Hemp Milk – Everything you need to know
Milk has always been important to us. The moment we got out of our mothers’ wombs, we were fed milk as our nutrient source. It dates back to when the first mammals had developed their mammary glands, up until the moment that we humans have been born. It has been embedded into our DNA and such a cycle will continue to live on for generations to come.
We eventually grew up loving milk because it tastes creamy and rich, and it is also healthy for us. However, not everyone has been blessed with lady luck when it comes to digesting dairy products. These people have developed intolerances to lactose, which can a letdown when planning for your meals.
Luckily, people have been resorting to almond, rice, oat and coconut as alternatives. Joining the ranks of these awesome substitutes is hemp, which is taking the world by storm now. The thought of hemp being turned into milk left many puzzled, intrigued, and some deeply concerned about its legality and repercussions to health.
Worry not, as these questions and more will be discussed now, and after reading this article you might want to grab one already, even if you are not lactose-intolerant.
What is hemp? Is it similar to marijuana?
Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis plant, which is similar to marijuana. However, don’t panic – hemp has been referred to as a non-psychoactive variety due to having 0.3% THC on average, compared to marijuana which ranges up to 20%. Cultivation is also different in that you can industrially sell hemp, while marijuana is usually regulated or totally illegal.
What are the health benefits of hemp?
Considered a superfood, hemp is highly rich in fiber, protein, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals which can be easily digested and absorbed by the body. It lowers cholesterol, improves the immune system, reduces the risk of diabetes, promotes possible weight loss, improves skin, and many more. It gets you high in a different sense – a heightened well-being, that is.
How does hemp milk compare to cow’s milk?
In spite of being a non-dairy alternative, hemp milk is surprisingly almost similar to cow’s milk. In fact, they share virtually the same consistency, appearance and taste, minus the earthy hints you would get from hemp milk. In terms of nutrients, they are also almost similar. It is the perfect alternative if you are lactose-intolerant, vegan or vegetarian. Another advantage of hemp milk over cow’s milk is that it does not require refrigeration which makes it more convenient to store at home and it can last longer than cow’s milk when opened.
How does hemp milk compare to other non-dairy alternatives?
There is a variety of plant-based milk out there, but comparing their nutrition facts and taste, hemp is the most well-balanced among them. Other options have their own shortcomings that may not be suitable to your tastes and nutrient preferences. For one, almond milk is a good weight loss option as it has fewer calories than its counterparts but it also has fewer nutrients. Alternatively, hemp can still maintain weight loss without compromising its nutrient content due to its high fiber content. Meanwhile, rice milk has more calories which are not optimal when losing weight. Coconut milk, while rich in taste and is a staple in healthy cooking, falls short on the protein count compared to hemp.
Soy milk is considered to be the frontrunner among plant-based milk substitutes, but many soy products nowadays are not GMO-free. Hemp, on the other hand, produces its own natural pesticides in the form of cannabinols. In addition, people can get allergic when consuming soy products, which never happens with hemp.
How is hemp milk made?
You can make your own hemp milk at home by blending a cup of hemp seeds along with salt in 3-4 cups of water until you get your desired consistency. You may add water if you want a skimmed milk consistency, and less if you want it thick and creamy. You could also add natural sweeteners or even fruits before blending to flavor your milk.
Strain the mix through a muslin cloth or a strainer and refrigerate. It should last up to a week in the fridge. Isn’t that easy?
Is it Gluten and GMO-Free?
People are getting more cautious with their diets, with soy-free and gluten-free recipes and products on the rise in the market.
Because hemp milk is deemed to be a nutrient-rich dairy alternative, you can be confident to give them to your kids as well. Good health starts at a young age and being able to stick to such diets while still young is the practical thing to do. They will grow up fully aware of healthy eating.
As stated earlier, hemp is free from genetically modified organisms due to its natural defenses against weeds and bugs. It is also free of allergens, soy, nuts, or any intolerances which could affect you.
Can I Use Hemp Milk for my DIY Cosmetics?
It is evident that consuming hemp products like its milk could improve your natural beauty, making your skin, hair and nails very healthy and lively. So naturally, you could try using them for your DIY cosmetics as well. Scrubs, face masks, and hair rinses are readily available in the market, so if they can do it, you also can! get even more creative by making your own product line using hemp products.
Is Hemp Milk Safe for Babies?
Absolutely! If for any reason your baby can not tolerate cow’s milk, then hemp milk is the perfect solution. Having said that, breastfeeding is still more advisable than putting the baby straight to drinking hemp milk. It is completely safe from the age of about 7 months and compared to a formula, hemp milk is much more nutritious and natural. It has been highly praised by mothers after trying it out on their children. You can compare results by alternating hemp milk with your own milk or formula to see more concrete results.
What To Do With Leftovers After Straining Milk?
Now that you have freshly made your milk, what are you going to do with the residue? Of course, you can add it to your compost. Add all hemp leftovers to your compost heap and you will be amazed on how your plants grow strong and rich in essential vitamins and nutrients. Because everything in a hemp seed is fully-packed with nutrition, even leftovers can also be useful.