Healthy hemp smoothie & bliss ball
Thursday, 20 Apr 2017


Happy hemp day.

This blog is named Hempowerment so it should come as no surprise that I’m a fan of hemp. Hemp is a magical plant with many uses: fibre, biodegradable plastics, fuel, animal feed, and of course food and medicine. The medicinal uses go beyond the obvious - compounds present in cannabis extracts have excellent antimicrobial properties, which student-me discovered when I tested cannabidiol against MRSA and VRE.

Food-wise, hemp seeds are highly nutritious and are a staple in my kitchen. They’re not just full of protein, with more protein than chia and flax (ie. your other ‘superfood’ seeds), but provide your nine essential amino acids. So if you don’t eat a lot of meat, hemp is a great source of protein. Their balance of omega-3 vs omega-6 fatty acids is 3:1, which is ideal for heart health. I add hemp seeds to smoothies, bliss balls, granola and salads; actually whenever I feel like a meal lacks protein, adding hemp seeds makes me feel better about it.

I occasionally get a bag of unflavoured hemp protein powder (Naturya or Pulsin), but I figure it’s essentially powderised seeds and I can just add those to the blender. Hemp seeds blend nicely in smoothies and I normally add them when I’m not using a nut butter, for the protein content.

Here are two of my favourite, very easy, reasonably healthy hemp seed recipes: a(n appropriately green) mango smoothie and a bliss ball, both really satisfying snacks.

For the mango smoothie I wanted a fresh fruit taste so used two tablespoons of hemp seeds instead of a nut butter.

I use frozen bananas for a creamy texture, spinach for vegetableness, mangoes and oranges for flavour and sunniness.

It blends to a lovely bright kermity green, my favourite smoothie colour.

I actually prefer using hemp seeds for bliss balls, over chia and flax, as hemp doesn’t need to be soaked or pre-ground. My chocolate-tahini-hemp balls are quite sweet, very chocolatey and satisfying. The hemp is undetectable amidst the sweetness of the Medjoul dates and the chocolatey creaminess.

I use almonds but you can replace this with other nuts like pistachios or cashews, and I grind these first so they grind up well and don’t get stuck in little clumps with the dates. You don’t want the almonds in a paste/butter, but well ground. Then I use dates for stickness and sweetness (soak if your dates are dry), cocoa, tahini (as I’m fond of it, but you can use almond butter), and of course your hemp seeds.

It all just comes together in your food processor into a chocolatey, sticky almond-studded paste. You can form little balls really well as the mixture isn’t overly moist that you’ll need to refrigerate the little balls or roll them around in something dry like ground nuts before you can hold them comfortably.

I admit they look somewhat like little poops but they don’t have to be perfect to be delicious.

Mango hemp smoothie


Serves 2

  • 2 frozen bananas (chopped)
  • flesh from 2 mangoes
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
  • juice of 2 large oranges

Add ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.

Add cold water or more orange juice to get the consistency you like.

Chocolate tahini bliss balls

  • 100g almonds
  • 150g pitted Medjoul dates
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 3 tbsp tahini

First add the almonds to the food processor and grind down to little crumbly bits.

Then add the other ingredients and grind down to a sticky mixture.

Roll the mixture into little balls and store in the fridge.