Hemp products don’t get you high. So why bother? Do they taste good? What’s the point of eating them? The simple answer is that hemp is recommended because it’s part of a healthy lifestyle.
The difference between cannabis and hemp is that while both plants are cannabis sativa, hemp is low in THC, the psychoactive component.
As the cannabis plant and its myriad uses become more socially acceptable, it’s the responsibility of marijuana users to continually bring cannabis and hemp into the forefront of social consciousness by integrating its non-stoner uses into everyday habits. Spreading the love of hemp is crucial towards influencing society to move one step closer to unanimously ending prohibition.
Like Bob Marley’s son Stephen says, “Education before recreation.” Besides, this is a trend your gluten-free and vegan friends can get behind.
Hemp foods are rich in protein and have all ten essential amino acids. They also contain omega-3, omega-6, stearidonic acid (SDA), and the rare omega-6 Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA).
What’s so great about GLA? Well, GLA has been shown to help with cholesterol, inflammation, skin and hair health, balancing hormones, and general heart health. Hemp foods also contain magnesium, fiber, iron, zinc, and phosphorous.
With that in mind, I ate my way across the Summer Fancy Food show at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center to discover the most scrumptious, hemp happy stoner (or not) snacks of the year.
Nature’s Path Hemp Granola. To some folks, all granola tastes like birdseed. However, this clustery, crunchy hemp granola was snacktastic. It can be sprinkled on top of your pumpkin pie, or pumpkin muffins, for a satisfying crunch. It can also be eaten the old-fashioned way, as good ol’ breakfast cereal – with hemp milk!
Why wouldn’t people want their children to have nourishing, healthy hemp superfood granola for breakfast, without high fructose corn syrup, instead of whatever sugary crack snack General Mills is selling in your local supermarket (that is devoid of all nutrients and probably causes hyperactivity)?
Hemp Hearts (a.k.a shelled hemp seeds) and Hemp Heart Toppers are from Manitoba Harvest’s line of hemp foods. They focus exclusively on hemp seeds, which they use to make delicious hemp foods products. Hemp toppers are an excellent way to add some extra panache to your side dishes. Sprinkle the garlic & rosemary, or chipotle, onion & garlic flavors onto your salads and into your soups. Use it as a seasoning, (in place of the Goya’s Adobo seasonings that have been recalled for salmonella, according to Food Quality and Safety’s website.) The maple & cinnamon and coconut & cocoa flavors accompany breakfast cereal quite nicely.
Forget canned foods. Hemp Hearts are the perfect addition to dad’s underground bunker, because they can last unopened from now until the zombie apocalypse.
Speaking of breakfast, if you plan to skip it, at least have a breakfast shake, because breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Consume a packet of hemp protein powder mixed into a smoothie with some almond milk and a banana or two, and you will be ready to tackle the day, even if you did a wake and bake.
If it;s too hot to go outside, and you’re sitting around watching Netflix with your friends, pop open a few brewskis! Germany’s Greenleaf Hemp Lager, California’s Humboldt Brews Hemp Ale, or even Canadian (unfortunately-named) Millennium Hemp Buzz Beer. You can taste the entitlement. Just kidding. Not really. O Canada, thanks for legalizing.
According to the Jamaica Gleaner, back in the year 2000, The Jamaica Bureau of Standards (JBS) – similar to the US FDA – hauled the imported hemp beer under its microscope, to determine if the label on the bottle gives consumers the impression the ingredients include ganja. Here’s a hint: It doesn’t. So pop one open with your pop, while you scream at your team on TV to your heart’s content.
If having a beer or two isn’t powerful enough to help you cope with being trapped with your family or if you have a more sophisticated palette, pour yourself a shot of the aptly named, Elation. Elation Vodka is produced in Switzerland and flavored with Swiss hemp blossoms. It doesn’t, however, have a distinct floral note. Instead, a bold cedar twang dominates, with the addition of subtler notes that include nutmeg and grapefruit peel. It finishes smooth and slightly woody.
If you are more of a stress eater, than a drinker, for dessert, nothing beats Nocciolata! Ok, there actually isn’t any hemp in this, but it is so magically delicious, it deserves an honorable mention. You won’t have to be high to want to eat the entire container of this marvelously creamy chocolate substance out of the jar with a spoon. Move over Nutella, Nocciolata is Nutella’s sophisticated, sexy Italian cousin that all of your brothers fight to sit next to at the dinner table.
I will leave you now with a recipe for a delicious pumpkin pie smoothie:
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling), frozen
- 1.5 cups hemp milk, almond milk or other non-dairy milk
- 2 bananas, frozen
- 1 serving of Vanilla Chai Hemp Protein Smoothie
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- Maple & Cinnamon Hemp Heart Toppers for sprinkling on top (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into two glasses, top with Maple & Cinnamon Hemp Heart Toppers or Hemp Hearts, and enjoy.
Be grateful that legalization is sweeping the country, helping those in need. The U.S.A. is blessed with a bountiful Summer harvest of hemp snacks.