Contrary to what you might think, hemp milk will NOT get you high. Rather, as the name suggests, it is a plant milk made from hemp seeds. These seeds are soaked and ground in water, and the result is a substance that resembles milk and can be used in precisely the same way. Whether you want to add it to your coffee, use it to create delicious milkshakes or just enjoy it on its own, hemp milk is here and it is ready to take the United States – and the rest of the world – by storm.
Well-known brands such as Tempt Hemp Milk and Pacific Hemp Milk are the ‘face’ of what is set to become a multi-million-dollar industry. The seeds used to create the drink come from the edible part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, the same one that is used to make weed.
These seeds can be used to make protein powder, milk, oil and a host of other food items. It doesn’t cause a psychoactive high because it contains no THC, and as a consequence, most manufacturers claim that hemp milk is legal across the United States.
Hemp Milk Nutrition & Taste
There are a host of hemp milk benefits because it contains significant amounts of at least ten essential amino acids (and trace amounts of several more). It is an excellent vegetarian source of protein and reputable brands ensure their hemp milk contains no phytates (these are enzyme inhibitors found in certain types of soy protein that are known to interfere with the assimilation of essential minerals).
Hemp protein is also easier to digest than its soy counterpart because it doesn’t contain complex sugars (known as oligosaccharides), which cause flatulence when they are not broken down properly during digestion!
Regarding taste, hemp seeds are known for their creamy and nutty flavor, which makes them similar to sunflower seeds. Hemp milk is created by first pulverizing the seeds, then, the remnants of the seeds are blended with water and the solid residue is strained. Hemp milk has a nuttier and creamier taste than soy or rice milk, and is a touch thicker than its counterparts.
Here is a quick overview of the nutritional value of unsweetened hemp milk (based on one U.S. Cup (approximately 236 ml):
- 70 calories
- 5g of fat
- 0.5g of saturated fat
- 2g carbohydrates
- 3g protein
As hemp milk is becoming more and more popular, you can find it in several flavors, including vanilla and chocolate. You also have the choice between ‘long life’ milk that can be stored in the cupboard until it is opened, or ‘fresh’ hemp milk which must be refrigerated immediately.
Plain hemp milk contains no sugar or cholesterol, and is also gluten and soy free. It is an excellent choice if you have allergies to dairy products, but still miss the taste of milk.
Best Hemp Milk Recipe
If the positive hemp milk nutrition facts aren’t enough of a bonus, there is the added charm of being able to make it yourself. Whether it is a case of not knowing where to buy hemp milk or discovering that top brands such as Living Harvest Hemp Milk are not available where you live, making your own hemp seed milk is incredibly easy.
You will need the following ingredients:
- A cup of shelled hemp seeds.
- 5 cups of purified water.
- A natural sweetener such as raw honey or stevia.
Overall, this recipe could make 6 cups, and it can stay fresh in the fridge for at least three days. We recommend keeping it in a sealed glass mason jar and shaking the container before each use.
Without further ado, here is how to make hemp seed milk:
- Put the water and hemp seeds into a blender.
- If you want thicker milk, use less water. If you would like your concoction to have a consistency similar to dairy skim milk, add more water.
- Turn the blender on full power for a maximum of three minutes.
- If you wish, sweeten the milk by adding the honey or stevia after blending.
- Blend again if you add sweetener.
- Drain it through a cheesecloth to remove large seed particles.
- Enjoy your milk in good health!
Incidentally, you can use the leftover seed pulp as a facial mask or body scrub. Some users even find it useful as an addition to their compost heaps.
Are There Any Hemp Milk Dangers I Need to Be Worried About?
As long as it comes from a reputable brand, hemp milk is perfectly healthy. However, an increasing number of non-dairy milk options contain processed ingredients that are known to pose a threat to your health. As a result, we urge you to avoid hemp milk that includes any of the following:
- Carrageenan: This is a seaweed-based additive that is so damaging to your digestive tract it is used to induce colitis in lab animals! According to the World Health Organization (WHO), carrageenan is a possible human carcinogen.
- Natural Flavors: Be wary of any hemp milk that contains the phrase ‘natural flavors’ as part of its ingredients list, because it enables companies to avoid the requirement of outlining its use of additives such as artificial sweeteners and MSG.
- Vegetable Oils: Hemp milk that also contains canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, or safflower oil is bad news. Getting liters of oil from corn is hard work and typically involves the use of high heat and high pressure, toxic solvents, and other agents that damage the delicate chemical structure of fatty acids. Sadly, soy and corn oils are also likely to come from GMO crops.
Hemp Milk vs. Almond Milk
While organic hemp milk is a relatively new phenomenon (at least where the general public is concerned), almond milk has been a health-conscious person’s go-to traditional milk alternative for a long time. We will go through the benefits of hemp milk in more detail below, but first, let’s see what almond milk brings to the table.
