Almost 20 years into the millennium, it’s time to get serious about the resolutions we continue to make about improving our health, year after year. CULTURE is simplifying this daunting task by letting you in on one of nutrition’s best kept secrets—and that’s hemp! In honor of the new year, here are three ways to infuse your fresh and colorful recipes with a healthy dose of hemp. When it’s not being used for textiles, renewable energy and body care products, hemp is a super food that offers a significant amount of protein as well as all known amino acids, which our bodies cannot produce. Whether you need an extra boost of energy for your workout, or just to get you through a busy workday, here are three fresh and healthy recipes that utilize nature’s perfect plant.
Breakfast Açaí Bowl
Fruit is nature’s candy. Elevate it with nature’s gift of hemp, plus a couple other goodies, and your day will be off to a solid start.
2 cups frozen strawberries (or your favorite berry)
2 frozen sliced bananas
4 tablespoons açaí powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of choice)
2 tablespoons nut or seed butter
1 tablespoon honey, to taste
Fresh fruit, sliced (bananas and strawberries, sliced)
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Drizzle of honey
- Add the frozen fruits, açaí powder, almond milk, nut or seed butter, and honey to a blender. Blend until creamy and smooth, adding extra almond milk as needed to get the blender running. Aim for a frozen yogurt consistency (it should be thicker than a smoothie).
- Spoon the açaí mixture into bowls and top with hemp seeds, sliced fruit, a drizzle of honey and additional toppings.
Hearty Granola Bars
This recipe is quite flexible, so feel free to play around with the mix-ins. Chewy, soft-baked and hearty, these no-sugar-added granola bars are sure to fill you up and will keep your energy stable all day long.
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (approximately 3 large)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 cup dried cherries, cranberries or blueberries
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pepita seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a large rectangular baking dish (approximately 9 inch x 13 inch) and line with a piece of parchment paper (with overhang) so the bars are easier to remove.
- In a large bowl, mash the banana until smooth. Make sure you have 1 1/2 cups (if you have extra mashed banana, you can freeze it for a smoothie).
- Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Place the oats into a food processor (or blender set on the lowest speed) and pulse until the oats are coarsely chopped (but still have lots of texture). Stir the chopped oats into the banana mixture until fully incorporated.
- Stir the dried fruit, walnuts, sunflower and pepita seeds, almonds, hemp hearts, cinnamon and salt into the banana-oat mixture until thoroughly combined. The dough will be very heavy and a bit wet.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish. With lightly wet hands, smooth out until even and uniform. Press down on the dough until compacted.
Bake for 22 to 26 minutes, until firm and lightly golden along the edges.
- Place the dish on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then carefully slide a knife to loosen the ends and gently lift out. Place the slab on a cooling rack until completely cool.
- Once cool, slice into bars. We recommend using a pizza slicer, as it easily cuts through the dried fruit and nuts. Leftovers can be wrapped up and stored in the fridge for a week, or stored in the freezer for 4 to 6 weeks.
New Year’s Sweet Greens Juice
Green juice is not only healthy, it can be tasty too. If you prefer a sweeter juice, use half the amount of celery and add another apple (so 3-1/2 celery stalks and 2 apples). If you are not a huge fan of citrus, don’t run the lemon and lime through the juicing machine. Instead, stir a splash of fresh lemon and lime juice into the finished juice.
7 celery stalks
1 apple, cut to fit juicer
1/2 cucumber, cut to fit juicer
40 parsley sprigs (leaves and stems)
1/4 cup (1 small handful) spinach leaves
5 large romaine leaves
1/4 to 1/2 lemon, cut to fit juicer
1/4 to 1/2 lime, cut to fit juicer
1 tablespoon hemp oil
- In a fruit and vegetable juicer, juice all ingredients. Discard solids.
- Strain juice through a fine mesh sieve before serving in a glass. Add a few ice cubes to the glass if you prefer a colder beverage. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container and refrigerate for one day.