drug. The plant is known for being extremely easy to cultivate, with fantastic yields. The hemp plant, even for culinary purposes, is still illegal to grow in the United States. Most organic hemp seeds found on the market in the U.S. are grown in Canada.
See also: Shopping for hemp seeds
Nutritional Benefits of Hemp Seed
Hemp is considered one of the world's most nutritious plants. Hemp seeds contain all of the essential amino acids making them an ideal source of protein for vegans and raw foodists. The essential fatty acids are abundant in hemp seeds and come in a ratio that is highly beneficial to humans. Magnesium, iron, and potassium are in good supply along with fiber. Some of hemp seed's supply of antioxidants comes from its vitamin E content.
Culinary Uses of Hemp Seed
Hemp seeds are being used in many packaged products, usually found in health food stores. Some of these products, such as hemp milk and ground hemp flour, are relatively simple to make at home from the seeds. Other products are not so easily replicated such as hemp oil, hemp ice cream, and hemp protein powder. See also: How to make homemade hemp milk
How to Use Hemp Seeds
Try sprinkling hemp seeds over a salad, as a topping on granola, puddings or other desserts. Frequently sold as a superfood, hemp seeds can be added to smoothies both at home and in many cafes and juice bars. Hemp seeds can also be used in baking and cooking though the nutritional content is at its highest in its raw state.