Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils

Eating healthy and getting exercise is high on almost everyone's list these days. Zumba, dance classes, swimming, and now a walking program are how I get my exercise. Of course, living in the countryside, we're always busy and active outdoors...especially running after a toddler!

We live in the rural north, far away from chain restaurants and junk food. In our household, we try to eat as healthfully as possible, and really take into consideration what we put into our bodies. We try to eat lots of raw, whole foods. We've taught our toddler to "eat a rainbow" every day.  Many people are blown away at how the toddler loves to eat her veggies! "GA-KA-MO-YEE" (guacamole) is among her favourites, along with hummus, Babaganouj, and roasted seaweed!

When I was given the opportunity to try Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils, I was pretty excited!
Manitoba Harvest is a company that promotes a healthy and active lifestyle and encourages and supports sustainable agriculture. They produce fresh, quality foods...foods you can feel good about feeding your family.

Hemp has been hailed as a super food. For the past few years, I have been reading up on hemp and its health benefits. For those unfamiliar with hemp foods/oils, you can view a comparison of dietary fats here and a comparison of proteins here. You can also read some interesting articles and studies about hemp here.

The essential fatty acids contained in hemp can reduce blood cholesterol to prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.

The high amount of fiber that is contained in hemp seeds can help to keep your digestive tract clean and healthy. As a result you can eliminate digestive disorders such as bloating and constipation. Ummm...I'm sure you really wanted me to discuss those, right?

Some other interesting things I have learned in my readings:
A healthy digestive system along with the antioxidants and plant sterols contained in hemp can help to reduce your risk of breast, colon and prostate cancers. Also, hemp can help to control your blood sugar levels. This is due to the healthy fats which help the body to absorb the glucose from the bloodstream and turn it into energy. As a result, energy levels will increase and sweet cravings will decrease.

Enough with the details, right? You want a recipe!

I've been using hemp seeds in almost everything I cook. They're great sprinkled on salads, used in baking, in smoothies...in everything!

After work, I had to whip up a little something for a get together. I made Apple Hemp Muffins.
Apple Cinnamon Ginger Hemp Muffins
-2 c. whole wheat flour
-1 tbps baking powder
-1/2 c oatmeal
-a pinch of salt
- a dash of flax seeds (not needed, but I had them on hand)
-1/3 c hemp seeds
-1 c apple sauce
-1 c almond milk (I used soy milk today, because there was someone with a nut allergy at the party)
-2 eggs
-1 tbsp ginger
-1 tbsp cinnamon
-2 apples, cubed or chopped (peel and core first!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In separate bowl, combine wet ingredients and then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix together until everything is wet. Add cubed/chopped apples into the batter. Mix together.

In a greased muffin tin, spoon batter. Be careful not to overfill. I find two heaping tablespoons of batter are just the right amount. Don't go too much over the halfway mark. Just before popping muffins into the oven, I sprinkled some more hemp seeds on top of each muffin. My toddler wanted me to make the muffins look "pretty", so we thinly sliced some apple and place a slice on top of each muffin...with the peel still on for added colour.

Bake in oven for 25 to 28 minutes, or until golden and if you do the "toothpick test", toothpick comes out clean/with no batter stuck to it).

*I did see that Manitoba Harvest has a similar recipe on their website. I will have to try it out sometime*

 What I love about this recipe is that it appealed to everyone at the dinner party we went to. There were no nuts, not too much sugar (homemade applesauce, and I don't put much sugar in my applesauce), and no dairy. Next time, I'll try to make it without eggs so those who are vegan or who have an egg allergy can eat them too. If I'm really ambitious, I might even try switching up the flour and making it gluten-free for those who can't eat wheat products! I'm thinking that to get around the omission of the eggs, I may have to add more applesauce. We'll see.

Another yummy hit:
Rice Pasta with Hemp Seeds

-Rice noodles (macaroni, rotini, or whatever you prefer)
-goat cheese
-cherry or grape tomatoes
-garlic, minced
-onion, finely chopped
-spices of your choice (a nice mix of Greek/Mediterranean spices work well!)
-Olive oil
-Hemp seeds

Cook pasta as you normally would. While pasta is cooking, chop up cucumber, olives, cheese, and cut tomatoes in  half. Add ingredients into a large serving bowl.

In a measuring cup, add vinegar and minced garlic. Add a splash of olive oil and your spices. Mix together and pour dressing over pasta and veggies. Toss. Sprinkle generous amount of hemp seeds and enjoy. Sorry, I don't usually use proper measurements in my cooking. I just go on taste.

The hemp seeds were a hit. Everyone loved them. They do taste a little nutty and I love how now I can switch up between flax and hemp seeds. We are really loving the hemp seeds in our household!

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Disclosure- I received a package of hemp seeds from Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils to facilitate this review. All of the opinions on this blog are my own.


  1. Gingermommy:
    Thanks! They were sooooo yummy! I feel like making more! :)