Posted by Andrea Nakayama
This month’s featured ingredient: hemp seeds
a note from Andrea . . .
Like most of you parents, students, and educators, I’m just settling back into the school-year routine.
This year, fall seems to have manifested abruptly. Here in Portland, the weather has shifted quickly to cool gray skies. The schedule demands the old up-and-at-’em dictate. And Gilbert’s morning fashion show in front of the full-length mirror with “flooded” jeans reveals the few inches that he must have grown this summer. It was a growth spurt easily hidden by shorts yet painfully obvious in last year’s Levis.
As I contemplate the cost of a new wardrobe, I’m also called to reflect upon my own growth spurt this summer. I was reminded of the importance of down-time during a vacation with my cousins by the shore in North Carolina. We convened from Oregon, Maine, New Jersey, and Sweden. I reveled in the sand and the sea, as I am apt to do, and watched with a mixture of pride, exhilaration, and fear as Gilbert launched himself into the almighty ocean. This in itself was a token of the dichotomy of parenthood ~ of watching our children grow and extend themselves further into the fold of the world outside of our safe embrace. And I delighted in the time with family, treasuring the respite with people I adore. What originally seemed like a somewhat arduous trek across country is now a healing pilgrimage I will undoubtedly make every year I’m able.
I also took time this summer to expand my research, writing and teaching. My further studies and probings into the realm of health, science, and nutrition are ones I hope will aid your processes of transformation this coming year. There are many changes ahead ~ for me, for Replenish PDX (you may have noticed the new banner on this email?), and hopefully for you in ways that are welcome, healing, and delicious. My goal is to bring your more offerings, content, inspiration, and resources to help you on your unique journey to optimal health. I expect to meet more of you, on-line and off, and learn better how to fuel this wellness revolution with each of those opportunities. Your feedback and inquiries are always welcome.
Today I celebrate new beginnings. Mine. Gilbert’s as he enters fourth grade. And yours, in whatever form that might take.
Perhaps its the beginning of eating fudge. . .
Essential Tootsie Fudge
This fudge is easy to make, rich in essential fatty acids and super delicious. The little cousins gobbled it up and begged for more.
1-1/2 cups raw cacao nibs
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tspn cinnamon
3/4 cup raw honey
1 scant tspn sea salt + more for sprinkling
1 Tbspn spirulina (optional)
1/2 cup shelled hemp seeds + more for sprinkling
option: chopped walnuts, almonds, or roasted hazelnuts
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtek.
Blend until creamy.
If you don’t have a high-speed blender, work the ingredients down carefully to ensure that all is getting mixed-in and broken down.
Pour blender contents into a small square glass tray and sprinkle with extra sea salt and hemp seeds.
Option: Press chopped nuts into the fudge for a top layer.
Freeze for at least one hour, cut into squares, store in freezer or fridge, depending on your desired consistency.
This recipe was first shared with the class participants of Your Vibrant Child.
Hemp: The Essential Fat
Hemp is one of the oldest agricultural crops in the United States. George Washington grew it. Ben Franklin owned a hemp paper mill. It was one of the biggest agricultural crops in the United States until the late 1930’s, making it, as American as apple pie.
The Health Benefits of hemp include:
A substantial protein content making it great for supporting:
- blood sugar balance
- brain chemistry
- neurological health
- strong bones
Hemp’s protein is easy to absorb and therefore easy on the digestive system.
Hemp is hypoallergenic. It contains two types of proteins (edestin and albumin) that tend not to be associated with any allergy problems.
Hemp supports the immune system by instigating the production of infection fighting agents in the blood.
Hemp contains those great omega-3 essential fatty acids that our body can’t produce that:
- protect our skin from sun damage
- improve our immune system
- have potent anti-inflammatory properties
- help us burn excess fat
- remove toxins from the skin, intestines, kidneys, and lungs
- feed the brain & eyes (organs made up of a lot of omega-3s)
- lubricate our cardiovascular system
If you’re a number counter, hemp’s omega 6 to 3 ratio is 3:1.
- It contains GLA (a powerful omega-6 fatty acid that we want for its anti-inflammatory properties)
This balanced ratio and the inclusion of this particular omega-6 also make hemp a potent
- hormone balancer
- mediator of mood swings
- ameliorator of breast tenderness
Getting More Hemp in Your Diet:
- shelled hemp seed
- hemp seed protein
- hemp seed oil
- hemp seed butter
- Sprinkle on salads.
- Sprinkle on sandwiches (between the nut butter and jelly layer works great).
- Sprinkle on top of grains dishes before serving.
- Add to smoothies.
- Make into milk.
- Add to raw chocolate and fudge!
Where to Buy Hemp:
If you’re local to PDX, check out Our Community Pantry for the most beautiful shelled hemp seeds I’ve ever seen, at the best prices. Order by September 10th!
Elsewhere in the country, please check first at your local co-op. You can also look for reliable brands like Nutiva.
* Note: For this fudge recipe, be sure to look for shelled hemp seeds, and not hemp protein.
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