Hemp oil is incredibly versatile. Not only can it be used to soothe irritated skin, add moisture to dried out hair and as a carrier oil for essential oils but this nourishing oil is also increasingly being used in the kitchen. Just like coconut oil, it has some great health benefits and can be used in a variety of recipes.
Why Should You ‘Cook’ with Hemp Oil?
Plant-based oils are beneficial for our health and wellbeing in so many ways. Let’s take a look at why we should use hemp oil in the kitchen.
- Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids that are known to improve many skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne.
- It also contains the good fats omega-9, omega-6 and omega-3 which have many health benefits, including the ability to reduce cholesterol levels.
- Sitosterol is also found in hemp oil, which is also thought to help reduce cholesterol.
- It’s also believed that hemp oil can help to heal skin cells and may even be able to prevent some skin cancers.
What Does Hemp Oil Taste Like?
Just like other plant-based oils, hemp oil does have a distinctive taste, however, the flavour is mild rather than overpowering. We would say that it has a slightly nutty, earthy taste that lends itself well to many different recipes.
Cooking with Hemp Oil
Just like many other plant-based oils, hemp oil should not be heated to high temperatures. Don’t allow your oil to become so hot that it ‘smokes’. This will not only change the taste of the oil but will deplete it of its healthy nutrients. When cooking with hemp oil, always heat it gently.
However, there are many ways that you can get all the health benefits of hemp oil without heating it. It makes a great addition to:
- Protein Shakes
- Salad Dressings
- And anything that requires oil as an ingredient!
Taste Hemp Oil for Yourself in These Recipes
If you’d like to add hemp oil into your diet, here are 3 quick recipes that are very versatile and easy to make too.
Garlic Hemp Oil Salad Dressing
This dressing is perfect on a leafy salad or to liven up a pasta salad and only requires four ingredients.
- 50 ml of hemp oil
- 50 ml of white wine vinegar
- 4 cloves of chopped or minced garlic
- Black Pepper
Simply mix all the ingredients together in a screw-top jar and then let it sit for an hour or so to let the flavours develop. Shake before serving.
Hemp Oil Chickpea Spread
A slightly thicker version of hummus, this chickpea spread is the perfect accompaniment to crudities, pitta bread or crackers. It also makes a tasty topping for burgers and kebabs.
- 1 Tin of Chickpeas
- 5 tablespoons of hemp oil
- 2 teaspoons of tahini (or you can use sesame oil)
- 1 large clove of garlic chopped or minced
- Salt to taste
Use a blender to mix together the chickpeas, hemp oil and tahini/sesame oil. Blend till smooth then add in the garlic and salt. Store in the fridge until needed.
Tropical Fruit Hemp Oil Smoothie
A fruity, sweet smoothie is the perfect way to start your day and adding hemp oil will give you a boost of healthy fats to keep you fuller for longer.
- 30 grams of strawberries
- 75 ml of pineapple juice
- 1 small banana
- 30 grams of Greek yoghurt
- ½ tablespoon of hemp oil
Place all the ingredients in a blend and whizz until smooth. Serve over ice. Alternatively, if your blender is powerful enough you can add the ice into the mix for an extra cooling smoothie.