Although creating homemade hemp milk is slightly easier, you shouldn’t have much trouble with DIY almond milk as it is made simply by soaking almonds in water for a few hours. Next, drain them and blend with more water until it has a milky texture. Drain the almond ‘milk’ and set the leftover bits aside. It is ideal for vegans or those who have an intolerance to lactose, and it has a lot of vitamins, minerals and overall health benefits.
Almond milk contains:
- Magnesium: A mineral that breaks food down into energy and helps maintain healthy bones.
- Vitamin E: A crucial antioxidant that stops free radicals from damaging cells.
- Unsaturated Fat: Reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Potassium: Keeps blood pressure under control.
- Manganese: Helps maintain healthy teeth and bones.
- Selenium: Prevents tissue and cell damage by boosting the immune system.
- Flavonoids: Essential for a healthy heart.
- Little calories or fat: If you want energy but would rather steer clear of caffeine or regular milk, almond milk is an excellent low-calorie alternative.
- No additives: Unfortunately, cows are sometimes injected with growth hormones and antibiotics to ensure they produce more milk. There are no such issues when you use almond milk.
There are relatively few hemp milk side effects, but the same cannot be said for its almond counterpart. While it is nutritious, almond milk offers the following disadvantages:
- It is not suitable for people with nut allergies.
- When produced commercially, almond milk contains more sugar than cow’s milk.
- It doesn’t contain the right nutrition profile for infants. As a result, you can’t use it as a substitute for breast milk or formula.
- It is classified as a ‘goitrogenic food,’ which means it contains chemicals capable of damaging the thyroid when consumed in large amounts.
Overall, both forms of milk are good alternatives to cow’s milk for adults. It is not advisable to use hemp milk for babies or toddlers because, like almond milk, it doesn’t contain the right levels of nutrition. Hemp milk has a slight edge however, because it doesn’t contain sugar and has fewer calories. It is perfect for people with nut allergies and individuals with a compromised thyroid function.
Is Hemp Milk Good for Your Health?
The simple answer is ‘yes,’ hemp seed milk is ideal for most people. There are few calories in hemp milk, making it an excellent addition to a healthy lifestyle, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
Regarding hemp milk ingredients, if you decide to make it at home, there are only two that you need to be concerned with: water and shelled hemp seeds (although you could also add a sweetener if you choose).
Here is a list of hemp milk’s considerable benefits. Among other things, it contains:
- Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Both are vital for healthy brain function. Unusually for an off the shelf product, hemp milk provides the ideal 3:1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 acids.
- Vitamins: Just one cup of hemp milk contains 10% of your RDA for Vitamin A, 25% of your daily Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 requirement, and at least 6% of your Vitamin E RDA.
- Minerals: Most brands add calcium to hemp milk during processing, and you also benefit from high doses of magnesium and iron.
- Amino Acids: Hemp milk contains 10 essential amino acids.
The combination of all this natural goodness means you may benefit from:
- Better skin, hair, and nails.
- An improved immune system.
- A source of vitamins and minerals that is low in calories while being free from fat and cholesterol.
- Sharper mental skills.
- Reduced risk of heart disease.
Depending on the brand you use, however, there could be some hemp milk side effects. These may include:
- Stomach ache from the tannins and saponins in hemp.
- Nutritional deficiencies (if consumed by babies).
- Allergic reactions such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, hives, eye irritation, and anaphylaxis. Such problems are rare, but they do happen.
- Products containing synthetic B12 (also known as cyanocobalamin) could result in low potassium levels in the blood, a condition also called ‘hypokalemia.’
- If gelling agents are used in store-bought hemp seed milk, it could cause abnormal digestive activity. Examples of harmful gelling agents include carrageenan (Tempt and Pacific Hemp Milk don’t use it anymore), guar gum, and xanthan gum.
Where Can I Buy Hemp Milk?
If you don’t want to make hemp milk yourself, you can purchase high-quality options such as chocolate hemp milk and coconut hemp milk online. There are a host of reputable brands, which is hardly a surprise given the growth of the market.
The confusing legal status of marijuana means many consumers have doubts over whether hemp milk is even legal, but rest assured, you won’t be arrested for enjoying a refreshing glass of hemp milk!
Milk no longer refers solely to the dairy product we used to enjoy as kids. An increasing number of people are lactose intolerant, which means ‘traditional’ cow’s milk is off the menu. Fortunately, you can extract a delicious substitute from hemp seeds and derive an array of impressive health benefits. Hemp milk is easy to find online, and is rich in vitamins and minerals while being low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. Best of all, hemp milk tastes fantastic.