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Hemp as food

Hemp as food

One of nature's richest sources of essential fatty acids, MiNDFOOD finds out why hemp is being used in just about everything.

Hemp as food

There’s a new flavour in our supermarkets, our burger bars and our health food shops: hemp.

Over a year ago, the Government changed regulations to allow hemp seed to be treated in the same way as any other edible seed.

Dave Jordan is chief executive of Hemp Farm NZ, which has been promoting the crop in this country since 2008 and has brought products to the market since 2011.

He and wife Anne’s company sells hemp seed oils, hemp seed and oat milk, protein powders, a skin care range and capsules to the New Zealand market.

Hemp seed oil is one of nature’s richest sources of essential fatty acids, including omega 6 and omega 3, and high protein levels. It’s a great source of vitamin E and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

Now the superfood is being used in just about everything. The Jordans’ website features 25 different recipes from salads to smoothies, pates to pesto, crackers and chips – even “hempuccinne”!

Look around the health food aisle in the supermarket and you’ll find the Hempy Bar, a snack for kids that’s said to be better for your family than traditional muesli bars.

Made by a South Island trio known as The Brothers Green, it’s sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, 100 per-cent plant-based and comes in several flavours.

Some off-the-shelf smoothies also get a bad press for high sugar content but the Nelson-based Chia Sisters’ new hemp offerings are healthy and filling.

In September came the big breakthrough for hemp-based food: BurgerFuel launched its limited-edition Electric Puha burger – plant-based, locally sourced and 100% vegan.

“Pūhā and cabbage kraut” and hemp seed oil aioli joined rocket, relish and avocado inside an organic hemp sourdough bun.

You could team it with crumbed hemp and broccoli bites (a combo of hemp seed butter, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas and broccoli) and wash it down with a smoothie of hemp milk, coconut ice cream, banana, golden kiwifruit and native greens.

Like to taste some hemp flavours? Visit hempfarm.co.nz/hemp-recipes/

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