Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Food: Hemp Seed

Yesterday I went to a local "natural food" store that I have not yet been to, just to check it out. I went with the intention of buying something with protein in it that I can add to my fruity smoothies.

I had whey protein in mind, but the employee questioned why I was set on whey protein. I told her I wasn't; I was just looking for some protein. She tried to talk me into buying a pound of hemp seed, but I didn't want to commit to such a large quantity without being able to try it first, and it only came in a 16 ounce bag.

I instead came home with an 8 ounce bag of Shelled Hemp Seed, by Nutiva.

It was described to me as tasting kind of like sunflower seeds, I also read that it tastes like pine nuts. I'm not good at distinguishing specific flavors: I think it just tasted a little nutty.

One serving is 3 tbsp.
Those 3 tbsp contain 174 calories; 13.5g of fat (1g saturated fat, no trans fat); no cholesterol; no sodium; 2g of carbs, 1g fiber, 11g of protein; 16% of your iron + Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and some other vitamins that I don't normally pay attention to (see label below).

The whole Hemp seeds that the employee tried to talk me into would have had more fiber (5g per serving) because they had the shell on them still.

Here's what the shelled hemp seed looks like in the little container I use to make my smoothies:

Here's what I made my smoothie with:
  • 5 medium-large strawberries
  • one medium-large banana
  • about half of this container of coconut water (6 ounces)
  • 1 tbsp of hemp seed (Didn't want to overload in case I didn't like the flavor)
The instructions on the bag say to mix the 3 tbsp of hemp seed with 1 to 2 ounces of water "into a thick cream" before adding other smoothie ingredients. So I added a splash of water to the 1 tbsp of hemp seed and stirred it with a spoon. This is right around when my husband came in, noticed the bag of hemp seed, and said "What is this? Are you becoming a hippie?"

Can't say I got the mixture to be creamy, but close enough. I then added in my fruity ingredients and the coconut milk and used our fabulous Cuisinart Immersion Blender/Hand mixer. This thing totally beats our old blender. (Broken into two pieces so it can all fit in the picture).

And here is the finished product. 16 ounces of smoothie:

You can see the little whitish bits,
which is a combination of strawberry seeds and the hemp seed, I think.

All in all this was a success. It was thinner than I'm used to as I usually make mine with yogurt or kefir. If this were a post-workout smoothie, I probably would have added some for more protein; and I probably will the next time I make it so that it is more filling. I will probably try moving up to 2 tbsp of hemp seed next time too (baby steps).

Here's the nutritional info for this ~16 ounce smoothie:
(thanks to

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