Monday Review- Hemp Products from Manitoba Harvest
Today's review is courtesy of Manitoba Harvest, a global leader in hemp foods and oils. I recently sampled their hemp oil, hemp seeds and hemp seed butter. For a little back-ground information, Manitoba Harvest is the largest farmer-owned vertically-integrated hemp food manufacturer in the world. They are kosher certified and a USDA organic certified facility. From a food allergy perspective, the facility is hemp only so there is no risk of cross contamination from other products such as soy or peanuts.
I was first impressed with the nutritional quality of hemp. For those with allergies to dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts or fish, finding quality protein sources can be very difficult. Hemp provides a source of complete protein offering 17 different amino acids. Hemp is also a great source of omega-3 essential fats and essential fatty acids which people with allergies to nuts and fish often have trouble including in their diets.
So, how does it taste? I tried Manitoba Harvest's hemp oil in a homemade vinaigrette. I liked the taste and appreciated the nutritional punch I was getting from my dressing. I also mixed some hemp seeds in with my yogurt and found the texture and taste very pleasing. The green color of the hemp seed butter is a bit hard to get past (and my kids wouldn't even try it!). I spread some on a piece of toast. I don't know if it was mostly psychological, but I'll probably stick to the oil and seed form.
One of the first questions I had about hemp was its relationship to marijuana. Would I feed these products to my children? Obviously many people had the same question as it is the first one addressed in their website's FAQ. Check out their response here.
Manitobaharvest.com also offers tons of recipes. They list everything from hemp pizza crust to hemp banana bread. You may also want to read Meghan Atkinson's article about Manitoba Harvest and food allergies.
Check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Hemp has been traced back to the Stone Age. Perhaps this old protein source can be helpful to those who are allergic to many of our modern sources of protein.