I created these savoury Hemp Heart, Nut & Seed Clusters for Chantal Organics using their new Organic Hemp Hearts.
You may have noticed a sudden influx of hemp food products and recipes lately, the main reason for this in New Zealand is because of new legislation passed last year.
It’s Now Legal To Sell Hemp As Food
In New Zealand new legislation was passed last year which makes it legal to sell hemp seed products as food for humans.
This is a great win as it opens up a lot of new business opportunities, hemp farming has a very positive impact on the environment and consuming hemp food products carries many health benefits.
Hemp Hearts Are Not Psychoactive
Hemp hearts are the raw shelled seeds of the hemp plant and are very safe to eat.
Despite being a close relative to the marijuana plant, hemp hearts (and all hemp food products for that matter) have no psychoactive effects.
Hemp Seeds Have A Uniquely Beneficial Fatty Acid Composition
In fact, hemp seeds are considered extremely nutritious largely due to their fatty acid composition. Hemp has a unique 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which means you can consume it without needing to balance it out with another fat rich food.
By comparison, most western diets have a whopping 10:1 omega ratio which is hugely alarming given that high dietary omega-6s relative to omega-3s are associated with numerous health issues such as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
One particularly significant omega-6 fatty acid found in hemp is GLA or gamma kinolenic acid. It’s an extremely potent anti-inflammatory which makes it very effective at reducing chronic inflammation and it’s associated diseases.
What Else Is In Hemp
As well as fatty acids, hemp is a great source of dietary fibre and plant based protein. In fact it’s one of the few complete plant based protein sources which means it contains the 9 essential amino acids that your body can’t make.
Hemp is also a fantastic source of vitamin E, phytosterols, carotenes, lecithin and cholorphyll.
You may notice your hemp products have a slight green tint to them and this is a good thing as it’s due to the high chlorophyll content.
Hemp Plants Benefit The Environment
Hemp crops are easy to grow and very eco-friendly. They only need moderate amounts of water and rarely require herbicides or pesticides, so you can rest easy that your hemp foods will be low in chemical residues.
On average hemp plants pull around 20 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere per hectare, as well as promote soil remediation, absorb toxins and help to replenish the earth.
Is there anything this super plant can’t do?!
They’re also extremely versatile, with nothing going to waste. Their fibres, core, seeds and flowers can be used as raw materials to form a wide variety of products such as: food, clothing, paper, carpeting, livestock feed and bedding, moulded plastics, construction, medicines, supplements, and body care products.
Hemp Hearts Have A Very Mild Flavour
Surprisingly, hemp hearts have a very light, nutty flavour (unlike their protein powder counterpart) which makes them very versatile to use. They go beautifully in both sweet and savoury recipes, which brings me to these savoury hemp clusters.
Made with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, a dash of savoury yeast and tamari for flavour, these clusters are bound together by the powers of psyllium. As such, they’re completely plant based/vegan, gluten/grain and sugar free.
I must warn you though, they’re unbelievably moreish so don’t be tempted to only make half a batch!
You’ll regret it, trust me.
If you can avoid eating them all straight from the oven tray, these clusters make a very nutritious mid morning or afternoon snack. They’re perfect for post workout given their high protein content, fantastic as salad or soup toppers, and make a great addition to cheese boards or mezze platters.
When you make these Hemp Heart, Nut & Seed Clusters, let me know!
Hemp Heart, Nut & Seed Clusters
Makes: 2 trays
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour
1/2 cup hemp hearts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup cashew nuts
2 tsp psyllium powder
2 tsp savoury yeast flakes
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
2 tsp tamari sauce (optional)
1/2 cup water
Preheat the oven to 120ºC fan bake and line 2 baking trays.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine.
Combine the wet ingredients, then add to the dry and stir well to combine. The mixture should come together as the psyllium absorbs the water.
Divide the mix between the two prepared trays and roughly spread over each tray to form clusters.
Place the trays into the oven and bake for up to 1 hour.
The clusters are ready when they come off the tray easily and hold together. They may be a little soft when they first come out but should harden up as they cool. If not, return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Allow the clusters to cool completely before transferring to a tightly sealed container to store at room temperature.
Clusters should keep well for a couple of weeks if they’ve been properly baked and all the moisture evaporated.