Hemp: the wonderful world of plant protein
Lately the mister and I have have been making changes to our diet. We already try to be conscious eaters–I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 13-years-old–but there is always room for improvement. One of the changes we’ve made is to cut down on the amount of carbohydrates we eat. I know it seems like every other person and their brother, mother, sister, friend from 2nd grade and dental hygienist is now gluten-intolerant and on the no-carbs bandwagon, but there is some merit to it. Too many carbs can be bad for people with inflammatory conditions–they can actually increase inflammation in people with hay fever, arthritis, IBS and other auto-immune diseases. I’m not a nutritionist, so I am not going to go into a bunch of details, if you are interested in learning more there’s plenty of info out there.
We’ve also been increasing the amount of protein we eat. Protein helps fill you up more, especially if you aren’t eating a bunch of carbs. Protein sources for vegetarians are already limited though and become even more limited when taking out things like seitan and processed meat substitutes like Quorn products. One of the foods we’ve turned to is hemp seed. It is one of the best plant proteins out there and it actually has anti-inflammatory properties. For the uninitiated, it has a nutty creamy flavor and can be purchased at natural food co-ops, at stores like Wholefoods and online. It can be a little pricey, so shopping around for the best price is recommended.
I use it as a topping on yogurt and salads, but I’m looking to use it in other ways as a more robust and filling protein. I actually just purchased a 5 lb bag of hulled hemp seed online (to save on money and packaging waste) and I’m looking for recipes. If you use hemp seed, how do you eat it? Have any great recipes you want to share? I’m really looking for ideas for no-carb ad no-meat breakfast foods and filling dinnertime recipes.