While not as notorious as its cousin, the hemp plant deserves some notoriety, and from June 3nd through the 9th, we celebrate Hemp Week!

Industrial hemp has been grown in the U.S. since the first European settlers arrived in the early 1600s.

  • The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper.
  • George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams all grew hemp and actively advocated for commercial hemp production.
  • Today hemp is used for thousands of sustainable products from nutritious food, body care, textiles, plastics, auto parts and even ethanol.

But today, misguided federal policy criminalizes the cultivation of industrial hemp in the U.S., even though the plant has no drug value. That’s a missed opportunity for American farmers and consumers alike. So now, all hemp used in the U.S. must be imported. If you want to learn more about the movement to decriminalize hemp, and to once again allow the crop to be grown on U.S. farms, visit www.hemphistoryweek.com.

In the meantime, The Co-op has several options to meet your hemp needs:

  • Shelled hemp seeds, a.k.a. hemp hearts: These are great for making your own energy bars, sprinkling on pasta or salads, or anywhere you would use sesame seeds.
  • Roasted hemp seeds: A delicious snack! Whole hemp seeds roasted and seasoned.
  • Hemp oil: A luscious, nutty, green oil! Use it anywhere you would use flax or olive oil—as a wonderful base to salad dressing, a topping for mashed potatoes, baked into brownies, or drizzled over popcorn. To preserve the essential fatty acids, do not use hemp oil to fry or sauté. Hemp oil can also be used as a rich skin moisturizer!
  • Hemp milk: A delicious alternative to dairy or soy milk!
  • Hemp protein: The powdered protein from hemp seeds. Available in tubs, naturally high in protein and fiber. Perfect for smoothies. Also great for enriching baked goods!

Being a seed, hemp is rich in many nutrients, such as iron, magnesium, protein, and essential fatty acids, such as gamma linoleic acid (GLA). According to Dr. Andrew Weil: “As a physician, I recommend nutritious hemp seeds and oil to anyone interested in maintaining a healthy diet. Everyone will benefit when American farmers can grow this amazing crop once again.”

Try one of these delicious recipes:

Hemp Hummus
Adapted from: Alexandra Jamieson, www.DeliciousVitality.com.

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup shelled hemp seeds (a.k.a. hemp hearts)
  • 1/4 cup hemp seed oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 Tbs. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tsp. sea salt

Optional garnish: drizzle with a little olive oil and a dusting of paprika
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. Serve with crackers, raw veggies, and the optional garnishes. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. Makes 4 cups.

Chocolate Hemp and Oat Bars
Adapted from; Julie Morris, www.juliemorris.net. Reprinted with permission from Superfood Kitchen Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup (packed) soft Medjool dates (about 10 or 11 dates), pits removed
  • 1 cup hemp milk, or store-bought nut milk of choice
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs. chia seed powder
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats*
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour*
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs

Directions: Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining coconut oil into a warm liquid. Pour the coconut oil into a food processor, add the dates, hemp milk, vanilla extract, and chia powder. Blend until a smooth paste has formed, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides if needed. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and hemp seeds. Stir in the date mixture and mix well. Fold in the chocolate and cacao nibs. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet with a spatula, forming it into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Cut the wet dough into about a dozen rectangles (or desired shape). Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until edges begin to turn golden brown and are cooked through. Let cool, then separate the rectangles and serve.

*For gluten-free bars, use gluten-free oats and flour, available at Willy Street Co-op.
*Variation: Add in 1/4 cup goji berries with the cacao nibs.

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