Do you have to give up milk if you are vegan? NO! Absolutely not. Non-dairy milks are delicious, and the options are quickly multiplying. We now see milks made from nuts, grains, beans, and seeds – any of which can bring cereal to life, make oatmeal creamy, or just sit in a tall glass alongside a carob chip cookie waiting to be dunked.
So the question is not whether to try non-dairy milk. Rather, the real question is WHICH type of non-dairy milk to pick off the shelf. My current love affair is with hemp milk. A recent turn of events. In fact, last year I had only a vague idea that hemp existed and, today, it is a worthy contributor to my credit card debt.
[caption id="attachment_998" align="alignnone" width="604"] Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds[/caption]
What Are Hemp Seeds?
Hemp seeds come from a variety of Cannabis that has low levels of THC (or none). In other words, hemp seeds contain THC like poppy seeds contain opium. Interestingly, cultivating hemp in the United States, even for culinary purposes, is still illegal. You can drink it, eat it, and wear it, but you better not grow it. As a result, the United States imports hemp seeds, mostly from Canada. For more information on hemp seeds, check out:
[caption id="attachment_1001" align="alignnone" width="640"] Hemp Seed Close Up[/caption]
Hemp seeds are nutritionally superior to other seeds because of (1) their fatty acids and (2) their protein make-up.
(1) Hemp’s Fatty Acids:
Health agencies recommend that humans consume foods that have an omega-6/omega-3 ratio of around 4:1. Western diets, however, typically have an omega-6/omega-3 ratio of 10:1, or more. In other words, most Americans are ingesting too much omega-6. This is where hemp seeds can help to balance you out! The ratio in hemp seeds is about 3:1. So, even if you feel slightly betrayed reading about ratios on a food blog, at least there is a healthy payoff!
(2) Hemp’s Protein:
Hemp contains all of the essential amino acids – and in an easily digestible form! For more detailed articles on hemp seed nutrition check out:
How to Make Hemp Milk:
The good news is that it takes less than 5 minutes to make hemp milk! First, you need the hemp seeds (of course!).
[caption id="attachment_1003" align="alignnone" width="640"] Hemp Seeds in Measuring Cup[/caption]
Then it’s on to the sweetener. The sweetener is an optional ingredient, but I prefer the flavor with it! I used maple syrup in my milk, but you could also use agave.
[caption id="attachment_1004" align="alignnone" width="640"] Agave and Maple Syrup[/caption]
I also like to add a little vanilla extract to my hemp milk.
[caption id="attachment_1006" align="alignnone" width="640"] Vanilla Extract[/caption]
Place the hemp seeds, sweetener, vanilla, and water in the blender…
[caption id="attachment_1007" align="alignnone" width="536"] Hemp Milk Ingredients in Blender[/caption]
And after less than a minute, you have hemp milk!
[caption id="attachment_1008" align="alignnone" width="475"] Hemp Milk in Mason Jar[/caption]
For me, this recipe tastes amazing straight out of the blender. Don’t be afraid to drink a glass right away! And remember to give the milk a brisk stir after it has been sitting in the refrigerator – there aren’t any preservatives or chemicals milk to keep it from separating.
- 4 cups of water
- ¼ cup raw shelled hemp seeds
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Put hemp seeds, water, maple syrup or agave, and vanilla extract in blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until creamy.
This milk can also taste great with some added cinnamon!