Friday, February 22, 2013

Hemp...........A super food I can get behind and a little Apple Nacho Afternoon Snack!

A great afternoon snack - Apple slices topped with a warm sunbutter/flax/dark chocolate mix, sprinkled with coconut and hemp seed hearts!

So I'm still on the Chia seed train. Really enjoying my Chia puddings and Chia porridge in the mornings. The only problem with the Chia seed addiction is that there isn't enough protein to meet my requirements for a snack or breakfast on its own...........enter Hemp Seed.

I feel really good about hemp because I felt really guilty about all my bad feelings towards grandfather would be appalled that I CHOSE to give up wheat. I grew up on the farm, surrounded by fields of the stuff. I come from a long-line of grain farmers. I don't want any of my "farming" friends and family to know about his blog - I might be shunned. But its okay now - I have a big bag of Manitoba grown Hemp in my pantry - they can grow that and we can all be friends again. 

That's my bag of hemp hearts - raw shelled from Costco - $14.99 for almost 2 lbs. You can also get these in bulk at Bulk barn and I've seen them at most major grocery stores. Watch your prices - they can get expensive. This Costco bag is the best deal I've seen at about $8 per lb.
Why are hemp hearts so awesome - well, just like Chia Seeds they have a long list of health benefits including being full of nutrients (including vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E as well as the minerals calcium and iron), Omega 3 and 6,  both soluble and insoluble fiber and protein. What little carbohydrates they have (3 grams in 3 tbsp's) are completely offset by an equivalent amount of fiber for net carbs of 0. Yay - so they can provide you with energy that won't cause a spike in your blood glucose. 

And 3 tbsp's of these have 10 grams of protein. Yay - another clean and convenient way to get protein without having to rely on protein powders. 

These little hemp hearts have a very mild nutty flavor so you can basically sprinkle them on anything without offending anyone's taste buds. And they have a normal texture (as opposed to gelled Chia which everyone is not necessarily a fan of).  And they are filling......I make Chia and hemp puddings and porridge for breakfast and you seriously can not eat a whole lot of this stuff. It fills you right up which should help control your appetite and keep you on the clean eating path. Yes, they are high in fat but its healthy fat and if they do their job of filling you up you will make up for it by eating less empty calories and fat the rest of the day. Just don't sprinkle them on a Big Mac - then you're in trouble.

I didn't think I could top Chia Seeds as a super food but Hemp is awesome. And its grown in Manitoba.  It's my new favorite. But don't worry Chia - I still love you! Plus the combination together is fabulous.

You can basically eat hemp Hearts as is (by the tablespoon), sprinkle them on anything you are eating, put them in smoothie - get creative. Just get eating them. I sprinkle them on an Apple Nacho plate for an afternoon snack. There is no magic to this recipe - just something I threw together quick one day - mix up the toppings to whatever you have/like. Kids even like it.

A delicious way to get some hemp hearts into your diet and into your kids!

Simple Apple Nacho's

One apple, cored and sliced into wedges
1 Tbsp Sunflower butter with flax (I bought at Bulk Barn) - or you could use natural peanut butter or almond butter
1/2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips (preferrably over 70% cacao and organic)
unsweetened shredded coconut
hemp hearts

Layer your apple wedges on a plate. Put Sunbutter and chocolate chips in a small microwavable glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave again for about 20 seconds. Adjust to your microwave strength but the chocolate chips should be just melted - don't overcook. Stir mixture again and drizzle on apples. Sprinkle with coconut and hemp hearts. Enjoy!

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