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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vanilla Hemp Milk

Hemp is a wonderful food, packed full of essential fatty acids and protein. I've used it to supplement protein intake and as an EFA supplement to aid with arthritis and digestive health. It's a fantastic, humane, and environmentally responsible alternative to animal milks. It's becoming so popular that I can find hemp protein supplements, hemp oil, hemp ice cream, hemp milk, and hemp seed in grocery stores that are part of nation-wide chains (QFC, Safeway, etc.). I have found some medical articles suggestion that consumption can lead to a false positive on very sensitive drug tests (articles suggested waiting 6 days after seed consumption and 48 hours after oil consumption), although the food is perfectly safe and legal, and will not make you giddy, lazy, or high. Hemp is in the cannabis family, but the amount of THC is negligible (typically 0.3% compared to marijuana's 6-20%).

The hemp milks I have found in the supermarket are tasty, but have a lot of additives that really aren't necessary. I don't care for carageenan (a processed seaweed used for texture) or brown rice syrup. I buy hemp seeds from in bulk and freeze or refrigerate what I am not using immediately. The oils make the food more prone to going rancid.

Hemp Milk
yields appx. 8 cups
3/4 cup hulled hemp seeds
2 vanilla beans, scraped
1/4 cup agave (or more depending on your taste)
pinch of milk
7 cups of water

Put the hemp seeds, vanilla, agave, and 1 cup of water in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. Taste the mixture to see if you need more agave. I like the nutty taste of hemp, but some people want to mask the flavor. After the ingredients are combined, pour in the rest of the water and blend until combined.
Stored hemp milk after a shake - some sediment rests on the bottom

I don't have to strain the mixture because my Vitamix does a great job of breaking things down and I don't mind the small amount of sediment that forms in the bottom of my storage container. If you don't have a high powered blender, you will want to strain the mixture through a cheese cloth. This will keep in the fridge in an air tight container for 3-4 days. I've used the milk in amaranth porridge, baking, risotto style grains, and cereal.
hemp milk over sprouted buckwheat and bananas
Breakfast of Champions

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