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    Give Hemp A Chance

    hemphearts_detailIn a case of culinary irony, more people are familiar with the idea of wearing or smoking hemp than they are with adding it to salads, soups, and yogurt for a low-calorie, high protein, healthy-fat punch.

    So, while Woody Harrelson lights up his eleventh “hemp ciggie” of the day, let’s talk about the seed’s nutritional profile.

    Two tablespoons of shelled (AKA free of their outer shell) hemp seeds add up to 160 calories and:

    • 2 grams Omega-3 ALA fatty acids (almost as much as one ounce of walnuts)
    • 11 grams protein (like soy, hemp is a complete protein, since it contains all the essential amino acids)
    • 20% of the Daily Value of iron
    • 52% of the Daily Value of folic acid (as much as one cup of spinach)
    • 15% of the Daily Value of potassium (as much as a small banana)
    • 60% of the Daily Value of manganese

    Shelled hemp seeds have a distinct, yet subtle, nutty flavor that goes perfectly with soups, yogurt, and stir fries.  Look for them at Whole Foods or your local health food store. 

    NOTE: If adding shelled hemp seeds to cooked food, sprinkle them on after you have plated your meal, so as to not damage the Omega-3 fatty acids’ composition.

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    1. Open Forum: What’s your Favorite New Food Discovery of 2011? — Eating Rules