Hemp Milk - Delicious, Nutritious, Non-Dairy, Super-Healthy
Don't worry. It won't get you high. But it will make your heart very happy!
There are so many kinds of milk available to us now aside from cow's milk. Goat milk, sheep milk, buffalo milk, almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk, flax milk, hazelnut milk, oat milk, kefir - which I consider "drinkable yogurt" rather than milk - and even more but the star of the show today is hemp milk. Let's dive into what it is, how it's made, how to make your own at home, why it's so good for you and perhaps most importantly of all for those who've never had it...what does it taste like??
Hemp milk is made from hemp seeds and water. You can make your own at home if you're so inclined - it's a very simple process. Just put hemp seeds and water in a blender for about 3 minutes, strain through a cheesecloth and there you go! You can also add things to the mix like dates, vanilla, agave nectar, orange zest, cacao powder...any flavors or sweeteners you like. But what about these hemp seeds? What are they?
Hemp and marijuana ARE related - they are both cannabis plants and they can look almost identical - the most important difference is that marijuana can get you high and industrial hemp cannot due it containing zero or almost zero (depending on the strain) THC - the psychoactive component found in marijuana that makes you feel high. Kind of like beer with alcohol in it and beer with no alcohol in it. No matter how much non-alcoholic beer you drink - you'll never get drunk. It's just not possible. Food products made from hemp like hemp milk, cereals containing hemp seed and others contain absolutely zero THC and are very strictly regulated and tested.
Hemp's history on this planet goes back more than 10,000 years. It has been and still is used to make rope, fabrics, textiles, paper, building materials, fuel, biodegradable plastics, paint, skin and hair care products, cosmetics and yes - food. Very nutritious food, actually. Hemp seeds and their resulting milk products are renowned for containing high levels of both omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, but they also contain all 10 essential amino acids, (complete) protein, a surprising amount of calcium, potassium, phosphorous, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamins A, C, E, B6, B12, and D, folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc...AND...zero cholesterol. That's right. ZERO. Hemp milk is also free of soy, lactose and gluten, it's vegan, it's easy for the body to digest, it's good for your skin, your heart, your digestive system and more.
Sounds pretty good, huh? Sounds pretty healthy. It is! But what does it taste like? The taste depends largely upon which style you choose, but generally speaking - it tastes like milk! It tastes like cow's milk with a mild "nutty" flavor to it. And it's thicker and creamier in texture than other non-dairy milks such as rice milk and almond milk as it contains more (healthy) fats. It also has more protein in it.
There are several varieties available - what brands like Pacific Foods call "original" flavor with both sweetened and unsweetened options, which has just a touch of vanilla and sometimes other flavors added, both sweetened and unsweetened vanilla flavor which obviously contains much more vanilla and yes indeed - that all-time favorite - chocolate. My favorite is the Original Unsweetened style by Pacific Foods - made right here in my home state of Oregon.
The unsweetened varieties are much lower in calories and BOY are they perfect for making smoothies! I make mine with a small banana and some blueberries, plus a little ground flax seed, ginger powder and cinnamon. MAN is it delicious! And very, very nutritious! You can use hemp milk in all kinds of recipes, put it on your cereal or just drink it straight out of the carton. Don't get caught doing that (HA!) but do remember to give the cartoon a good shake first to make sure all the yummy goodness gets in your body and none gets left at the bottom.
If you've not tried hemp milk before - go get some some and try it! If you already drink hemp milk, or have in the past, try making your own or using it in different ways such as in a recipe. I'm always interested in other people's opinions so feel free to leave a comment if you try hemp milk for the first time or use it in a recipe and especially if you try making your own. I think I'll have a go at that myself sometime. Share your recipe!
Cheers to your health ~