Contributing Monkie GreenChef Staff Monkies
Published on March 26, 2008
I’m hooked on this one. I’ve been trying to incorporate hemp seeds into more dishes and to replace other nuts or seeds. Even though they are so healthy and taste pretty good, I always found it hard to know what to do with them. Besides for sprinkling them on top of my salads or mixing them with quinoa in tabouli salads. I knew there had to be better ways to get them in larger quantities into my diet. I’ve never liked the hemp protein powders. They are just too gritty and powdery, I hate the texture they give to my smoothies. What surprised me was that the whole hemp seeds have basically the same amount of protein as the hemp protein powders. They are not actually concentrated, and the protein is not isolated anyways.
They are just lower in fat. However the fat that is in hemp seeds is the kind of fat that I want and desperately need in my diet! Hemp seeds have basically the perfect profile of essential fatty acids and the best possible balance of omega 6, omega 3 and GLA. Unlike flax, which is ultra heavy in omega 3, hemp won’t throw your EFA balance off if eaten long term or in large quantities, since it is naturally balanced. It has a 4:1 Omega 6 to 3 ratio just like the diet that humans evolved on for 2.5 million years. Flax also doesn’t contain the GLA that hemp has, and hemp doesn’t contain estrogen unlike flax that is higher in phytoestrogen then soy. I could go on and on about the health benefits of hemp and how it is such a perfect complete protein and high in the sulfur amino acids, but really I just wanted to consume more of it. You can read all about the health benefits of hemp here and here.
While it might be an old standard for some people, making a hemp milk out of my seeds was new to me. The great thing about using it as a base for smoothies and shakes is that hemp seeds do not need to be soaked, they have no anti-nutrients or inhibitors in them that need to be uninhibited by water. They are perfect as they are. They also are nice and soft and when blended they instantly turn into a creamy white milk with no pulp to strain out. You can if you want to. The end result is a white liquid with dark tiny bits that look like blended vanilla seeds, but there is no noticeable texture to them. Being a whole food, unlike the powder or oil, you get both the protein and EFA’s.
Another powerful superfood that I love is blueberries! Wild blueberries are at the top of ORAC antioxidant charts and provide so much nutrition packed into such a small little berry. An interesting fact I just learned is that wild bears will eat nothing but these berries when they are in season, and will even travel up to 15 miles a day on an empty stomach to track down a blueberry bush! The American Indians called them star berries, due to their 5 point star shape blossom openings. They held a very high regard for these blue stars and used to smoke them to preserve them for the winter. The Chinese call them vision berries, due to the way they improve your vision. That’s not all they do, these little berries also have been shown to also lower cholesterol, improve memory, coordination, balance, and slow aging. Might I add that they are also low in sugar and low glycemic. Maybe I should just call this the Anti-Aging Shake. I’ve always loved blueberries though. This makes a very fresh and clean tasting shake. I prefer to make it thick so I can eat it with a spoon before it melts, and it’s like a soft serve frozen treat. The thing is, when I make my shakes thin enough to drink, I end up drinking them too fast. Having to use a spoon slows me down. Well at least a little….
OK, the recipe. Of course it’s super simple.
Wild Blueberry and Hemp Shake
1 1/2 Cups Pure Water
5 TB Hemp Seeds
3 TB Agave Nectar
1 TB Coconut Butter (optional)
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 10oz Package of Frozen Wild Blueberries
1 Cup Frozen Banana
Pinch of Salt
Serves 1 – Double or triple the recipe for your friends (or yourself). It is filling, a full meal.
Blend everything except for the frozen ingredients on high speed until it is white, creamy and frothy. Then add the frozen ingredients and blend again on high until smooth and creamy. I prefer it simple with just the blueberries and hemp milk and it keeps the whole thing low sugar. But it is thicker, creamier, and sweeter with the banana.
Oh by the way, the nutritional breakdown of this shake (sans banana) is approximately:
Protein: 20 grams
Carbs: 80 grams (only 38 if you omit the agave)
Fat: 25 grams or so….
Iron: About 30%
Zinc: About 40%
Magnesium: About 80%
Omegas: About -
12.5g of Omega 6 LA
5.0g of Omega 3 ALA
1.0g of Super Omega-6 GLA
0.5g of Super Omega-3 SDA
You can also add a nutrient rich powder to this to make it a super shake. I like to do that sometimes, even though it tastes best on it’s own. It is still good, just a little powdery. Some good options are Smoothie Infusion, and Active Greens. I’ve tried it with the Smoothie Infusion and it still tastes good. Another great option to add to this would be a food based vitamin C, such as Amla, Camu Camu or Acerola Powder. The vitamin C would increase the absorption of the iron even more so! And it’s just plain good for you….