Hemp seed is an ancient superfood that has a rich history of culinary enjoyment by cultures for thousands of years as a traditional medicine to enhance health and well-being. While most people in North America are aware of the health benefits associated with eating hemp foods, many are just beginning to discover the rich flavor and culinary versatility of hemp seed. With a soft texture, attractive sesame seed-like appearance and nutty flavor similar to pine nuts and sunflower seeds, Manitoba Harvest Shelled Hemp Seed is a versatile and delicious ingredient that can be added to a myriad of recipes. Below is a recipe for Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce by Kristen Suzanne of Kristen’s Raw courtesy of hemp foods pioneer and leader Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils (www.manitobaharvest.com).
Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce is a satiating and refreshing snack for dipping fresh veggies or chips, and is also an ideal sauce on top of veggie burgers. It also makes for a delicious raw vegan dressing on a hearty salad with romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives. Manitoba Harvest has been working with chefs to create delicious recipes that feature the benefits and applications of this versatile and nutritious seed, and you can explore more of them at www.manitobaharvest.com/recipes. Shelled Hemp Seed can substitute for other nuts or seeds in just about any recipe and it is perhaps most popular as a topping for salads.
“Hemp seed is nature’s best and most-balanced source of omega-3 and omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and that is fueling interest from nutrition experts, consumers, retailers and food manufacturers,” says Manitoba Harvest President and co-founder Mike Fata. In addition to the high concentration of EFAs, hemp foods have a strong digestible protein profile, abundant fiber, and a wealth of minerals and natural antioxidants including Vitamin E and chlorophyll. “The overall protein content in hemp seed is comparable to soy beans without the hormone inhibitors found in soy, and there is more protein than that found in nuts, other seeds, meats, dairy products, fish and poultry. It’s an added bonus that Manitoba Harvest Shelled Hemp Seed is an eco-friendly product made from non-GMO hemp seed that is grown without pesticides or herbicides.
Scientists in Canada, a country where hemp agriculture is thriving and experiencing a rebirth, recently performed research to study hemp seed’s role in maintaining heart health. The title of the abstract from their research published in the April 2008 edition of the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology* sums things up well, “Cholesterol Induced Stimulation of Platelet Aggregation is Prevented by a Hempseed-Enriched Diet.” The research highlights the elevated concentration of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) in the test subjects, and notes that the heart health benefits may be attributable to the increased levels of GLA. Hemp is a plentiful and rare plant food source of the “super” omega-6 GLA.
“There are only four significant natural sources of GLA: Hemp Seed, Evening Primrose, Borage, and Black Courant,” says Fata. “Of these, hemp seed is the only whole food source that has a wide variety of culinary functions.”
All Manitoba Harvest products are packaged in light-impermeable packages and flushed with an inert gas to prevent oxidation. The SRP for a 12-ounce bag of Manitoba Harvest Organic Shelled Hemp Seed is $14.99 and it is widely available at stores in the U.S. and Canada and at www.manitobaharvest.com.
Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce (Raw, Vegan)
Yield: approximately 1½ cups
1/3 cup water
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 red bell pepper, seeded, rough chopped (approximately 1 cup)
1 cup Manitoba Harvest Shelled Hemp Seed
2 ½ tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons tamari, wheat-free
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. This can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Founded in 1998, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils is the largest farmer-owned, vertically integrated hemp food manufacturer in the world. The company mission is to create the healthiest hemp foods, to educate the public about healthy lifestyle choices and to support sustainable and organic agriculture. In February 2009, Manitoba Harvest partnered with Renewable Choice Energy to offset 100% of their facility's electricity with wind power offsets, and all of their facility's natural gas usage through carbon offsets. The program demonstrates Manitoba Harvest's strong commitment to sustainability, their support for wind power and renewable energy, and their dedication toward the fight against global climate change. For more information, please visit www.manitobaharvest.com.