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The Health Benefits Of Eating Hemp!

The Health Benefits Of Eating Hemp!

Food Matters | April 15, 2020

I’ve been talking about hemp seeds and their oil for a while now and using them in so many of my recipes these days. Many of you are now also in hemp world with me, which I’m so happy about. You’ve also been asking what’s so fab’ about them, are they safe to eat, and what do they taste like.

I’ve had some of you report that your skin is so much nicer, with improved elasticity, texture and glow. Well, that’d be the essential fatty acids they contain – namely the omega family and the perfect and unique balance of omega 3, 6 and 9 they contain. 

The skin benefits of Omegas 3,6 & 9 are endless. They are the building blocks of healthy skin and help maintain the natural barrier that locks moisture in. They are also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that calm, soothe and improve conditions like eczema and acne from the inside out. (According to Chinese Medicine, hemp has a ‘cool’ energetic quality so it’s wonderful for treating ‘hot’ conditions such as eczema [literally meaning ‘boiling over’] and psoriasis. The ‘cooling’ powers of Hemp calms and soothes the skin and restores balance to the body. Flaxseed oil by the way, is ‘warm’.) Hemp has the perfect balance of Omegas 3,6 & 9  – 2:1:1, as this is the ratio in which they are found naturally in human cells.

Many EFA (essential fatty acid) supplements are blended to reach this golden ratio, but Hemp oil naturally contains the Omegas in these proportions. And as they are all from this one perfect source, the body can metabolize the Omegas in Hemp more readily, so is easily able to reap the benefits.Hemp and marijuana are both varieties of cannabis – but ‘Industrial Hemp’ contains very little if any (0.03 or less) THC (the stuff that gets one ’high’) while marijuana contains around 30%. 

Grown since ancient times and documented as far back as Ancient China, Hemp contains its own built-in insecticide called ‘terpene’, which is responsible for its pungent smell. And the leaves once juiced have been hailed as a ‘cure for cancer’. But as there is no legal support, this can’t be proven – yet. Hemp is high in carotenoids, which we know decreases the risk of eye disease and some cancers among other things. Pests don’t like hemp, maybe due to the ‘terpene’, so there’s no need for toxic sprays. 

Are you loving it yet? Raw, whole seeds contain the highest amount of the good oils and nutrients but current laws dictate that the seeds must be sterilized or hulled to prevent sprouting, but thanks to recent processing technology the hull can be removed without affecting the nutritionally dense nut inside. 

BENEFITS TO YOUR HEALTH 

  • Weight loss by increasing metabolic rate
  • Increased and sustained energy, and recovery after chronic fatigue
  • Balancing blood pressure
  • Helps reduce behavioural issues in children and adults
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduction of menopausal symptoms and PMT
  • Reduces arterial plaques
  • Makes for a soft and velvety skin and helps with acne, psoriasis and eczema
  • Reduces inflammation thanks to the Omega oils
  • Improves digestion
  • Reduces arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Reduces hypertension
  • Boosts immunity
  • Reduces sugar and junk food cravings
  • Improves brain function, probably due to the protein and EFA content
  • Control of blood sugar due to the high protein content (33% when hulled)
  • Contains good amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of AIDS 
  • Symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s reduced thanks to Glutamic acid – a neuro-transmitter
  • Liver and kidney disease reduced due to albumin, a protein usually manufactured by the liver
 

THE FIBER 

35% of the whole seed is fibre – 10% higher than flax seeds. Fibre helps to eliminate toxins from the body via your bowel and, for this reason, helps in lowering your chances of the colon, breast, prostate and rectum cancer and heart disease. It will also help to keep your blood sugar stable, your skin nice and increase your life expectancy. 

THE GOOD OILS 

These good EFA’s can help you to reduce your weight, improve your good skin, make for a healthier cardiovascular system, protect against some cancers, and positively affect your immune and inflammatory response, and clean your bowel. They also help the renal, respiratory and cardiovascular systems. AS I mentioned earlier, Hemp has the perfect ratio of omega 3, 6 and 9 oils – unique in the oil world. These essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are also necessary for healthy cell membranes so will help with leaky gut. 

The oil is best as a supplement and kept raw. You can have 1-5 tablespoons a day for therapeutic purposes. Add it at the end of your cooking, add it to your smoothies, salads or steamed veggies, and keep it in the fridge to ensure the delicate omega oils are not damaged. 

HEMP PROTEIN POWDER 

Hemp has a unique, easy to digest and absorb protein called ‘Edestin’. Like soybeans, it is a complete protein, meaning it contains all 22 amino acids – AND it contains antioxidants.  It naturally contains 50% protein and after processing may be increased to 97%. Hemp contains no carbohydrates and is more stable than other hemp products. It’s a great alternative to the less digestible soy and whey protein powders. Edestin Increases the bodies own natural defense system so decreases sickness and disease.

