Thursday, 12 July 2018

Hemp Milk Recipe: The Cruelty-free, Non-dairy, Vegan Alternative to Cow’s Milk that you can make at home in under 5 minutes

by Pilar Bueno

If you are considering making the switch to non-animal milk, either for ethical reasons (animal welfare), health reasons (e.g. lactose intolerance, allergy) or environmental reasons, you will find that making your own Plant-based alternative takes very little effort or time. All you require are three things: hemp seeds (or your chosen nut/cereal), filtered water and a blender.

Homemade Plant-based milk is preferable than the commercial dairy-free varieties, as these often contain artificial sweeteners, colours and preservatives. This spoils what would have been a very healthy drink. You will also find that making your own milk is healthier for your pocket.

The most popular varieties of plant milk are Soya, Almond and Rice Milk, but here I am going to share with you my recipe for making my favourite of all, Hemp Milk.

I love the taste of Hemp milk, it is also an incredibly nutritious plant very rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, antioxidants, live enzymes, chlorophyll, 9 essential amino acids, protein and is very rich in essential fatty acids (Omega 3, 6, 9 and GLA - vital for mental health).

Hemp is a species of the Cannabis Sativa, it is predominantly grown for its seeds and fibre to make a variety of industrial and commercial products such as food, clothes, paper, rope, and even eco-building materials. It is one of the oldest crops and it is incredibly sustainable as not only does it grow very quickly, it doesn't need pesticides, it naturally regenerates its own soil and, quite incredibly, every single part of the plant can and is used.

But before going any further, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Drinking hemp milk is not going to get you “high” and you are not going to turn into a “pothead” for adding it to your cereal or coffee every morning.

Whilst the recreational marijuana plant contains high levels (anywhere from 5 to 30%) of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is credited to be the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis), the Hemp plant contains minute levels of this psychoactive chemical (less than 0.3%) and higher concentrations of CBD (which stands for Cannabidiol). Rest assured, therefore, that hemp products will NOT get you high, as they are NOT psychoactive.

Incidentally, you may be aware of the incredible uses of CBD oil and medicinal marijuana as a powerful natural substitute of pharmaceutical painkillers and as a treatment for an array of serious medical conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, to name a few.

Research still continues but in many states in America, where medical marijuana has been legalised, and the health benefits have become more accepted in society, more studies continue to be published supporting its use, much to the distress of Big Pharma who fears to lose their monopoly because let’s face it, a healthy population is not good for profits!
I realise I am digressing here, so let me get back to it.

Making your own Hemp milk doesn’t take much effort at all, but if you are using unshelled seeds, I would recommend that you do soak them for 3 to 4 hours. Although not essential, soaking them not only helps with digestion but it enhances the flavour significantly. I personally use whole hemp seeds i.e. they still have the natural shell covering, which is edible and also a great source of fibre. But if you want to make the process even easier and faster, you can use the same amount of hemp seed hearts (shelled hemp seeds) and skip the soaking and straining process.

The following recipe is just a guide. Add more hemp seeds and/or water depending on the consistency or nutty taste you prefer.

(Makes approximately 1 Litre)

125g of Whole Organic Hemp Seeds (soaked for 4 hours and drained)
1 Litre of Filtered Water
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt


Add all ingredients to your Blender / Food processor
Blend for approximately 1 minute or until smooth
Filter the milk using a cheesecloth, fine strainer or nut milk bag

The residue that is left behind (essentially the shells) can be fed to the birds or put straight into your composter.

You can store it for up to 4 days in the fridge in a glass jar with an airtight lid. Remember to shake it well before use as you will notice some separation due to the fact that there are no additives or fillers in the milk.

Some Optional extras (for enhanced / sweeter flavour):

1 tbsp of Natural Vanilla Extract. Please be aware that Vanilla “Essence” is NOT a natural product, but a synthetic (chemically produced) vanilla flavouring.
2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup or 4 pitted dates
2 tablespoons of cacao powder (for a chocolate version)

Not so keen on Hemp?
Try these other non-dairy alternative milk recipes below. They are all made in the same way and I would recommend that you soak them for 3 to 4 hours. 
Remember that soaking them can help to properly digest them. Nuts, like grains and legumes, contain phytic acid, often referred to as an "anti-nutrient" because it can bind minerals in the gastrointestinal tract before they are fully absorbed.

ALMOND MILK: 150g raw almonds / 1 Litre of filtered water
CASHEW Milk: 125g raw cashews / 1 Litre of filtered water

Earlier on, I said that apart from its nutritional advantages, it also makes financial sense to make your own milk at home. I always buy Organic hemp seed and since we make it on a regular basis, I buy it in 1kg or 2.5kg bulk from our wholefoods supplier Buy Whole Foods Online. This way, 1 litre of organic hemp milk costs me as little as £0.71 instead of £1.60 - £1.99 (non-organic) in leading supermarkets and health food stores.

Another reason to enjoy your deliciously fresh and nutritious milk. Use it in tea, coffee, porridge, cereals, cooking or, as I love it, drink it on its own.

Cheers and Good health
Pilar Bueno

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