Hemp milk is becoming a popular choice among the selection of dairy-free milk options already available to consumers. Vegans, lactose-intolerant individuals, and anyone who dislikes cow’s milk now have one more nutritional option.
Hemp milk made an entrance into the plant milk world and left quite the impression with its nutritional profile, digestibility, and nutty flavor. Many brands, both old and new, are catching up and even producing hemp milk creamers to improve your coffee experience. Hemp milk creamers can be steamed for latte art just like cow’s milk and the taste is incredibly rich, and of course, creamy.
Being a cousin of cannabis, the hemp plant may seem like the most unlikely ingredient for plant milk, but it’s actually one of the more nutritious ones. So, how does it taste? This is what we’ll cover in today’s article plus give you an awesome recipe to make a batch of your own.
Why You Should Try Hemp Milk
Hemp milk is worth trying for more reasons than one. It’s one of the more nutritious vegan milk because it contains many vitamins (C, A, E, and some B vitamins) and minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, zinc), plus it’s gluten-free.
The most important thing about hemp milk is that it’s the only vegan milk that contains all of the nine essential amino acids that the body needs for healthy functioning. Plus, it’s high in unsaturated essential fatty acids – omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids while low in saturated fats and cholesterol.
Hemp milk also contains a good amount of protein, close to soy milk, but less than cow’s milk, about 4-5 gr per cup. In fact, hemp seeds are also used to make hemp protein powder, another hemp product with rising popularity.
Additionally, hemp milk’s sustainability is quite impressive. As one of the oldest cultivated crops in human history, the hemp plant grows fast (within 3-4 months) with virtually no need for insecticides or pesticides and it breathes CO2 four times more than trees. Even though hemp farming requires more water than oats and soybeans, it still uses a lot less water per cup compared to almond milk and cow’s milk, making it much more environmentally friendly.
Does It Contain THC?
Even though the hemp plant is a cousin to the cannabis plant, it contains only trace amounts of THC, or 0.3%. However, hemp seeds don’t contain any cannabinoids, including THC and CBD. The cannabinoids are found predominantly in the hemp flowers, leaves, and stalks.
Remember, the hemp seeds only contain the nutrients and none of the cannabinoids. Apart from hemp milk, they’re also cold-pressed to extract hemp oil or hemp seed oil, which is also highly nutritious but contains no cannabinoids.
How Does Hemp Milk Taste Compared to Other Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives?
If you regularly use vegan milk, then you may know what to expect from hemp milk taste-wise.
To begin with, hemp milk doesn’t have a neutral taste, like oat milk, rice milk, or soy milk. Instead, it has a warm nutty flavor, even some notes of earthiness, and a strong aftertaste. Its flavor profile and intensity are probably reminiscent of almond milk. Still, hemp milk has a slight sweetness to it.
Its texture is creamy, similar to cow’s milk and soy milk, although homemade hemp milk can be a little chalky. Just like cashew milk, hemp milk is smooth enough and works great in coffee and doesn’t separate. You can also use it for smoothies, cereal, and even for baking.
How to Make Your Homemade Hemp Milk
If you’re keen on DIYing, or you can’t find hemp milk on the isles of your local grocery stores, you can easily make your own hemp milk. Hemp seeds are currently more easily found in stores than hemp milk because hemp milk only broke into the market a few years ago, whereas almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk, for example, have been popular for a bit longer than that.
The advantage of homemade hemp milk is that there is no pulp unless you want to strain it. Like other types of plant milk, it’s made by blending the seeds with water and adding optional ingredients to get the desired flavor. The basic version is unsweetened and it tastes good on its own, but to amp it up, you can add a sweetener.
To make hemp milk you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts
- 4 cups of water, or less if you want it thicker
- Pinch of salt
Optional for added flavor:
- Sweetener to taste (maple syrup, honey, dates, etc.)
- Vanilla extract
- Cocoa or cacao powder (chocolate milk)
The process couldn’t be simpler – just throw everything together in a blender and blend until it seems smooth enough. Taste it before you decide it’s done in case it needs adjusting. The hemp seeds blend quite nicely, so there’s no need for straining, but if you want a smoother texture, you can use a cheesecloth, a nut milk bag, or even a clean cotton t-shirt.
The shelf life of hemp milk is 5 days in the fridge, but it can keep in the freezer for up to a month. Remember to shake the bottle before use since hemp milk tends to separate, like all homemade plant milk.
The Takeaway – A Highly Nutritious Plant Milk
Hemp milk is a great non-dairy alternative to cow’s milk not only because of its rich nutritive profile but also because of its sustainability – it’s a win-win. It not only contains notable amounts of vitamins and minerals, but its most impressive characteristic is that it contains all essential amino acids.
Its taste is reminiscent of almond milk in its nuttiness and intensity, but hemp has a stronger aftertaste and a slight sweetness to it. Its creaminess makes it great for coffee. In case you can’t find any hemp milk in your grocery store, you can always make one at home by using our recipe.