HEMP FLOUR

Grind the whole seeds using your ‘dry’ blender or coffee or seed grinder. Add it to your baking with other flours – just be sure to knead it well if you’re making bread.  It has a short shelf life of about 3 months so only make enough that you need in any given time and store it in the fridge. 

HEMP MILK 

Add 3 times the amount of water, blend well and then strain through a sieve. Yummy added to your baking or smoothies. Use the pulp in your baking. 

BENEFITS TO THE PLANET

  • Improves the condition of the soil
  • Natural body care
  • Chemical- free cleaning products
  • Bio-fuel
  • Suitable for producing paper
  • Environmentally building material
  • A good alternative to petrochemical- based plastics
  • A fuel source for diesel engines
  • Stronger and more durable than alternative fibres like cotton (which is a GMO crop). 
  • Hemp produces 4 times as much paper pulp as the equivalent area of trees. 
  • Hemp and marijuana are both varieties of cannabis – but ‘Industrial Hemp’ contains very little if any (0.03 or less) THC – a hallucinogenic property – while marijuana contains around 30%.
 

HOW TO USE HEMP 

Really you can add it at the end of any dish. Lately been making 

‘Basil and Hemp Hummus’, adding to it my Tabouli, adding it in my nori rolls, as a garnish to my stir-fry’s, quinoa salads, and steamed veggies, and I add the oil and/or protein powder to my daily smoothies. Hemp seeds taste like sunflower seeds and have the texture of cashew seeds so they’re pretty easy to incorporate into your daily diet.

I realise hemp seeds bring about a certain reaction in some people, firstly because it’s related to marijuana, and, up until very recently, in Australia and New Zealand they were not legal for consumption.  But after much research and using them myself for months now, I am sure that this incredible plant has much to offer, and very little, if anything to fear. So go ahead – start adding hemp to you meals, and watch your health improve, your weight reduce (if it needs to), your heart get healthier and happier, and your digestion much calmer.

 

Zingy Lemon & Coconut Cheesecake

Zingy Lemon & Coconut Cheesecake

Food Matters | March 3, 2020

With two classic flavours, this is for those that love a bit of tang! It packs quite a punch and with lemons seasonal for about 6 months of the year it’s one to be enjoyed more often than not!

Prep time: overnight
Make time: 30 minutes
Stand time: overnight
Makes 1 20cm cake

Base Ingredients

2 cups macadamias
½ cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp coconut oil (+ extra to grease)
Zest of ½ lemon
12 Medjool dates, pitted

Base Method

1. Flip the base of the springform pan upside down so you don’t need to worry about the lip when removing the cake later. Grease the base and sides of the tin with the extra coconut oil and set aside.

2. Process nuts and coconut until crumbly.

3. Add coconut oil and lemon zest and mix well. Add the dates, one at a time and process until no large chunks remain. Pinch the mixture together between your fingers – if it holds its shape it’s the right consistency. If not, add 1 Tbsp cold water at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.

3. Press crust down evenly into the base of the prepared tin. Place in the freezer while you prepare the lemon + coconut filling.

Lemon & Coconut Filling Ingredients

3 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight – rinsed well
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cup of coconut milk + extra
¼ cup honey
Juice of 1 lemon

Filling Method

1. Blend all ingredients, starting with 1 cup of coconut milk, until smooth.

2. Gradually add extra coconut milk until the entire mixture is smooth and churning consistently. You may need to regularly stop the blender and scrape down the sides with a spatula to allow for a well combined mixture.

3. Taste. Sweet enough? Tangy enough? Adjust if desired.

4. Remove prepared base from freezer and evenly pour lemon filling on top. Return to freezer for 6 – 8 hours or for best results overnight.

To Serve

Slice evenly when frozen through and let soften at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

Top cake with coconut chips, shredded coconut and lemon zest.
Best kept in the freezer until needed.

This cheesecake will keep in the fridge for 2 – 3 days.

Silky Smooth Cacao Mousse

Silky Smooth Cacao Mousse

Food Matters | January 24, 2020

Silky, smooth cacao mousse. The best part is, it’s super tasty, gut-friendly and did we mention chocolatey and smooth? Oh yeah, we did! It’s also made with grass-fed gelatin, which is well known for assisting with gut, skin and joint health! Save this recipe for Valentine’s Day and your love will thank you – mainly because you fed them chocolate, but also because you’ve treated their health.
As with any animal product, just make sure you are using a brand that comes from purely pasture-fed, organic sources.

