by Marta Szumiata
on November 20, 2019

Can you really get high with hemp seeds?

There is a mistaken belief that you can get high by eating hemp seeds. Indeed, hemp and marijuana belong to the same plant species (Cannabis Sativa L), but they are different strains. Hemp produces not only nutty, fatty, buttery tasting seeds, but also can it be refined into paper, textiles and clothing, biodegradable plastic (cutlery, cups, tableware), biofuel, and even construction material (hempcrete). Yes, you can build a house with it!

Still afraid?

The hemp plant is taller and thinner than the stalky marijuana plant. The main difference between the two is the production of the psychoactive compound – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, while the marijuana can be anywhere from 5% to 30% THC. Therefore, it is safe to incorporate hemp seeds into your diet. It has been a staple for many years but recently began gaining global popularity. Additionally, it is regarded as a superfood, thanks to a large number of benefits for your health.

Inconspicuously small but fully packed with essential good fatty acids (Ω-3 and Ω-6) and protein, hemp seeds can replace soybeans, thanks to nearly identical levels of protein. Hemp seeds contain all nine essential amino acids that you can only get from food. An extra benefit is the presence of fibre, especially if you consume seeds with the intact outer hulls, which subdues your appetite and helps you control your weight. The seeds are a treasure trove of vitamins (B and E) and minerals as magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and phosphorus.

Hemp’s pleasureful taste

Tempting nutty notes with palpable pine nut nuance.

Hemp seeds are pure delight for nut aficionados. Nutty pyrazines and pyrroline, also found in coffee, dark chocolate, nut pralines, nuts, sprouted chickpea, and Parmigiano Reggiano, are responsible for the seed’s nutty flavor. Hemp seed is therefore a perfect ingredient for a fluffy mousse or a heavy brownie. You can even smell a resinous pine nut-like undertone. It is the effect of combination of the nutty molecules with woody, spicy / camphoreous, and green notes.

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Comforting fatty aftertaste

Hemp seeds feature a well-rounded fatty mouthfeel. It is the favour of different acids and aldehydes, especially (E,E)-2,4-decadienal, that give extra citrusy undertones like what can be found in lime peel, lemon and kaffir lime leaves. It is present in popcorn, pumpkin seeds, and peanut oil, green olive, cooked bulgur, and stewed beef gravy as well.

Pleasant bean-like aroma

You can detect a beany flavor resulting from a combination of bell pepper-like, green, and woody molecules. You can pair it confidently with kaki, plantain, jasmine flower, tucupi, adzuki bean, pandan leaf, cucumbers, green peas, carrots or Indian Pale Ale.

There’s also a subtle hint of maple and caramel aromas, which can be linked to the semi-sweet taste of the hemp seeds

How do you eat them?

The simplest way to eat hemp seeds is to enjoy them raw in smoothies, granola, porridge, yoghurt or sauces for some added crunchiness. You can also enrich your baked goods with hemp seeds. Hemp ‘milk’ is another way to easily incorporate the nutritious seeds into your diet, and the same goes for hemp flour. As the seeds are rich in fatty acids, cold pressed hemp seeds oil is an up-and-coming product.

https://blog-assets.foodpairing.com/2019/11/blog-newsletter_112019_header-copy_header-copy.png Although hemp leaves are less nutrient-dense than the seeds, you can eat them raw as a leafy vegetable in salads. The seeds are also suitable for sprouting.

Broccoli rabe with wakame and hemp seeds

recipe

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by Marta Szumiata
A confectioner, food technologist and culinary reenactor. Loving food, Marta is still exploring culinary world looking for new inspirations and bewildering dishes. She likes to try her created recipes on her family and friends, especially fermented ones

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