Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Heart Hemp Hearts!

 Hemp Hearts!
I have been meaning to write about these little seeds of awesomeness for a while.  They are packed with nutrition and that is so crucial for children with multiple food allergies.  My daughter is allergic to sesame seeds, flax seeds and even though I have not tested her for a sunflower seed allergy, she seems to have an issue with sunbutter, but thankfully she is not allergic to hemp seeds.  I have never had the nerve to try chia seed, but I don't really feel the need, since hemp seed is a superior seed, from a nutritional standpoint.  Ground chia seed can be used as an egg substitute, similar to flax seed, but I have other egg substitutes available.  

First off, you might be wondering, what are hemp hearts?  They are raw shelled hemp seeds.  Even though Living Harvest Temp is our hemp milk of choice, Manitoba Harvest is our choice for hemp hearts.  They are manufactured in a dedicated facility and non-GMO.  You can look at their flyer here to see the comparison of Hemp Hearts vs. Flax Seeds vs. Chia.  

The serving size is 3 Tablespoons, which is quite a bit for a little one, but that serving is packed with 10 grams of protein!  Half of that serving is a nice 5 grams of protein.  (I can do math!) ;)

The seeds are small and smooth and have a delicious, nutty taste, which is a little ironic, but still tasty.  They are not gritty or crunchy.  They mix in smoothly, into whatever you are making.  I had been mixing them into her pancakes for a few months, now, and they change the flavor, slightly, but she still likes them and I like the protein that they add to the mix.

This afternoon, she asked for a bowl of cereal, and it had been a while since she wanted that, so we mixed up some Kix and Erewhon Gluten-Free Crispy Brown Rice, and some Rice Dream vanilla rice milk in a bowl.  On a whim, I asked if I could mix in some hemp hearts and she agreed!  I put in 1 Tablespoon and mixed them in and she ate it all up. :)  She asked for another bowl and I added in some more hemp hearts, but I didn't measure how much I put in, that time.  I was just happy to see her getting some additional protein and wondering why I hadn't thought of this, sooner!  Even though this was an afternoon snack, it might become our new morning routine. :)  I'm also thinking about mixing them into her soy yogurt, because they are just so good for her and any added protein I can slip into her diet, the better.  I've eaten a few, myself, and they are pretty tasty.  I think everyone should throw them into their diet, but that's another subject. ;)  I just wanted to share, as I know many of us are looking for ways to get more protein into our food-allergic child's  diet and this is an excellent source of balanced nutrition.  Aside from perhaps a few vitamins, there are many who believe you could live entirely on hemp seeds, alone! Hemp is nature's perfect food!

If reading the word hemp makes you giggle, I urge you to read up on hemp.  I often forget there was a time, when I, too, did not know the difference between hemp and marijuana and asked about THC content.  There is no THC in these hemp food products and no risk of getting "high".  I get too irritated when discussing the DEA's continued classification of hemp as a controlled substance, so I will stay off my soap-box, but check out, if you would like to read more and/or get involved.  This stuff is expensive, here in the U.S., because we have to import it from other countries that are allowed to grow it, so if the price of hemp products shocks you, do something about it.  I do think it's worth every penny, but that's beside the point. ;)

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