A recent study shows that about 48% of consumers prefer organic food over GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Plus, with athletes and celebrities increasingly endorsing organic plant-based foods, hemp milk products have taken the organic food market by storm.
Hemp cheese has become a popular choice due to its non-dairy properties and nutritional benefits.
This guide will take you deep into what hemp cheese is, how it’s made, its health benefits, and how it compares with dairy cheese.
What is Hemp Cheese?
This is a nutty-flavored cheese with a creamy consistency made from hemp seeds (small, brown, non-psychoactive seeds harvested from the hemp plant). The crunchy outer shell is removed and the chewy inner part – hemp hearts – is used to make hemp seed cheese.
How is Hemp Cheese Made?
You first need to make hemp milk by blending hemp hearts with water. Then, use a piece of cloth or sieve to separate the hemp milk from the residues.
Once you make the hemp milk, boil it until it forms a solid cheesy mixture. Use cheesecloth to separate the cheesy mixture from the liquid.
Next, add lemon and salt to the hemp cheese and mix. Lastly, place the mixture in the refrigerator for about 3-5 hours to form a solid hemp cheese.
Hemp Cheese vs. Dairy Cheese: What is the Difference?
Here are some main differences between dairy cheese and hemp cheese:
- Hemp cheese is non-dairy with a nutty flavor, yet it has more calcium than the creamy, dairy cheese. This is useful for strengthening your bones and teeth.
- Unlike hemp seed cheese, dairy cheese has lactose – the sugar found in milk. Since about 36% of Americans are lactose intolerant, hemp cheese should be a healthier option for them.
- Hemp cheese is a plant-based product, while dairy cheese is an animal-based product. This makes hemp cheese a great choice for vegans and anyone allergic to dairy.
What are the Benefits of Hemp Cheese?
If you are still unsure about using hemp cheese over other types of cheese, these benefits should change your mind.
1. High-Quality Protein
Hemp seed used to make hemp cheese contains 65% edestin. This globular protein boosts your immune system. It also has 35% of albumin, which helps protein easily assimilate into the body.
2. Low-Calorie Content
A study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that the obesity rate of American adults is over 40%. This means a significant portion of the population has a body mass index (BMI) of above 30, fueling health issues – like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancers – which are among the leading causes of death in the U.S.
Since hemp cheese is a plant-based product without any additives, it has low calories, which can aid your weight loss journey if incorporated into your diet.
3. Improve Skin Health
Studies have shown that the omega-3 and omega-6 found in hemp cheese can help moisturize dry skin and help in the treatment of skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. If you want to upgrade your skincare routine, try adding hemp seed cheese to your diet.
Delicious Hemp Cheese Recipes You Should Try
There are so many ways you can include hemp seed cheese to your diet. It just depends on available resources and your creativity.
Here are some hemp cheese recipes to start your healthy living journey:
Hemp Cream Cheese
Ingredients needed include:
- Hemp seeds
- Lime juice
Blend the hemp seeds, water, lime juice, and zest and garlic into a smooth and creamy paste. Then add salt, pepper, and dill, and blend for a few seconds.
Transfer the hemp cheese mixture in a bowl and spread it. Then, seal the bowl and place the hemp cheese in the refrigerator for a few days for the best consistency.
Hemp Cheese with Garlic and Dill
Ingredients needed include:
- 1 cup hemp seeds
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lemon – squeezed
- 2 tsp. almond milk, unflavored
- 2 tsp. fresh dill, chopped
- ½ tsp. salt
Blend the hemp seeds in a blender for a few minutes until it forms a thick paste. Then add garlic and lemon juice, and blend some more.
Add the almond milk, dill, and salt, then blend to a smooth, creamy hemp cheese.
Spinach Quesadillas and Hemp Cheese
Ingredients needed include:
- Hemp cheese
- 10 oz bag of frozen spinach
- 8 corn tortillas
- Plain cashew yogurt
Thaw the spinach and drain the excess water by squeezing it in a clean kitchen towel. Separate the balled spinach and set it aside.
Pour the hemp cheese into the hot pan and stir for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is thick and smooth.
Add the spinach into the hemp cheese and stir.
Put the hemp cheese and spinach mixture between two tortillas and grill for 2 minutes until crisp and golden brown, and then flip to the other side.
Let the quesadillas cool for 2 minutes and serve with plain cashew yogurt.
Is Hemp Cheese Sustainable?
Yes. Hemp cheese is a sustainable product, considering hemp plant is non-GMO – i.e., it doesn’t require chemicals to produce high yields.
Hemp also grows without depleting soil nutrients and uses less than a third of the water used by plants like almonds for growth.
Can Hemp Cheese Get You High?
Unlike cannabis, the hemp plant – where hemp seeds are extracted – contains less than 0.3% THC content, which is negligible. Therefore, you can’t get high or risk testing positive in a drug test when you eat hemp cheese.
Where to Buy Hemp Cheese
If you’ve never tried hemp seed cheese yet, consider buying one at your local grocery store, health food store, hemp dispensaries, or online from organic food dealers. You can also make your own hemp cheese by following the steps above.
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