Ingredients

2 cups coconut milk
¼ cup raw cacao powder
¼ cup high-quality gelatin
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

1. Heat the coconut milk on medium-low in a heavy-bottomed pot.

2. Add the raw cacao and whisk until well combined.

3. Once combined, whisk in the gelatin by slowly pouring as you whisk.

4. Whisk in the vanilla extract.

5. Pour into your desired glasses or cups and chill for at least 2 hours, or until set.

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles – The Healthy Ferrero Rocher!

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles – The Healthy Ferrero Rocher!

Food Matters | December 1, 2019

Move over holiday treats, this is the only recipe you will need this year. These truffles are easy to make and oh so delicious! You may want to double the ingredients and make a double batch because they sure didn’t last long in the Food Matters Headquarters!

Ingredients

150g organic & fairtrade dark chocolate  (at least 70% cacao, Green & Blacks is a good option)
½ cup full-fat coconut milk
¼ cup maple syrup
Pinch of fine pink salt
¾ cup all natural, smooth, nut butter (try almond, ABC, or peanut butter, peanut will have a stronger flavour)
1 cup roasted hazelnuts*
1 tsp hazelnut extract or vanilla extract

Method

1. Boil a pot of water.

2. Roughly chop the chocolate and place in a glass bowl over the hot water bath. Once the chocolate has melted, remove the pot from the heat but keep the bowl over the hot water.

3. While you melt the chocolate, place the coconut milk in a small pot and warm it up a little bit. Add in a generous pinch of sea salt.

3. Slowly add warm coconut milk to the melted chocolate while continuously whisking over a low heat.

4. Whisk in the maple syrup, hazelnut butter and hazelnut or vanilla extract.

5. Allow the mixture to cool and place in the fridge overnight for it to harden.

6. Before taking the mixture out of the fridge, put aside at least 20-25 hazelnuts and chop the rest finely.

7. Spread the chopped hazelnuts on a tray or clean baking sheet.

8. Scoop portions of the ganache mixture into ‘eyeball’ portions. Flatten ball into your hand, place a hazelnut in the middle and then close over the truffle mixture around the hazelnut.

9.Roll between the palms of your hands and then roll the truffle in the chopped hazelnuts. Continue until all of the mixture is gone.

10. Store in the fridge… If they last that long!

*Method for roasting hazelnuts 

1. Preheat an oven to 180°C.
2. Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet.
3. Roast nuts for 15 minutes, stirring them every 5 minutes or so. They are done when they are fragrant, with cracked skin. Because the husk is pretty dark, it can be hard to tell if it’s starting to turn black and burn, so if you’re unsure, it’s best to err on the side of under-roasted.
4. Drape a clean kitchen towel over a large bowl, and pour in the nuts (they may over-roast if left on the baking sheet). Allow to cool.
5. Close the towel up into a bundle.
6. Give it an energetic massage so the hazelnuts will rub against one another and the skin will come off in little flakes.
7. Transfer the hazelnuts to a big jar, collecting them delicately from the towel with cupped hands and making sure you leave the skin flakes behind.

Hasselback Herbed Butternut Pumpkin

Hasselback Herbed Butternut Pumpkin

Food Matters | November 19, 2019

 

Roasted butternut squash is still one of our favourite vegetables. The combination of the maple, Dijon, walnuts, sage and thyme, baked Hasselback style, will be the show stopper in your holiday spread this year!

This recipe takes 45 minute minutes to prepare and serves 4.

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash (about 1 kg)
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
4 tbsp chopped walnuts

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and pulp and discard or save for another recipe.

3. Remove the skin to completely expose the bright orange flesh of the butternut.

4. Place both squash halves cut side down on a roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes; remove from oven and let slightly cool.

5. While the squash is in the oven, combine the maple syrup, olive oil, Dijon mustard, chopped herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix well until combined.

6. Remove one squash half to a cutting board and place wooden chopsticks or skewers on either side of the squash. This will prevent the blades from cutting right through when you are slicing the squash.

7. Cut very thin slices in the squash, being careful not to cut the whole way through. Return the sliced squash to the baking sheet and repeat with the second half.

8. Brush ⅓ of the maple dressing over the squash halves, getting the dressing into the slits of squash.

9. Return to the oven. After 15 minutes, remove the squash from the oven and brush with some more maple dressing and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.

10. Continue brushing the squash with the dressing & pan juices every now and then for the remaining time.

11. Add the chopped pecans to the remaining maple dressing and stir to combine.

12. Spoon over the top of the squash, dividing it equally between both halves.

13. Return it to the oven for a final 5 minutes (you may need to add a little water to bottom of pan to prevent burning), or until your squash is golden brown.

14. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and a pinch of salt.

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