If one positive thing has come out of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it’s that more of us than ever are finding the time to experiment in the kitchen. From the rise (pun intended) of homemade sourdough starters to the proliferation of banana cake baking, all of this extra time at home that the virus has afforded us has given us the ability to refine our culinary skills – much to the delight of our housemates.Combine this with the sudden popularity of cannabis derivatives such as broad-spectrum hemp oil, hemp-seed oil and CBD oil, and it leaves us with an obvious question; how can we reap the benefits of these cannabis products by incorporating them into creative, fun, and healthy dishes? Luckily, we have the answer.The benefits of hemp have been used by humans for centuries. From its strong fibres being harnessed to make clothing and rope, to its medicinal extracts being used to help humans come with a wide spectrum of ailments, it’s clear that this miraculous herb has been man’s best friend for a long time. However, due to a recent relaxing of legal regulations, it’s only recently that hemp-derived products have entered the culinary world, so ideas and tips for cooking with hemp oil are still pretty hard to find.For this reason, in this article, we’re going to run you through 5 of the freshest, healthiest, and most delicious ways to incorporate broad-spectrum hemp oil into your diet. To help you reap the benefits of the miraculous herb while creating delicious dishes at the same time. But before we dive into the recipes, let’s take a closer took at broad-spectrum hemp oil, to understand why it’s such a great ingredient to harness this lockdown.
What is broad spectrum hemp-oil?Often confused with hemp-seed oil, or CBD oil, broad-spectrum hemp oil is an extract from the cannabis plant that is taken from the entirety of the hemp plant. This means it contains a whole host of phytocannabinoids and terpenes, as well as it’s superstar ingredient, CBD. The presence of these other ingredients is significant because as well as all bringing their own benefits when they are all together they work synergistically to enhance each other’s strengths.In contrast, CBD oil typically only contains extracts of cannabidiol and doesn’t contain all of the other active ingredients that make broad-spectrum oils so beneficial. Also, as the name suggests, hemp-seed oil is only extracted from the seed of the plant, so although it brings its own host of nutritional values, it doesn’t contain any active CBD.Renowned for it’s nutty, earthy flavour, broad-spectrum hemp oil has been growing in popularity in recent years. Its silky texture enables it to complement a range of dishes, and the range of physical and mental benefits it brings with it makes it a very viable competitor to other types of oils on the market. And if you want to make sure you’re reaping the most benefits from the product, be sure to look out for water-soluble oils, as they offer higher rates of bioavailability.However, broad-spectrum hemp oil does come with a slight catch. Due to its chemical make-up, hemp oil has a low flashpoint. This means that if it is heated up higher than room temperature, it’s properties can be lost and it’s taste slightly compromised. This is why all of the recipes included in this article, don’t actually require you to cook with the broad-spectrum oil. But don’t worry, there are still a bunch of delicious and creative ways to incorporate hemp oil into your diet without compromising its benefits!
What are the benefits of broad-spectrum hemp oil?As well as having a distinctively delicious savoury flavour, hemp oil can benefit your mental and physical health in a spectrum of ways. Here are just a few of the multitude of ways incorporating broad-spectrum oil in your diet can positively impact your health.
It’s rich in proteinNot only is hemp oil is busting full of hemp protein, but it also contains all 20 the amino acids which are essential for helping your body to grow and function properly. This means that it’s a great way to help you build lean muscle so your body can stay strong and move freely. The protein it contains also means it’s a great, nutritious way for vegetarians and vegans to supplement the meat and dairy they are lacking in their diet.
It can help to soothe aches and painsHemp oil is also successful at helping people deal with bouts of acute or chronic pain, due to the properties located within CBD. CBD, or cannabidiol, has been shown to elicit analgesic (pain-relieving) qualities by preventing the body from absorbing anandamide, the compound knows to regulated pain. By preventing the anandamide from being absorbed, more of the compound stays in our circulatory system, and this helps to control levels of pain. Many people therefore use CBD oil for pain.
It can fight against magnesium deficienciesMagnesium deficiencies can make you more vulnerable to a range of gastrointestinal conditions and they have also been linked to osteoporosis and coronary heart disease. Maintaining sufficient magnesium levels is also import so your body is able to carry out a variety of basic functions. Therefore, getting a healthy dose of magnesium in hemp oil is a great way to protect your body and it’s natural defences.
