How to use Hemp Oil in Food? (+10 recipes)

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The use of hemp oil in food items is attracting the attention of everyone—from bakers to cooks to conscious eaters. With a complete pack of all essential nutrients and added health benefits, hemp oil is steadily replacing traditional ingredients on our shelves.

In this article, we understand the benefits of consuming hemp oil and look at 5 different ways in which we can use hemp oil in food.

Nutritional Benefits of Hemp Oil

The major reason behind the rising popularity of hemp oil as an ingredient in food items is its high nutrient content. It is the single-most plant oil that is a complete source of protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants.

Adding hemp oil in food enhances not only the taste and texture but also the nutritional content of a meal.

In this section, we understand the nutritional richness of hemp oil.

Protein

Hemp seed oil is the complete protein in that it contains all 20 amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids which our bodies cannot produce but need to stay healthy.

Hemp Powder Porridge or Hemp Dalia Recipe on Its Hemp
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Hemp protein contains approximately 35% of Albumin and 65% of Edestin. This structure is similar to the structure of protein found in the human body. That is why protein in hemp oil is easily digestible and readily absorbed by the human body.

The use of hemp oil in food items, therefore, aids in digestion. Edestin is also relatively phosphorus-free.

The protein present in hemp oil is free of anti-nutrients. This means that there is no interference in the absorption of hemp protein by the body.

Essential Fatty Acids

Most seed oils are rich in the essential fatty acid Linoleic Acid (LA) from the omega-6 family. But these offer little amounts of the Alpha-Linolenic Acids (ALA) from the omega-3 family.

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The ideal ratio in which humans should ingest these essential fatty acids is about 4:1. Majority of the present-day diets have an abrupt ratio of omega-6:omega-3 such as 6:1 or 10:1.

Hemp seed oil, however, contains LA and ALA in the ratio 3:1. For this reason, it is called nature’s most perfectly balanced oil.

Adopting the use of hemp oil in food items thus improves the amount of omega-6 and omega-3 in the body. Many common illnesses are due to the imbalance or deficiency of specific fatty acids in the body.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Hemp seed oil provides an adequate supply of LA and ALA. In addition, it contains small amounts of the polyunsaturated fatty acids Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), oleic acid, and stearidonic acid.

Moreover, hemp oil contains less than 10% saturated fatty acids and zero trans-fatty acids. Trans-fatty acids usually raise the bad cholesterol level in the body. The use of hemp oil in food thus helps in keeping cholesterol levels in check.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants

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The use of hemp oil also boosts the amount of antioxidants such as Vitamin E and carotene in food. Hemp oil also provides an adequate supply of phytosterols (plant cholesterols that help in maintaining healthy levels of good cholesterol in the body).

Also present are dietary minerals including magnesium, sulphur, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and moderate amounts of iron and zinc.

Benefits of Using Hemp Oil in Food

When you use hemp oil in food items, you experience these benefits:

  1. Perfect ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 along with excellent amounts of GLA
  2. Lower bad cholesterol levels
  3. Lower blood pressure
  4. Improved organ function
  5. Better immunity levels
  6. Better post-workout muscle recovery
  7. Reduced inflammation
  8. Moisturized skin and scalp
  9. Increased energy levels and metabolic rate
  10. Better cardiovascular function

Things to Consider Before You Use Hemp Oil in Food

While it is exciting to use hemp oil in our food items, we need to pay careful attention to certain things.

Use it Cook but don’t Cook with it

Benefits of Hemp Oil
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Hemp oil has a rich nutrient profile but it also has a low boiling point. Hemp oil is therefore best for cold and warm food items. Typically, the smoking point of hemp oil is 332°F but it can be cooked up to 475°F for no more than 30 minutes.

If you wish to heat hemp oil to a higher temperature, the best way is to combine it with temperature-stable oils. This increases its ability to withstand heat. The most suitable combination is avocado oil with a smoke point 50% higher than olive oil.

Don’t Fry, Sauté!

While shallow fry recommendations in hemp oil are common, the best way to use hemp oil in food is to sauté your vegetables, chicken, or meat.

Use Recommended Amount

Different oils have different nutrient profiles and smoke points. That is why sticking to the recommended quantity is important.

For instance, if your salad needs 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil but only 2 tablespoons of hemp oil, stick with 2 tbsp. of hemp oil.

