Hemp is the current superfood that is on everyone’s lips this year – and we are lucky enough to be regionally self-sufficient enough to have one of the country’s few licensed crops. Industrial hemp is grown from the same Cannabis Sativa plant but is bred to have virtually no THC (the psychoactive element that gets you stoned). Yet, it is still only grown under licence in the UK (and these are few and far between) and is illegal to grow in America. Crazy considering the health and economic benefits of this bountiful crop.
Why hemp is good for you
Nutritionally speaking, it is pretty amazing, for its anti-inflammatory properties via the cannabinoids (CBD) and has been suggested that it can help with anxiety and depression. The essential fats found in hemp are said to reduce food cravings and help to improve circulation and contribute towards reducing cholesterol.
A great plant-based athletic protein
Hemp seeds and oil have a high protein content and contains the lowest level of saturated fats compared with other oils. The powdered seed has higher protein levels than soy and provides essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 as well as being a source of gamma linolenic acid.
Why grow hemp?
Hemp has been used for centuries in rope-making, fabric, boat sails, paper as well as the edible uses. Hemp is a tough crop and can grow well in any soil type and needs less spraying or watering than other similar crops – wheat or soy, for example. So is really an economical and ethically sound crop.
A little strange that we are not acquainted with one of our most ancient crops, don’t you think? Apparently, one of the oldest relics of human industry is a piece of hemp fabric dating back to approx 8,000 BC.
We made this loaf and it is absolutely delicious – so well worth taking the time. Slather with butter and served with creamy cheese and raw honey. A perfect combination to match the earthy flavours of hemp, rye and nuts with the richness of the topping.
Hemp and Walnut Bread
- 450g Strong wholemeal bread flour
- 200g Stoneground Rye flour
- 30g Hemp protein powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 x 7g Sachet dried yeast
- 1½ tbsp raw honey
- 200g walnut halves, roughly chopped
- In a large bowl,mix together the flours, hemp protein powder and salt. Make a well in the centre.
- Re-activate the yeast by mixing it in a small bowl with the honey and 230 ml warm water.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the well of the flours and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
- Add another 230 ml of water to the bowl and gradually mix in the flours, making a soft but not sticky dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth.
- Add the walnuts and knead for another 2-3 minutes then return to a greased bowl, cover and leave to rise for 2 hours until doubled in size.
- Knock back the dough, knead again for 2 minutes and then divide into two portions.
- Shape each one and place on a baking sheet. Cover and again leave to rise for 1 ½ hours.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) Gas Mark 7.
- Slash the top of each loaf three times and bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 190°C (375°F)
- Gas Mark 5 and continue to bake for 20-30 minutes, until the loaves sound hollow when tapped underneath.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.
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