Hemp milk is made from hemp seeds, one of the superfoods from the hemp plant known for its many uses as a food, fiber, fuel and supplement source.
Some manufacturers have coined the term "hemp hearts", which are the tiny cream-colored seeds with some green husks but the outer shells removed. These seeds are also utilized to make hemp seed oil, hemp seed butter, hemp seed flour and hemp protein powder.
The hemp plant is in the same botanical class of Cannabis cultivars used to make the infamous CBD oil and related products. However, CBD or cannabidiol is extracted from the flower or leaves, not the seeds themselves.
While the use of hemp-based non-psychoactive CBD products has become a widespread trend in recent years (and for a good reason), the shelled seeds have long been available at health food markets ever since the early 90s.
Hemp seeds are used to make a great tasting milk alternative with a creamy consistency close to that of cow's milk. It is especially valued as an option for those with lactose intolerance or soy allergies.
Why is hemp milk one of the best ways to consume hemp seeds?
Consuming hemp seeds straight by the handful can be hard to completely chew. This is because the shelled pieces are so small they can easily go through the digestive system and out the other end.
Breaking them down by blending them into a homemade nut milk is a great way to "predigest" the seeds and make them more nutritionally bioavailable. They can likewise be used in shakes and smoothies to add a special kind of creaminess.
One of our favorite ways to utilize these tiny nutritional powerhouses is as a fermented seed cheese essentially made from hemp milk by blending the seeds with water.
The fermenting or culturing process will also help to increase digestibility and support a healthy intestinal microbiome simultaneously.
Commercial hemp seed milk isn’t as widely available as other types of plant-based milk options.
You may find one or two brands often next to other favorites like almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk or chia and flax milk combinations.
Hemp milk naturally contains all the vitamins and minerals hemp seeds are known for such as selenium, iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin D. However, they are especially high in MAGNESIUM.
Keep in mind that commercial hemp milk often comes synthetically "fortified" with various vitamins and minerals, plus can contain other additives like sugar, salt and anticoagulants as well as thickening agents like disodium phosphate.
We highly encourage learning how to make your own hemp milk. It is super easy and much more nutritious in our opinion. Here's how...
1/2 C raw shelled hemp seeds
4 C pure water
Blend hemp seeds with water in a high-speed blender.
Strain through a nut milk bag (optional).
Add healthy sweeteners or vanilla if desired.
Hemp seeds blend up really well and, from our experience, the milk doesn't really need to be strained. Just shake before use.
The green specked pieces attached to hemp seeds are fragments of the seed husk. They’re not leaf remains; in case you were wondering.
Hemp seed-derived hemp milk contains virtually no cannabinoids like CBD or THC or only trace amounts. (*) The common catch phrase is "It won't make you high, it only makes you healthy."
Here are the top 2 benefits of hemp milk.
The benefits of hemp milk are found in the seeds they are made from and this hemp seed species is famous for its very high PROTEIN content compared to most nuts and seeds.
On average one ounce (28g) of hemp seeds contains about 10.3g protein or about 21% the Daily Value.
This would mean that one cup of hemp milk (which contains about 2 Tablespoons of seeds or 20g) can average a little over 3 grams of protein per serving.
The seeds are also identified to contain higher-quality globulin proteins known as edestin and albumin, which are easily converted to amino acids in the digestive tract.
They are likewise packed with all 20 amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce.
When comparing nutrition labels of commercial plant-based nut/seed milks, hemp milk is the highest in overall protein content and only contains 60 calories per one cup serving.
Hemp seeds are one of the highest plant-based sources of essential fatty acids out of all other nuts and seeds.
Therefore, consuming hemp milk is a great way to get more omega-3 or ALA into the diet and unlike hemp seed oil doesn't tend to go rancid.
Yielding about a more balanced 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, hemp seeds are also full of gamma-linolenic acid and vitamin E.
One of the benefits of hemp milk as opposed to using straight hemp protein powders or hemp seed oil is that you're getting the best of both worlds, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
But, for supercharging shakes and smoothies, why not use all three? The seed milk, protein powder and omega-rich seed oil.