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This hearty loaf may not be much to look at, but it’s taste is amazing! You may be well acquainted with hemp already, or you may be reading this wondering, what does she mean by hemp… really?… in food?
Hemp is actually becoming quite popular these days. It has a nutritional value that is off the charts. Let me tell you why…
Hemp is an extremely nutrient rich whole food. It is also one of the purest sources of raw plant based proteins. As a plant, this means that hemp is also extremely alkaline forming unlike many other proteins that come from meat, fish, eggs or whey which can be acidic to the body overtime. So for athletes and busy/active people, hemp is an amazing form of sustaining and nourishing energy. The protein present in hemp is also complete -containing all 10 essential amino acids which makes it ideal for vegetarians, vegans or anyone seeking an alternative source of protein. Hemp also contains balanced healthy fats – both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. This makes hemp an excellent natural anti-inflammatory as well as providing the body with healthy oils for skin, hair and nails. If this isn’t enough already… hemp is also easy to digest (because it contains it’s own natural enzymes), contains a high levels of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, fibre and chlorophyll. So if this isn’t a superfood, I don’t know what is!
There are so many ways that hemp can be consumed – whether it is as a seed (also know as hemp hearts), in a powder, as a flour or mixed in a blend- you can even by “hemp ice cream“. There are many options to choose from for your first go at hemp!
I usually start my day off in the morning with a hemp smoothie. I use Vega’s smoothie infusion, mixed with some organic fruit, rice milk and agave nectar. I sprinkle hemp seeds on salads or use them in baked or raw desserts and I use hemp flour to make delicious baked items like these high protein, low carb, gluten free loaves. They are hearty, filling and delicious. You can eat them in the morning or enjoy them after a good workout.
So if hemp is new to you, it may take some getting used to a gritty texture, nutty flavour and a greenish look. But it is worth it and your body with thank you for it in the end!
Hemp Coconut Mini Loaves
1 cup hemp flour (Hempola Brand)
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 tsp sea salt.
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut flour or coconut meal
1 teaspoon each baking soda and baking powder
6 tablespoon virgin coconut oil+ 1/4 cup maple syrup + 1 banana
1/2 cup organic apple sauce or pureed apples
1 tablespoon ground flax or chia + 3 tablespoons water
1 cup of wild blueberries
How it’s made!
Preheat oven to 350F.
1. Combine the hemp flour, brown rice flour, coconut flour salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a small bowl.
2. Add oil, maple syrup, and applesauce to mashed banana and beat until well mixed.
2. Add chia flax and vanilla and mix well.
3. Add remaining dry ingredients. Mix until just blended and stir in the blueberries.
4. Pour into greased mini loaf pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
5. Allow to cool on baking rack.
There is so much confusion between yams and sweet potatoes. They look the same, they taste the same and you never really know which you are eating at any given time.
So I am going to do my best and give you some information on why these two roots are different from each other and not to be mistaken. However you can still choose to interchange them in recipes-I always do!
Yams were first cultivated in Africa and are part of the tuber family. They are very popular in tropical regions of the world. They are round and elongated with a thick, scaly or rough skin and it’s flesh can be either white, ivory, cream, pink or purple. Yams are typically mores starchy and dry. However the most common variety has a deep orange flesh, which is why they are often mistaken for sweet potatoes. Most of the time they are also mislabeled in stores and are actually sweet potatoes!
Sweet Potatoes on the other hand, are native to South America and is part of the morning glory family. Sweet potatoes are actually not at all related to Yams or Potatoes. They are very sweet and dark and sometimes mislabeled as Yams. Sweet potatoes have a wide center and taper at both ends. They also have a thin and smooth skin. Sweet potatoes are also sometimes mislabeled when actually they are yams.
I know it can be confusing…but when it comes to their nutritional content and health benefits they are pretty much the same with a few unique qualities between the two.
They are both amazing sources of beta carotene, an antioxidant found in most orange fleshed foods such as mangoes and carrots. They are both high in vitamin A and C with a good amount of thiamine. They are nourishing to the spleen, pancreas and stomach. Yams are particularly known for it’s properties to help regulate menses and prevent miscarriages. Yams also help to treat fatigue, inflammation, spasms and stress.
For more information on the differences between Yams and Sweet potatoes you can read many articles and resources available on the web with sometimes confusing, but insightful information these root veggies. Or you can always check out Rebecca Wood’s Whole Foods Encyclopedia for a small description on the health benefits and uses for each.
So in conclusion, both yams and sweet potatoes are amazing for their own unique properties. Now you can be just a bit more aware of which varieties you are eating (if it is labeled correctly). Either way both are sure to please your palate and make wonderful ingredients for side dishes, soups, dips, pancakes or pies!
Yummy Yam Pecan Pie
1 cup almonds, ground
1 cup brown rice flour
2 tablespoon maple crystals
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of sea salt
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups mashed or cooked yams or sweet potatoes (you can always buy canned organic sweet potatoes or yams if necessary)
1 cup vanilla almond or rice milk
3/4 cup maple sugar, coconut sugar or sucanat
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fair trade vanilla
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup chopped pecans, mixed with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 1 tablespoon coconut oil and roasted for 5-10 minutes at 200F
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil a 9 in tart pan or a few mini tart pans.
For the Crust:
2. In food processor, grind nuts to meal. In mixing bowl, combine nuts, flour, maple crystals, baking powder and salt.
3. In separate small bowl, whish together oil and maple syrup
4. Mix wet ingredients (oil and syrup) into dry ingredients (nut meal and flours).
5. Press crust mixture into tart pan.
For the Filling:
1. Blend all the ingredients in a vita mix or a blender until well combined.
2. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 45-60 minutes.
3. Cool on rack and then refrigerate over night before serving.