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Super Oil!

by on April 9, 2008 · 18 comments

I don’t have much time allotted for baking today, so the cookie is going to be simple. I’ll post it later.

Right now I want to mention a product I’m kind of stoked about, dude. Hemp seed oil. Oops. Sorry. Todd and I slip into stoner voices when we use this product, which makes it all the more fun. But actually, it’s very nutritious and I’ve been meaning to write about it for the ten days. That is, since my dry eyes reminded me that I needed to stop slacking off on the Omega 3’s.

The eye doctor recommended flaxseed oil, which (along with the fish oil capsules I’m bad about taking) was the obvious solution. But I’m not crazy about the taste of flaxseed oil and if it doesn’t taste good, I won’t eat it. I’d read that hemp seed oil not only tasted better, but had a better balance of Omega 3’s, and since I love hemp seed nuts, I bought a bottle of the oil. The flavor is like very, very, very strong olive oil, so if you like robust olive oil, you will probably like the hemp seed oil. We like it enough to dip bread in it every night. Considering it has about 2400 mg Omega 3’s per tablespoon, it doesn’t take a lot of dipping to get a healthy dose. Another way we eat it is in salad dressing.

Getting a license to grow hempseed in the U.S. has been difficult. so the oil you are most likely to find in say, Texas, is from Canada. The brand our store carries and which you can also buy online is called Manitoba Farms. Since it’s the brand we use, I can vouch for the flavor. It’s also quite pretty — shiny and green. Manitoba Farms has a great recipe database too. You’ll need it, because hempseed oil only stays fresh for about 8 weeks. So use it or lose it. You can buy it on-line and I suspect, at Whole Foods. If you live near me, they sell at the H.E.B..

Hemp Seed Oil

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Published on April 9, 2008

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Clevermonkey April 9, 2008 at 9:07 am

I have seen this in my local grocery store and had no idea what to do with it. Thanks for the bread dipping suggestion. I have fish oil tablets for omega 3 and they have the worst aftertaste (so I also “forget” to take them). Would the hemp oil also be worth trying in a salad dressing?

Clevermonkey April 9, 2008 at 9:09 am

Oops, I reread your post… I will try it in a salad dressing :) Funny, I shop in London, ON too!

Clevermonkey April 9, 2008 at 9:32 am

Thanks for the recipe, it sounds delicious and I just bought a salad dressing shaker so I could make my own with less chemicals and more good things.

I also heard it’s best to grind your own flax seeds because the meal tends to lose some of its goodness on the shelf (and to refrigerate it as well).

Randi April 9, 2008 at 9:05 am

Wow, I can actually buy that in London, ON. I happen to be going there today so I’ll have to check it out.

Canada is pretty progressive I’d say.

Anna April 9, 2008 at 9:21 am

Randi, let me know what you think.

Clevermonkey, you can defintely use it in salad dressing. If you click that link to Manitoba Farms, you’ll find a recipe collection which includes a few dressings.

The dressing I make is based on a recipe from Dreena Burton. Dreena’s is about 3x this and she uses an immersion blender to emulsify it. You can do that, or you can just throw all these ingredients in a shaker bottle and shake. Try these proportions, then adjust to your liking. You may want more acid or more salt.

This dressing is very oily, but that’s kind of the point since it’s supposed to be a vehicle for good fat. However, since it’s so oily, you won’t need a lot of it to coat the greens. 1 tablespoon coats over 2 cups mixed greens. I use this on “Spring Mix” .

1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon whole grain mustard or Dijon
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari
1/2 of a small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon hempseed oil
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

(salt to taste if needed)

Again, that’s just kind of a tester amount. If you like it, you can make more or add different seasonings. This one has kind of a sweet maple flavor.

julie April 9, 2008 at 9:21 am

For an easy dose of Flax seed, you can add 3 tbs flax seed meal or ground flax seed to anything you are baking. I have added it to Pancakes, cookies, cakes and muffins. You can not even tell or taste they are there. The meal is a little pricier then the seed so I grind the seed to a fine powder. I also sometimes add 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of ground all bran and it is unnoticable.

Anna April 9, 2008 at 9:22 am

Thanks Julie!

I like the flavor of flax in baked goods.

