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These 4 recipes featuring hemp offer the perfect balance between health and taste

Updated on:15 June 2021, 18:06pm IST
Hemp is everywhere, and for good reason! It can be used in the form of seeds or flour, and guess what? It’s as healthy as ever! So, wait no more and try out these five recipes to enjoy a guilt-free indulgence.
Nikita Chotani
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Hemp offers great nutritional benefits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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The world of nutrition is abuzz with the benefits of hemp. Have you heard all about it? Also called industrial hemp, this plant is known to benefit both the body and the mind. Its seeds are widely used in a variety of dishes, in order to make it healthy. They can either be eaten whole or without the hull. Moreover, its flour can also be used as an alternative to whole wheat or maida

So, why is hemp preferred today? That’s because it is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. It also acts as an antioxidant, helping reduce free radicals that can cause cell damage in your body. Not only does it reduce the risk of heart disease, but also PMS symptoms, improved digestion, and more. 

Without further ado, let’s learn some recipes that use hemp, and are a perfect balance of health and taste. Let’s go! 

1. Hemp chutney with onion pakoras

Onion pakoras are basically onion fritters made with gram flour (besan). You can even make these with chickpea flour, if you want to make it more healthy. Hemp seed chutney aka bhang ki chutney is a signature recipe, part of Uttarakhand’s cuisine. Hemp seeds aka bhang is often called a superfood, because of its nutrition profile. They help in improving digestion and metabolism. Moreover, they are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that promote cardiovascular health.

This superb combination is perfect to consume on breezy evenings.  

Who knew hemp seeds would be so high on zinc quotient! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here’s  the recipe:

Ingredients for onion pakoras 

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • few curry leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp kashmiri red chilli powder / lal mirch powder
  • pinch of hing / asafoetida
  • ¼ tsp ajwain / caraway seeds
  • 1 cup besan / gram flour
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • oil for deep frying

Instructions:

1. Firstly, in a large mixing bowl, take two thinly-sliced onions.
2. Add one inch ginger, two green chillies, few curry leaves, two tablespoons coriander leaves, one-fourth teaspoon turmeric, half a teaspoon chilli powder, half a teaspoon ajwain and pinch of hing.
3. Additionally, add one cup besan, two tablespoon rice flour and half a teaspoon salt.
4. Combine well, making sure to squeeze onions well.
5. Without adding any water, squeeze out the onions till the moisture is released.
6. Combine well until a dough is formed. If onions do not release water, then sprinkle a few drops of water.
7. Take the dough, shape into a ball, and drop it in hot oil.
8. Fry on medium flame, until the pakora turns crispy and golden brown.
9. Finally, drain the oil, and serve onion pakora with tomato sauce and chai.

Ingredients for bhang ki chutney:

  • ½ cup hemp seeds 
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 10-12 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (or as required)
  • Salt, as per your taste
  • ½ tsp black salt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder

Method:

1. Heat a pan and dry roast hemp seeds in it, till they are fragrant and start crackling. Keep the flame low, while roasting the hemp seeds, else they will burn.
2.Allow them to cool down a bit and then grind them well using an electric grinder.
3. Add peeled garlic cloves, green chilies, cilantro leaves and little water to it. For a more prominent flavor of cilantro, use its stem also along with the leaves, as they are rich in flavor and aroma. Grind them to a smooth paste.
4. Add salt, lemon juice and cumin powder in it and mix well.
5. Add black salt and mix well.
6. Pulse the grinder again for 10 seconds to mix them all.
7.Bhang ki chutney is ready to serve. You can enjoy it with pakore, bhajiye or even with poori or paratha. It will taste best in either way.

Sprinkle some hemp on those toasties for its benefits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
2. Hemp mango lassi

In India, bhang lassi is a ceremonial drink, a cannabis concoction purported to be a favourite of lord Shiva.

Mangoes contain antioxidants such as quercetin, fisetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, gallic acid and methyl gallate. All these properties protect our body against breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and leukaemia.

Hemp mango lassi is not just delicious, but a very healthy drink that is filled with antioxidants and high amounts of protein, with essential omega-3 fatty acids. 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 3 medium mangoes, sliced and peeled
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds 
  • ½ cup ice
  • ½ tbsp cardamom seeds (optional)
  • Roasted, shelled pistachios and edible flowers (for garnishing)
  • A pinch of salt

Method:

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend for two minutes, pour into a glass, garnish with mint leaves and serve. The lassi can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

3. Hemp seed energy balls

These energy balls do not just look great, but taste really good; the chocolate has much to do with it. But you need to ensure you keep it healthy by selecting unsweetened cocoa. This helps you to indulge in it guilt-free.

The fibre content of these energy balls is pretty high, largely due to the oats and the hemp seeds. Whether you’re hungry or not, these lip-smacking seed balls can be your go-to food, since they are protein-packed and keep away those pesky hunger pangs.

Hemp seeds are incredibly nutritious. It is rich in fibre, proteins, vitamins and amino acids, plus there are various other health benefits of its consumption.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quick oats
  • ½ cup of hemp seeds
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • ¼ cup of cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp of sea salt
  • ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips

Method

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats and hemp seeds, and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the maple syrup and peanut butter on medium-low heat. Once it is well-blended, stir in the vanilla, the salt, and then the cocoa powder.
  • Add the peanut butter mixture to the oats/hemp seeds and blend together really well.
  • Keep the bowl in the fridge for five minutes to cool it down, then add the chocolate chips. This ensures that the mixture does not melt and the chocolate chips remain whole.
  • Stir in the chips and blend again.
  • Roll the dough into golf-sized balls; wet your hands every now and then to mould the balls. Put them in the freezer to firm up for an hour or so.
  • Serve!
Hemp is a real hit with period cramps. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
4. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with hemp seeds

These are protein-packed cookies with just enough sweetness, and a wonderful combination of healthy seeds. Long recognized as an excellent source of nutrition and energy, hemp foods are rich in fibre, proteins, vitamins and amino acids. Hemp contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that help in restoring skin elasticity.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1½ cups brown sugar packed
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp soy milk or water, cold
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp chia seed
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 cup chocolate chips dairy-free

Method:

1.Heat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
2. In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, coconut oil, sugar, and vanilla.
3. In a separate small bowl, combine the ground flax seed, corn starch, and soy milk (or water).
4. The cornstarch sometimes gets a little clumpy. Stir it up a bit to keep that from happening. Then add the vinegar, let it sit for just a second or two, and pour it into the peanut butter mixture. Stir well.
5. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until combined. Add the chia and hemp seeds, and give the dry ingredients another little stir.
6. Now, stir together the dry and the wet ingredients. If the mixture seems a little bit too dry, feel free to add another tablespoon of soy milk (or water). Next, add the chocolate chips and stir everything one last time.
7. Make one to one-and-a-half-inch balls and place them on a baking pan. Bake anywhere from 10 – 12 minutes depending on your desired crunchiness.

You can have them whenever you want with whatever you feel like.

Enjoy these recipe without any guilt!

Nikita Chotani Nikita Chotani

Nikita Chotani nutritionist with Health Horizons