All things hemp

Today is an historic day. A day I have been waiting for since I discovered hemp! No I don’t mean the stuff you smoked at uni, I mean the super amazing hemp seed.

For years I have been watching mum’s in the US talk about the wonders of hemp as an alternative for their allergy children. Most frequently, the posts are about the milk, which is widely commercially available in the US.

When we were searching for safe foods for Miss 4 I often thought about it as a possibility. But a quick google revealed that it was not legal to be sold for human consumption in Australia. You see, we are more than a little backwards with approving things like this. I could see though that there was a growing movement for having it legalised, and also that you could buy hemp products in Australia which were food grade but legally had to be marketed only as beauty products.

I bought some to use on my skin, and then after much discussion between myself and Miss 4’s Dad, we agreed to try cooking with the oil to see if Miss 4 would tolerate it. She did! And finally we had an oil to cook with. I was also able to make her own safe lip balm by mixing it with beeswax.  She thought she was so cool.

The downside was that it was not widely available obviously. And the food products like milk were not available at all.

I am so happy to say though, that everything changed today! Today it became legal to sell hemp products for human consumption in Australia.

I am super excited, because hemp is a truly wonderful food with amazing health benefits. It is probably a superfood really, but I hate the fad nature of that tag. It is something anyone can easily try out. At the moment it comes as hemp hearts, hemp oil and hemp protein commercially.

I will quickly tell you how I use each.

Hearts- soak in water, blend and then put it through cloth to make hemp milk (just like a nut or seed milk), then you can use the pulp in cooking

Oil- use for dressings and low heat cooking (it has a low smoke point and loses some health benefits once heated)

Protein- use in smoothies, shakes, protein balls

Now to the health benefits

  • it is a complete protein featuring all the essential amino acids needed by the body for energy production
  • high in calcium, iron, vitamin A, antioxidants plus other essential minerals
  • high in fibre which helps the good bugs rule your gut
  • high in omega 3s which are vital for brain health, cognitive function and eye health

When I mention hemp as a food to people they often laugh. They think of marijuana and the effects of THC. But hemp as we are talking about has no THC. What it does have though, is an amazing nutritional profile, lots of possible uses, and is potentially a safe food for kids with lots of allergies, like it is for my Miss 4.

And that is why I am excited!


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