The Tiny Seed That You NEED in Your Pantry
Tiny but mighty, the hemp seed is one of the most nutritionally sound plant based protein sources you can find. Even better - hemp seeds are VERSATILE. They are one of those pantry items that can quickly and easily up the nutrional punch of any meal, from smoothies and parfaits, to soups and salads, to dressings and dips.
First things first - let's get rid of the misconception that hemp seeds are a drug. YES - they come from the cannibis plant and carry SLIGHT traces of THC, but NO - they will not make you high. There are no psychoative properties in hemp seeds, so no need to fear adding them to your morning smoothie. But what makes them so awesome for you?
Hemp seeds have a slightly nutty flavor, which lends well to both sweet and savory recipes. Whatever you add them to - 3 tablespoons adds 10 grams of easily digestible protein and all 10 essential amino acids. They are packed with Omega 3 & Omega 6 fatty acids, especially GLA, which helps with cholesterol, inflammation, skin and hair health, balancing hormones, and general heart health. In addition, they are a great source of magnesium, zinc and iron.
Where do we get our hemp seeds? We are BIG fans of Manitoba Harvest. Manitoba was one of our GOOD Fest sponsors, but we were using Manitoba in recipes far before our festival ever happened. Manitoba has strict standards for quality, starting from the quality of the seed and growing practices, to the testing and distribution of the final product. While we ALWAYS have Manitoba's good ol' plain organic seeds in the pantry, they also carry flavored hemp proteins, hemp snack bites, hemp oil (perfect for salad dressings!) and more - making it super easy to stock up on all the products you need in one spot.
It's super easy to throw a few tablespoons of hemp seed into your morning smoothie, or to sprinkle on top of your soup or salad. But when we were making making appetizers for our cooking class a few months back, we were looking to make a delcious, CREAMY herb dip without using tree nuts or tofu. HEMP SEEDS TO THE RESCUE!
We don't have pictures of this actual dish because it was truly gone in about 37 seconds after we placed it on the table. One of our class attendees even told us they would drink it if they could!!
Whip up this dip and serve with cold roasted veggies for an amazing party app, or with veggie kabobs and quinoa for an easy, fresh dinner. OR, make a batch and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days and use as a sandwich spread, salad dressing, or raw veggie dip. Change the herbs as the seasons change, and you'll have a year round, protein packed dip that you'll never get tired of.
2 red peppers, sliced thick
1 red onion, quartered
8-10 carrots, peeled
1 zucchini, cut into 1 inch slices
Avocado oil for brushing
Salt & Pepper
Hemp Herb Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 cup Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds
1/3 cup water
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chickpea miso paste
1 handful each of 2 or more herbs of choice (basil, cilantro, parsley, dill, chives - whatever you like! For class, we used basil, dill, and chives)
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Arrange carrots on a baking sheet, brush lightly with oil, season with salt and pepper. On a separate sheet, arrange zucchini, onion, and red pepper. Brush lightly with oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast carrots for 10-12 minutes, and zucchini, pepper, and onion for 7-8 minutes. Let cool, transfer to a plastic bag or container, and refrigerate until chilled.
Add all ingredients to a blender except herbs. Blend until smooth. Add herbs and blend until incorporated. Serve as a dressing or dip! To use as a sandwich spread, reduce water to thicken and add as needed.