VeggieGirl April 9, 2008 at 9:37 am

I LOVE hemp seed oil!! Great addition to smoothies and such. Have you tried the hemp seed butter? It’s great!

lisam April 9, 2008 at 9:41 am

you should try hempmilk! it has a bunch of omega-3s and the vanilla tastes like marshmallows, so good! Living Harvest is my favorite brand and I buy it at whole foods

Jo April 9, 2008 at 1:21 pm

The same company makes Hemp Seed butter and it`s very very good. It`s a nut butter, same consistency as peanut butter but green. This may sound like a weird combo but I was totally addicted to spreading this on bread and topping it with a smidge of apple butter. Then I started to spread and … well …

Jill - GlossyVeneer April 9, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Thanks for the recommendation! The doc encouraged me to get more fats in my diet to help with the dry eye as well. This will be a fun one to try.

judi0044 April 9, 2008 at 5:47 pm

I was so bad about remembering to grind up my flax seed, I started buying flaxseed capsules and take them with my fish oil capsules. My hubby won’t eat any fish except shrimp, so at least I’m attempting to get some benefits in another form. I just leave them where I see them everyday.

Chris C-L April 9, 2008 at 7:48 pm

My hubby has dry eye issues and he is taking the fish oil pills. Someone told him that if you keep them in the freezer that you don’t have the icky taste and fish burps (sorry for the grossness), and he has found it to be true.

Anna April 9, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Veggiegirl, I plan on buying some hempseed butter in the near future. I have a few bar cookie recipes that call for it.

Lisa, I haven’t seen hemp milk at our grocery store. Whole Food in downtown Austin might have it. Otherwise, I’d have to order it.

Jo, I haven’t tried the hemp butter but if it’s anything like the flavor of hempseed nuts, then I think it would be great with apple. I need to buy some.

Jill, if it works for you, you might want to mention it to your doctor. I’m guessing a lot of doctors have never even heard of hempseed oil.

Judi, I leave my fish oil capsules right in front of me but I STILL forget to take them. Maybe I need some Gingko too ;).

Chris, I don’t get grossed out easily so don’t worry. If your husband hates the fish taste, tell him to try Nordic Naturals with a burst of lemon. The lemon takes care of the fish taste. It’s a more expensive brand, but if the fishy taste is bothersome it’s worth it.

Judy April 10, 2008 at 3:06 pm

I only buy Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Liquid. You can get it from NEEDS (they have a website) at a discount. It tastes great plus they have taken out any mercury and pcb’s.
Flax Oil – I buy Barlean’s, also from NEEDS. It’s 100% organic, pure and unfiltered, cold pressed fresh daily. There’s a freshness date on the bottle. Keep both in the fridge. The NN hubby and I both take in the morning. The flax oil I eat with my cereal, just pour a tbsp. over the top. It tastes good.
Flaxseed meal — I buy Bob’s Red Mill Organic whole ground golden flaxseed meal and keep it in the freezer. A Tbsp. or so on the cereal along with the oil gets it done, and you don’t even know you’re taking it.

Student April 11, 2008 at 12:34 am

First of all, I’m an avid reader of your website, simply put, it’s great!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t planning on posting a comment any time soon, but some of the above comments are ‘iffy’, so to speak. And I apologize ahead of time for the upcoming scientific jargon.

I’d like to say that, as a Physiology and Biochemistry student, I’d highly recommend that males refrain from using flaxseed oil – in Dec. 2006, the European Journal of Nutrition reported that there was a significant increase in ALA, or alpha-linolenic acid, in serum levels among flaxseed oil users. This is problematic because an earlier published study regarding ALA levels has suggested that high levels of ALA results in a substantially increased risk of prostate cancer. And as of today, there has been no recent studies on flaxseed oil safety among men… my personal opinion is for men to stay away until we know more about flaxseed oil.

It isn’t all bad news though. Flaxseed oil is great for females – prostate cancer isn’t a pressing concern among females, atleast since I last checked. Likewise, flaxseeds are fine; make sure to grind them up or they’ll pass right through. And hempseed oil is great as well, it raises linolenic acid and gamma-linolenic acid serum levels, but has significantly lower ALA levels than flaxseed oil.

Oh, and just for the sake of interest, the reason why lemon juice removes the fishy smell from seafood is because of an acid-base reaction: that smell is triethylamine (also the smell of semen & hawthorn!) which, upon contact with acidic substances, forms an odorless ammonium salt.

Anna April 11, 2008 at 6:44 am

Wow, thanks so much for that information, Student. I’m going to do some research on my own, but as a student, you are out there on the cutting edge.

Makes sense there would be some sort of reaction with the lemon. It completely obliterates fishiness.

Karina April 14, 2008 at 5:19 pm

Dude. I am so glad you posted about hemp seed oil! (Alanna sent me here.) ;)

I have been digging my Living Hemp Milk- it’s rich and creamy and yeah, I admit, I am stoked. I have so many food allergies; hence I need more sources of those nifty Omegas. I’ll pick up some hemp oil next time I get into town. Yay.

Thanks!

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