What is Hemp Milk?
Hemp milk nutrition information
Hemp Milk has become an increasingly popular dairy alternative in recent years, with many advocating in favor of its health benefits and nutritional profile. Despite the currently instated ban on hemp production in the United States, hemp milk and other products manage to sell quite briskly.
Although hemp cultivation is still illegal in the US, producers can import the seeds and other products from Canada or other countries, where it is still legal, and sell the derived products domestically.
And although hemp is famous for being the cousin of another illegal substance, hemp itself has very little of the active ingredient necessary for recreational use, and the compound is further minimized during production. Most hemp milk producers claim 0% THC in their products, making it safe and legal for consumption.
Hemp Milk vs Dairy
Is Hemp milk a good dairy substitute?
As with any of the recently popularized “milk” substitutes, hemp milk has gained popularity as a dairy alternative. Hemp is a vegan product, lactose-free, and non-allergenic, even for those with tree nut allergies. This makes it a great alternative to bovine milk products for a variety of reasons.
Hemp milk tastes altogether different, however. The product is made by grinding the seeds of the plant, mixing with water, and straining the particulate, so it retains the strong nutty flavor, more akin to soy milk or other nut or seed milk products, though hemp milk is much thicker and creamier than most other products. Flavored versions often include chocolate and vanilla, and the thickness (of any flavor) makes it great in blended drinks as well.
Hemp Milk Nutritional Benefits
Health benefits of hemp milk
Hemp milk is rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, calcium, fiber, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, and other ingredients. It is also rich in amino acids, which are essential for building protein (especially on a vegetarian or vegan diet). It’s also cholesterol free, and generally fortified with nutrients found in dairy products to make it a suitable alternative.
Hemp milk manufacturers claim that the protein found in hemp milk is more easily digested than soy milk protein, as it excludes certain complex sugars that may cause flatulence if not broken down properly.
A typical 8 ounce (240mL) glass of hemp milk contains about 110 calories, comparable to soy milk or 1% dairy milk.
Hemp Seed Milk Side Effects
Hemp milk downsides
Credit: veganbaking.netAs far as things look right now, there are no adverse side effects to drinking hemp milk. It is lactose and cholesterol free, does not cause allergies like dairy or tree nuts would, and is vegan-friendly for its cruelty-free, all-natural nature.
Hemp is also an extraordinarily sustainable product, which can be grown without pesticides, very little water, and it actually enriches the soil during cultivation, on top of being quite a useful and versatile plant as well. It’s a shame it’s still illegal for reasons of confusion with other products.
Perhaps the one downside of hemp milk is that after it’s opened, it can go bad after a few days, like regular dairy products. Although a closed container does not need any special treatment, open containers should be kept refrigerated, and used up within a few days. It’s generally better to buy smaller bottles if you’re not planning on drinking large quantities too quickly (people living alone, for example). Aside from that, it’s great.
Remember that no product is a miracle cure for a medical condition, nor will it transform someone into the living embodiment of a perfect health specimen. Hemp milk provides quite a few nutrients, but it’s still important to consume a variety of nutritional sources for a balanced diet.
Where to Buy Hemp Milk
Hemp milk manufacturers
Hemp milk is now widely available in many stores, particularly organically-minded establishments like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, with brands like Living Harvest and Tempt being some of the largest.
Although hemp milk tends to be a little pricier than dairy (though maybe not organic), it certainly gets some points for being more sustainable, natural, and nutritious. So try it out, and enjoy.