When you first think about hemp, it's quite instinctive for the words "high" and "drugs" to come to mind. However, hemp is actually a whole lot more than the wrong reasons it's famous for. It actually used for a variety of things including clothing, shoes, ropes, food, beverage items, paper, and as a super ingredient in beauty products. There are actually industries that revolve around making hemp products -- minus the mind-altering effects, of course. For this post, we're discussing one of the popular items produced from the hemp plant: hemp milk.
But first, What Is Hemp Milk?
Hemp milk is made from the seeds of Cannabis sativa, the hemp plant. The hulled seeds are blended with water with a few organic ingredients added (like raw honey, dates, and organic vanilla extract) to create naturally creamy and sweet milk.
Although hemp is the same plant where marijuana comes from, hemp seeds are low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychotropic substance that causes the "high" factor. Hemp seeds contain less than 0.3% of THC, and many products even use absolutely zero percent of the substance. So what makes hemp milk so good?
Nutrient-wise, hemp milk brings a lot to the table. Hemp seeds are rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, fiber, potassium, omega-6, omega-3, protein, and essential amino acids. Commercial hemp milk is commonly fortified with vitamins and minerals for added nutrition.
But just so you know, hemp milk is not actually 'milk' per se. If you think about it, hemp milk is simply a beverage made with soaked or unsoaked hemp seeds and water. If you're curious about the taste, it has this strong earthy, nutty flavor which some may not like. That's why if you want to make your own homemade hemp milk recipe, you may want to add a little bit of flavor with other organic ingredients. But you can also get good hemp milk online or off the shelves as these contain sweeteners and thickeners for better consistency and flavor. That being said, you can still go fully organic and make your own homemade hemp milk. There are a lot of different recipes you can find online, and I'll also be sharing with you an easy recipe further in this article.
Hemp milk is a healthy alternative for soy milk, nut milk, almond milk, flax milk, and rice milk. It' a great substitute for cow's milk too, so you can use it for cereals, smoothies, and coffee. Hemp milk is abundant in essential fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and minerals that are extremely good for your body. And since hemp milk is plant-based, vegans are sure to love this milk alternative! If you have lactose, gluten, or soy intolerance, you don't have to search any further for milk alternatives because hemp milk would be the perfect one for you.
What are the Benefits of Hemp Milk?
1. Strengthens Bones
Let's face it, we're not getting any younger. So aside from the signs of aging that show on our skin (wrinkles and fine lines, ugh), the weakening of our bones is also something we need to give attention to. As we grow older, we become more at risk for osteoporosis, arthritis, rheumatism, and other age-related diseases. As such, making the effort to care for our bones is important. And one way to do that is by drinking -- you guessed it -- hemp milk. Hemp seeds are rich in phosphorus, which works together with calcium to help build strong bones.
2. Good for Heart Health
Hemp seeds are rich in linoleic acid, which helps reduce the pro-inflammatory chemicals that may damage our blood vessels and cardiac muscles. Some studies actually reveal that linoleic acid helps reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and other related cardiac disorders. So if you need a little help with heart health, try drinking hemp milk to reduce your risk of common heart ailments. Hemp milk can be used in smoothies and cereals for a more delicious taste, or you can also search for an easy recipe or two on heart-healthy dishes that incorporate hemp milk.
3. Might Help You Lose Weight
Before you start making homemade hemp milk by the buckets, know that you should still follow a proper diet and exercise routine for a healthy weight loss. What hemp milk does is it would help keep you full, thus helping you avoid midnight cravings and those regret-filled binge eating sessions. Plus, hemp milk boasts a high level of fatty acids that promote good fats and reduce cholesterol.
However, know that hemp milk doesn't have enough protein to keep you fit. Although it does have more protein than other alternatives like almond milk, it's best to add other protein sources to your diet instead of relying on homemade hemp milk alone.
4. Boosts Immune System Strength
When flu season hits, making sure you and your family are protected might not be that easy. It's common to find yourself stocking up on over-the-counter vitamins and immune system boosters to help fight the viruses. But if you want the organic way of dealing with colds, keep your homemade hemp milk around as well as some citrus fruits. Don't forget to drink lots of water as well.
