by | February 21, 2013 · 2:26 pm

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll have noticed that hemp seeds appear in a lot of my meals.  It crops up in breakfasts, lunches, dinners, smoothies and even hot chocolate!  I have huge respect for this super seed, both for its nutritional content and positive impact on the environment.

Shelled_hemp_seed 500

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On the nutritional front, hemp seeds are little powerhouses, packed with protein, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and minerals.

Nutritional Qualities of Hemp Seed
♥ A complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids
♥ Very high protein content (over 30%)
♥ Low in saturated fat
♥ Excellent source of omega 3 and omega 6, and in the ideal ratio for your body to absorb it
♥ Natural source of Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA)
♥ Rich in antioxidants, including vitamin E
♥ Great source of magnesium, zinc and iron

Health Benefits of Hemp Seed
♥ Increases energy levels and metabolic rate
♥ Lowers blood pressure
♥ Improves organ function
♥ Boosts immunity levels
♥ Helps circulation
♥ Reduces inflammation and symptoms of arthritis
♥ Reduces symptoms of PMS and menstrual cramps
♥ Builds strong, healthy hair, skin and nails
♥ Low allergen and easy to digest

Though hemp comes from a variety of cannabis sativa, the plant contains extremely low levels (0.02% or less) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (levels comparable to the amount of opium found in poppy seeds).  Here in the UK, it’s legal to grow industrial hemp for culinary purposes.

Hemp Crop in Peasenhall Road, Walpole, UK 500

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The production of hemp seed actually has a positive impact on the environment!

Hemp seeds on plant 500

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Environmental Benefits of Hemp Seed
♥ A very efficient carbon sequester, locking up to four times as much carbon as a similar size field of trees
♥ One of the world’s most sustainable crops
♥ Extremely easy to cultivate with fantastic yields
♥ Can be grown entirely herbicide and pesticide-free
♥ Excellent for soil structure and health
♥ Doesn’t require any weed control during the growing period (either mechanical or chemical)
♥ Fastest growing plant in the world after bamboo, shooting up 4 metres in 14 weeks

We ♥ Hemp
As a plant-powered family, we consume hemp seed as one of the main sources of our omega 3 intake (along with flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts).  Since heat can destroy their valuable omega 3 properties, we tend to sprinkle hemp seed into our meals once they are prepared.  Until recently, I’d only ever used plain, shelled hemp seed so I was delighted when I was contacted by Braham & Murray (the company behind Good Hemp) and asked whether I would like to try their new range called ‘Good Seed’.  In addition to the plain variety, they’ve created three flavoured blends: Sweet Cinnamon, Asian Spices and Italian Herbs. All four of them are perfect for sprinkling!

I have to say that these products have been thoroughly tested by my family.  We’ve used at least one of the blends every day for the past month or so!  Here’s a rundown of our favourite ways to enjoy them.

The Sweet Cinnamon blend (hemp seed, ground cinnamon, sugar) has been sprinkled onto breakfast cereals, porridge, and blended into smoothies.

Good Hemp Sweet Cinnamon

The Italian Herbs blend (hemp seed, coriander, salt, oregano, basil, garlic powder) has been wonderful for sprinkling into pasta dishes and on top of pizzas and soups…

Good Hemp Italian Herbs 1

while the Asian Spices blend (hemp seed, oregano, sweet chilli, smoke paprika, garlic powder) has been perfect for adding to curries and stir fries.

Good Hemp Asian Spices

The plain Shelled Hemp has been sprinkled into a whole array of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and smoothies.

Good Hemp Shelled Seeds

We found that all four blends are also great for sprinkling into sandwiches and wraps.

Falafel Wrap

As companies go, I really value Braham and Murray as they take great care to produce a quality product in harmony with the environment.  All their hemp is grown in the UK and is entirely herbicide and pesticide free.  They make use of the entire hemp plant, so nothing goes to waste.

♥ The seed is used for food.
♥ The straw is used to create sustainable building materials for Eco houses.
♥ The fibre is supplied to BMW for the doors of 3 & 5 Series cars (the fibre reduces the weight per car by approximately 1kg, thus enabling fuel efficiency).
♥ The dust cleaned from the seed is supplied to worm farms.
♥ Leaf matter supplies essential nutrients back to the soil as a natural fertiliser.

Giveaway Time!
I’m very delighted to tell you that Braham and Murray have kindly offered to give away three of their Good Seed products to my wonderful readers.  To be in with a chance of winning one of the pots, simply leave me a comment below stating which of the blends you would like to try: Sweet Cinnamon, Italian Herbs, Asian Spices or Plain Shelled Hemp.

There are two bonus ways of entering the giveaway:

- ‘Like’ the Braham and Murray Good Hemp Facebook page, and leave me a comment below stating that you have done so.

- Follow Good Hemp on Twitter @Good_Oil or @GoodHempNutri, and leave me a comment below stating that you have done so.

I’m afraid that this giveaway is UK only, so apologies to my international followers.

The closing date is Thursday 28th February 2013, at midnight GMT.

Good luck everyone!

Are you a fan of hemp seed?  If so, what’s your favourite way of eating it?

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