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Hemp Milk

Hemp Milk

For various and sundry reasons, mostly out of dismay with the dairy industry and their treatment of cows, I’ve been drinking alternative milks: soy milk, almond milk and rice milk, to varying degrees of satisfaction. Wait, what’s wrong with cow’s milk, you ask? Here’s a snippet from a longer article on Peta’s website, “Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do: to nourish their young. In order to force the animals to continue giving milk, factory farm operators typically impregnate them using artificial insemination every year. Calves are generally taken from their mothers within a day of being born. After their calves are taken from them, mother cows are hooked up, several times a day, to milking machines. Using genetic manipulation, powerful hormones, and intensive milking, factory farmers force cows to produce about 10 times as much milk as they would naturally.”

But back to the story on hemp milk, which makes me happy (the dairy industry does not). Soy was great, until we learned the truth about soy cultivation, processing and the detriments of soy to our systems and our ecosystems.

Almond milk is quite good, but once I learned how easy it is to make it, I find it nearly impossible to buy it (and am somehow also too lazy to make it myself). Just in case you’re not lazy, here are a couple of almond milk recipes:

Image from www.veganreader.com

This great recipe for making your own almond milk is from Vegan Reader. It involves blanching, which for some reason is one step too many for me – though the author claims it will make the milk taste sweeter and have a better texture (and I believe her).

Just in case you share my feelings about blanching, here’s a non-blanching recipe:

WHAT:

1 part almonds
4 parts water
several dates (optional and to taste)
cinnamon (optional and to taste)
nutmeg (optional and to taste)

HOW:

Soak almonds in water overnight. I use a canning jar with a lid.

Soak dates for about an hour.

Drain the almonds, and blend with water until creamy.

Add dates, cinnamon and/or nutmeg.

Strain thoroughly.

Image from www.iwearweed.com

But enough about Almond milk. Rice milk just never really took a liking to me. Horchata, now that’s another thing entirely and one of my favorite beverages, but not for making a beurre blanc sauce or a simple rue.

Then, lo and behold, just the other day I discovered hemp milk and it’s truly my new favorite cow’s milk alternative. It’s creamy, not grainy, not watery and has a full, unobtrusively nutty/grassy/natural flavor. It’s rich in protein, has no cholesterol and has naturally occurring Vitamin A, E, B12, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc and Potassium. It also contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which have been linked to prevention of heart disease and some cancers. And it contains immune-boosting essential amino acids!  For more on hemp milk check out www.HempMilk.org.

I now use it in all sorts of ways, from just drinking it in a glass, to using it in all my baking recipes. I even did a taste test in homemade pumpkin pie this Holiday season. Everyone, and this includes some very die-hard meat eaters who would never but never consider using hemp milk, chose the organic, from-a-pumpkin, with-hemp-instead-of-evaporated milk pie.

It’s not available everywhere yet, but Whole Foods carries it, and Living Harvest as well as Pacific Foods both produce it.

And, just in case you’re curious, hemp is not the same as marijuana – read more than you ever wanted to know about the two very different varieties of the same plant!

-Jocelyn Broyles

Read more: All recipes, Basics, Conscious Consumer, Diet & Nutrition, Drinks, Eating for Health, Food, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , , ,

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98 comments

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10:49AM PDT on May 9, 2011

the reason why i don't make my own almond milk is because i feel like all the pulp (i guess we could call it pulp, right?) left over after you drain the blended almonds would be thrown away. and i would feel bad throwing away food as i HATE to waste food. if someone could provide a good recipe that employs this leftover pulp so that there isn't waste AND you get all the nutrients you can out of the almonds you purchased by eating all parts of the almonds, well that would be great.

1:32AM PDT on May 9, 2011

Thanks for sharing this useful article. Like it.

1:28AM PDT on May 1, 2011

Interesting :). Thank you for the info!

2:37AM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

have never try to drink hemp milk, but it shure taystes good.

5:14AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

The best milk substitute when making deserts is coconut milk. It is creamy, sweet and best of all, it tastes coconutty! It's delicious in cakes, hot drinks and other sweet, milky things. Also, because it is naturally sweet, you don't have to add much (or possibly even any) sugar to some recipes when you replace milk with coconut milk. It is vegan friendly but if you are alregic to seeds or nuts, put a little bit of coconut milk on the back of your hand and if you are alergic, it will go a bit red and may swell. If you have a serious alergy to muts or seeds that may put you in hospital, I'd avoid it completely if I were you though. Best wishes and enjoy the sewwt taste and aroma of coconut milk... (If you aren't alergic, lol)

11:27PM PST on Mar 10, 2011

Cool news.
I'm helping by contributing on Care2 check out the petition I created.
 It has been created to help bring more SAFE WATER to Kids in need, As well as, to help our earth's atmosphere and climate!
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8:19AM PST on Mar 4, 2011

There are several great product made from Hemp. Ropes, lotions, & milk!!! You can use and not get high, fail a drug test, or otherwise break the law AS Hemp is NOT the same as Marijuana.

7:39PM PST on Mar 3, 2011

....i dont know, ......hemp.....like weed....i rather like to smoke it than eat it!!

8:57PM PST on Feb 22, 2011

I just finished a huge container of hemp protein mix. it was the tastiest protein mix i'd ever had. i reeeeeeally want to try hemp milk now!

7:10AM PST on Feb 19, 2011

Until reading this article...I always thought hemp and marijuana were the same. Thanks for the interesting info.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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