Hemp seeds also contain a lot of antioxidants that flush out free radicals, so you're protected from other illnesses. Thanks to hemp milk, you can keep your body shields up and your sick days down.
5. Great for the Skin
There's a ton of information online that proves how great milk is when used for skin health. Since ancient times, people of royalty like Cleopatra follow a milk bath ritual so they would have soft and radiant skin. Milk has been used in making many skincare products as well. But if you're taking the dietary perspective, dairy milk is not the beverage for improving your complexion. In fact, dairy contains hormones that upset the skin, causing acne and oiliness -- and we want to stay as far away as possible from those.
In contrast, organic hemp milk and other related hemp seed food products provide high levels of vitamin A that helps restore and maintain the skin. Vitamin A is known to stimulate the making of collagen in the body, and it goes without saying that collagen is an important part of skin health.
Furthermore, the linoleic acid in organic hemp milk also relieves skin problems such as inflammation, sensitivity, and even aging. So, you can try drinking hemp milk daily to keep your skin glowing. If you're a bit crazy about skincare like I am (okay, maybe a lot more than a bit), homemade hemp milk can also be incorporated in face mask or body scrub recipes for topical application. If you've tried making your own skincare products at home, you'll love using hemp milk as an ingredient.
6. Child-friendly Milk Alternative
Since many infants are lactose intolerant due to their underdeveloped gut, they might not be able to take in animal milk. In fact, some children aren't able to adapt to dairy food and drinks, so alternatives are a must. Hemp milk is one you can use if you have children that are sensitive to lactose and gluten. It's a great source of calcium so your kids won't miss out on this extremely important nutrient. When it comes to calcium content, hemp milk is actually the best dairy alternative compared to other milk types like almond milk and other nut milk varieties. One 8-ounce serving of hemp milk contains 450mg of calcium, giving your child 46% of the recommended dietary allowance.
However, keep in mind that your kids might be hard to please in terms of the flavor. Hemp milk's earthy taste and chalky texture might not fall into their definition of delicious, but don't be afraid to give it a try! After all, hemp seeds provide a lot of nourishment needed by children.
Is hemp milk good for you?
The answer to this is a resounding YES! Hemp seeds are a super food that's ultra-rich in antioxidants, minerals, and nutrients that promote holistic health for the body. Drinking hemp milk improves heart health, builds stronger bones, aids in weight loss, boosts the immune system, and promotes skin health. Other related food products made from hemp seeds have the same nutrients, with some fortified with added vitamins or minerals.
Plus, you don't have to worry if you're vegan, lactose intolerant, soy or gluten sensitive. Hemp milk is a great milk alternative for dairy milk so you can enjoy the benefits without any side effects. It's also used as a substitute for almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, and others. Make hemp milk intake a habit and you're sure to get all the goodness of hemp!
How to Make Vegan Hemp Milk
It's pretty easy to make a basic hemp milk since it's just a combination of water and hemp seeds. But, you can add a variety of ingredients and recipes to add a bit of flavor.
Here's a recipe on how to make hemp milk right at home.
- 1 cup hemp seeds, hulled
- 8 cups water
- pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- Soak the hemp seeds in water for a full 24 hours. There's no need to heat them in this recipe. Strain.
- Using a high-powered blender, blend the soaked hemp seeds, water, and salt.
- Add 250ml water. You can use less for a thicker consistency
- Add any optional ingredients you might have. (I've included a list further down this recipe.) Blend again.
- Use a NutMilk Bag to filter the mixture. You can dry the residue left in the bag and use it as a high protein flour in other recipes.
- Let it chill for at least an hour before drinking.
This homemade hemp milk keeps for 5 days.
Search for these ingredients in your pantry to add to the simple recipe above and make it more delicious. Remember to not try adding all of these together.
- 2 dates, pitted
- 25g almonds
- 1 drop of organic vanilla extract
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp cacao powder/carob
- 1-2 fresh figs
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1 banana
- 1/4 cup fresh berries
- 1/2 cup carrot juice
- raw honey or maple syrup