Opt for Cold-pressed, Unrefined Oil

Hemp oil that comes from cold-pressing hemp seeds and is not subject to any refinement processes is the safest and healthiest to use. Cold-pressed, unrefined hemp oil contains the optimum amount of nutrients and is vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, and soy-, gluten-, and lactose-free.

How to use Hemp Oil in Food?

Now that we know the nutritional benefits it offers and the things that need to be kept in mind while cooking with it, we take a look at the 5 most common ways to use hemp oil in food:

As Frying Oil

While deep frying in hemp oil is not at all a good idea, you can use hemp oil to sauté your veggies, chicken, and meat food items. It should be fine to cook eggs in it too. Hemp oil also makes a great dressing for boiled eggs and roast veggies.

Sautéd Cabbage with Hemp Oil

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  • Rinse finely-chopped cabbage with warm water.
  • Heat up hemp oil (solo or mixed with olive/avocado oil) in a pan.
  • Toss the cabbage into the pan once the oil is warm.
  • Add salt, pepper, coriander to taste.
  • Keep the flame on low at all times.
  • Serve when light brown.

Scrambled Eggs with Hemp Oil

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  • Whisk 3-4 eggs in a bowl.
  • Add milk, salt, pepper, coriander, etc. to taste.
  • Heat up hemp oil (solo or mixed with olive/avocado oil) in a pan.
  • Toss the whisked eggs into the pan once the oil is warm.
  • Keep the flame on low at all times.
  • Serve when light brown.

In Smoothies

A little untraditional but oh, so nutritional! Adding a bit of hemp oil in your smoothies is a great way to power punches your drinks with essential nutrients. Smoothies usually have a strong taste and texture so they easily mask the strong odour and flavour of unrefined hemp oil.

Banana Smoothie with Hemp Oil

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  • Add peeled banana, oats/cereal, sugar/jaggery, and other fruits to a blender.
  • Add 100-150ml of milk.
  • Add 2 tbsp. of hemp oil.
  • Blend until smooth.

Grape Smoothie with Hemp Oil

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  • Add washed grapes, oats/cereal, sugar/jaggery, and other fruits to a blender.
  • Add 100-150ml of milk.
  • Add 2 tbsp. of hemp oil.
  • Blend until smooth.

On Salads

Hemp oil is the healthiest salad dressing ever. Yes, better than lime. Using hemp oil in salads is a wonderful as it bypasses any exposure to heat and you get the nutrients in their purest forms.

Bean Salad with Hemp Oil

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  • Finely chop desired vegetables.
  • Add boiled/sprouted beans.
  • Add salt and lemon to taste.
  • Pour 2 tbsp. of hemp oil.
  • Mix well and serve fresh.

Chicken Salad with Hemp Oil

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  • Fry/bake/saute chicken in a pan.
  • Add desired vegetables and toppings.
  • Add salt and lemon to taste.
  • Pour 2 tbsp. of hemp oil.
  • Mix well and serve fresh.

In Baked Goods

Baking with hemp oil makes healthy desserts and snacks possible. It is absolutely safe to use a little hemp oil while baking bread, cookies, cakes, or brownies. But it gets a little tricky because baking requires a lot of heat. The key here is to use just a tad bit of hemp oil—to get the nutrients and that nutty taste—and use other vegetable or nut oils such as olive, coconut, or avocado in larger proportion.

Bread with Hemp Oil

chickpea hemp spread
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  • Add 1-2 tbsp. hemp oil in traditional bread batter.
  • Bake as usual.
  • You can also add hemp hearts to enhance flavour.

Brownies with Hemp Oil

chocolate hemp cake
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  • Add 1-2 tbsp. hemp oil in traditional brownie batter.
  • Bake as usual.
  • You can also add hemp hearts to enhance flavour.

In Desi Indian Food

Hemp oil is something that can make even maa ke haath ka khaana better. While particularly cooking vegetables may not be a good idea, we can use them to fry our paranthas and grease our pooris! Adding a bit of hemp oil on top of that delicious butter chicken or Paneer Masala is also a great way to use hemp oil in food.

Aaloo Parantha with Hemp Oil

hemp paranthas
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  • Add 1-2 tbsp. hemp oil to traditional parantha batter.
  • Or use hemp oil to fry parantha on the pan.
  • Add hemp hearts to enhance flavour.

Butter Chicken with Hemp Oil

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  • Add 1-2 tbsp. hemp oil to cooked butter chicken.
  • Or use hemp oil to season naan.
  • Add hemp hearts to enhance flavour.

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