It can calm the mindIf you suffer from anxiety or an overactive mind, consuming CBD, specifically in broad-spectrum hemp oil, can help you curb these anxieties due to its effect on the amygdala. The amygdala is the area of our brain that is partly responsible for generating anxiety, and when CBD is consumed the response of the amygdala is regulated. This controls levels of anxiety and can lead to a clearer, calmer, mind.
How can I incorporate hemp oil into my diet?
Whiz it into a soupAs we slowly pass through the summer months and look towards autumn, it has to be said that there’s no better comfort on a cold day than a bowl of hearty and delicious soup. The savoury properties in hemp oil make it work wonderfully with most soups, but our favourite is the butternut squash and hemp soup.All you need is:
- 2 butternut squash
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons of broad-spectrum hemp oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 veggie stock cube
- 600ml of hemp milk (regular or vegan alternatives will work too)
- Hemp or sunflower seeds for garnish
- A drizzle of yoghurt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200*C and line two baking trays with parchment paper
- Slice the butternut squash in half and place face-up on the baking trays, rub the rosemary, garlic and salt and pepper into the squash and roast for an hour.
- Let the squash cool and then discard of its seeds. Then scoop the remaining flesh into a blender.
- Fry the onion for 10 minutes until it starts to caramelise and then add to the squash.
- Add the hemp oil, milk, and stock, and then blend to a reasonably thick consistency.
- Sprinkle over seeds, swirl in the yoghurt and enjoy!
Infuse it into hummusEverybody loves hummus. Whether it’s part of a Meditteranean platter of used as a dip for sliced carrots, this chickpea paste is as delicious as it is versatile. This hemp-infused hummus is an exciting twist on the classic and it’s nutty earthy flavours make it a perfect addition to any spread. And of course – it’s completely vegan!All you need is;
- 250g cooked chickpeas
- 75g hemp seeds
- 2 cloves garlic
- The juice of 2 lemons
- A big pinch of lemon rind
- 6 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons broad-spectrum hemp oil
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Sprinkle of coriander
- Crush or dice the garlic until fine
- Blend all the ingredients together in a blender until creamy and smooth
- Serve with an extra drizzle of hemp oil and a sprinkle of coriander
Chuck it in a salad dressingSalad season isn’t quite over yet, and infusing hempy goodness into your greens is a wonderful way to enrich its flavour white giving you that extra ‘feel-good’ feeling. There are loads of different dressing you can incorporate hemp oil into, but here’s our recipe for our simple but delicious garlic and hep salad dressing.All you need is;
- 30g of white wine vinegar
- 30g of broad-spectrum hemp oil
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crush or dice the garlic until fine
- Whisk all the ingredients together until assimilated
- Let it sit for an hour so the garlic can become infused
- Shake well and serve!
Blend it up into a smoothieAlright, you’ve got us here, infusing hemp oil into a smoothie isn’t technically cooking. But it’s still a great way for you to get your hemp-oil fix if you’re on the go or if you prefer to mask that hempy taste. We love making the banana oatmeal and hemp smoothie because it’s a great way to start any day.All you need is;
- ½ cup plain Greek yoghurt
- ¼ cup of oats
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 teaspoon honey, or any other sweetening syrup
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons of water-soluble hemp oil
- Simply blend all of the ingredients together until the smoothie makes a smooth consistency
- Chuck it in your favourite glass or to-go cup and enjoy!
Infuse it into a pestoObsessed with pasta? Or looking for a fresh twist the versatile Italian sauce? Then hemp-oil infused pesto might just be your ticket. This pesto recipe is delicious, incredibly simple to make, and of course, is fully packed with hempy goodness.All you need is;
- A splash of olive oil
- Half a teaspoon of lemon juice
- 10g of hemp seeds
- 1 garlic clove
- 50g of chopped basil
- 70ml of broad-spectrum hemp oil
- 60g of parmesan
- Toast hemp seeds with a splash of olive oil until they begin to pop
- Grind them into a rough powder with a pestle and mortar
- Add the garlic, salt, and basil and grind into a paste
- Grind in the hemp oil, parmesan and hemp seeds
- Serve as a dipping or pasta sauce and enjoy! Keep pesto in the fridge and use within around 2 weeks.