For many years, I have replaced cow’s milk with nondairy, plant-based milks.
Of course, I am not alone.
There are growing concerns about the benefits and safety of cow’s milk, and many people are looking
Also, lactose intolerance and allergies to cow’s milk are on the rise, causing people to seek other
One such alternative is hemp milk.
I started using soy milk many years ago, but after learning some of the reasons why soy milk may not
be the best nondairy milk option for me–more on that in another post–I switched to rice milk, almond
milk and finally, my favorite, hemp milk.
The commercial, organic hemp milk I purchased at my local health food store had a rich, creamy
consistency which blended well in my morning mug of green tea or occasional coffee.
Plus, it was loaded with many of the nutrients I needed–especially as a vegan.
Little did I know “what price creaminess” cost!
The Benefits of Organic Hemp Milk
Hemp milk is high in essential fatty acids, so organic hemp milk is the best choice.
Most toxins are fat-soluble, which means that conventionally grown foods that are high in fat–
including “good” fa–tend to contain a higher concentration of toxins.
Organic hemp milk is made from plants that have not been exposed to synthetic fertilizers,
herbicides, or other toxic substances, so the “good” fats are purer and even better!
Why Hemp Milk is Good for You
In one 8-ounce glass of unfortified hemp milk, you will find Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids,
at least grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber, and 20% of the US RDA for iron.
Fortified versions of organic hemp milk contain 46% of the US RDA for calcium, compared to
the 30% found in cow’s milk.
These are just some of the valuable nutrients found in this plant-based milk.
Fortified hemp milk also contains Vitamins D, E and A, as well as phosphorous, riboflavin, and
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are vital to health–that is why they are called essential fatty acids.
The body cannot make them, so dietary sources are necessary to meet your nutritional requirement.
These healthy fats aid in cognitive function and have anti-inflammatory properties.
If you or your children suffer from allergic and inflammatory reactions from dairy products, hemp milk
could be a healing and tasty alternative.
And hemp milk is completely free from any growth hormones, antibiotics, or other substances given to
dairy cows that often end up in milk.
For parents with small children, it is a good thing to note that hemp milk has a higher fat content than
other plant-based milks (such as soy and rice milks).
Some brands of hemp milk can be high in added sugar, but not all brands add the same amount of sugar.
It also comes in unsweetened varieties.
That’s why I always bought unsweetened hemp milk.
However, my happy hemp bubble burst this year when I learned about the health concerns associated
with the seaweed-derived, “so-called-natural-additive” carrageenan which was lurking–not just in my
hemp milk–but in practiclally every nondairy milk label I examined.
Oops, There is Carrageenan in My Hemp Milk!
There it is, the third ingredient down in the right column: Carrageenan.
Carrageenan is a common food additive has been used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the
texture of a wide variety of processed foods including:
*dairy alternatives- i.e. hemp milk, soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk
*dairy products – i.e. chocolate milk, whipping cream, ice cream, cottage cheese, yogurt, nonfat sour cream
It is extracted from Chondrus crispus, a red seaweed, which is popularly known as Irish moss, but
carrageenan itself has no known nutritional value.
Decades of disturbing findings from scientific studies has led many health professionals
to warn against the inclusion of this questionable additive in our diets.
Harmful side effects of carrageenan consumption have included gastrointestinal inflammation,
colon tumors, colitis, IBS and higher rates of colon cancer in laboratory animals.
According to The Cornucopia Institute:
“For decades, companies have spread misinformation—
often, outright lies—about carrageenan’s safety.
Carrageenan can even be found in many foods,
even foods labeled “natural” and “organic.”
In view of that, The Cornucopia Institute has taken aggressive actions to raise consumer
awareness, empower and inform shoppers, and encourage us to petition the FDA to remove
carrageenan from the U.S. food supply.
A Better Alternative: Make Your Own Hemp Milk
I searched, but I could not find a brand of unsweetened hemp milk that did not contain
So I decided to make my own.
Hemp milk is made from the tiny seeds/nuts of the hemp plant.
Hemp seeds are blended with pure water, and sometimes a natural sweetener such as
soaked dates or raisins can be added.
All but the tiniest particles of hemp seed are filtered out, leaving a smooth, milky beverage.
It’s quite simple make your own in a high-speed blender.
Basic Homemade Organic Hemp Milk
1 cup shelled, organic hemp seeds
5-6 dates (soaked)
A pinch of natural vanilla flavoring (optional)
5 cups water (add more water if you like it thinner)
Add ingredients to a high speed blender. I use a Vitamix.
Blend the ingredients until they are smooth and creamy.
After blending, you will need to strain the hemp milk blend through
Place the cheesecloth or strainer inside of a bowl.
Pour the blended hemp seed mixture into your strainer.
Allow liquid to drip for a few minutes.
Next, bring the cheesecloth cloth up and twist it.
Squeeze and twist the cloth gently until all of the hemp milk is released.
Pour the strained liquid into a glass or mason jars.
Save what you don’t drink immediately in covered mason jars and refrigerate them.
Enjoy your nutritious homemade hemp milk!
Once you create a your basic hemp milk, you can use this drink as a the creative,
nutrient-rich base for all kinds of smoothies by adding other fruits and vegetables.
Use what you have on hand in your kitchen to make your smoothies.
The sky is the limit.
Orange Banana Hemp Smoothie
Today I peeled an orange and a banana, added them to the hemp milk in the Vitamix and created
a delicious Orange Banana Hemp Smoothie.
What a delicious, nutrient-rich breakfast–or anytime–smoothie.
Have you made your own hemp milk? What other “milks” do you make at home?
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The material on this website represents the opinions and conclusions of the author; it should not be taken as medical advice. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own further research.