Uses for Hempseed

Uses for Hempseed

There are four general methods for preparing foods from hempseed: using whole seed, using hulled hempseed, milling the seed, and using the oil directly.

In whole-seed processing the seed is left intact and incorporated as an ingredient in a mixture, such as in Mama Indica’s seed treats, or is further processed whole, such as Jamaica Jay’s roasted and seasoned snack seeds.

Hulled hempseed is the most significant development in hempseed in centuries. The hard, crunchy coat is removed, thus improving palatability and ease of processing. Hulled hempseed can be used in many recipes much like sesame or tofu. Additionally, raw or roasted hempseed may be milled into a paste similar to peanut butter, a delicacy long prized in eastern Europe but currently unavailable in the U.S.

Milling the seed is best for products for which one prefers that the seed not remain whole, and that it not contain solely the oil of the seed. Milled seed foods may contain noticeable ground seed particulates, such as Hempeh Burgers or One Brown Mouse cookies.

Hempseed oil is useful in fat-based products, such as frozen desserts or baked goods. However, this is the highest cost alternative, since hempseed oil currently is in the $25 to $100 per gallon range and seed is $0.60 to $2.00 (or equalized to relative oil content and expressed in gallons, seed is $16 to $53). When using oil as an ingredient the quality of the oil is extremely critical, since if it is of low quality (rancid) the finished product will have a short shelf life, with off-flavor and free radical formation.

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