My favourite milk-alternative, and the easiest one to make at home! Simple add hemp milk to water, blend, and done! I have compiled a few of my top hemp milk nutrition facts, and tips and tricks to make the perfect glass of homemade hemp milk at home.
If you haven’t already heard, the new Canadian Food Guide draft is out and it’s down one food group – dairy. With more and more people becoming environmentally conscious, dairy has taken a back seat. There is a growing number of milk alternatives available – rice, almond, buckwheat, quinoa, pea, soy – though each pre-packaged milk alternative comes with its pros and cons. We have seen hemp hearts back on the Canadian market since 1998 and if you haven’t considered hemp milk yet now is the time! This homemade Hemp Milk Recipe is packed full of protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids. Bonus points for simplicity – no straining required.
“Hemp seeds contain all 8 essential amino acids making it comparable to animal protein. One glass of homemade hemp milk contains more protein than a glass of cow’s milk”
Hemp Milk vs. Almond Milk
Homemade hemp milk does not require any straining, so the entire hemp heart remains in the milk along with all their nutritional components. In comparison, homemade almond milk requires that the almond meal be strained out which leaves only the ‘milk’ of the almond. For commercially available milk alternatives I have covered a few pointers on the pros and cons in Milk Alternatives – Finding The Best One For You and Almond Milk – Is It Worth Going Nuts For?
Hemp Milk Nutrition
Protein and Hemp Milk
A major downfall to most milk alternatives is the protein content. Even store bought hemp milk doesn’t compare to the real thing. One glass of homemade hemp milk provides 10g of protein, almost as much as 2 eggs! Protein is essential for metabolic function and optimal muscle growth and it is best utilized when spread out evenly throughout the day. This means the average person should be aiming for 15-20g of protein per meal. What does this look like? Try one cup of your homemade hemp milk with a quinoa porridge and a portion of nuts for breakfast and you’re set!
Protein Content Comparison of Milk Alternatives
- 1 cup homemade Hemp Milk – 10g protein
- 1 cup Cow’s Milk – 8g protein
- 1 cup Soy Milk – 6g protein
- 1 cup store bought Hemp Milk – 1.5g protein
- 1 cup store bought Almond Milk – 1g protein
Omega-3 in Hemp
Another point for hemp milk nutrition is the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (LNA) content. Growing research has linked omega-3 deficiency to impaired visual and brain development, and neurological disorders. For those who are not consuming oily fish at least two times per week, one glass of homemade hemp milk contains 8g of omega-3 fatty acid (LNA) – the recommended intake on a 2,000 calorie diet is at least 2.7g to 5.5g LNA per day.
More Hemp Milk Nutrition Facts
Aside from the high protein content, all essential amino acids, and the omega-3 fatty acids, hemp milk nutrition shines for gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is an important omega-6 fatty acid that is in limited supply in our food supply and has been studied for use in inflammatory conditions. I have covered GLAs benefits in detail here.
Calcium On A Dairy-Free Diet
If you have replaced your milk with a non-dairy milk alternative you can reach your calcium recommendations by following a varied diet. I am a big promoter of non-dairy calcium sources because I recognise that Canada is a multi-cultural country and I think it is important that health professionals are conscious of the high prevalence of lactose intolerance in our growing multi-ethnic population. In the past I have written How To Get Enough Calcium On A Dairy-Free Diet and 10 Surprisingly Non-Dairy Sources Of Calcium to help guide a nutritionally adequate dairy-free diet.
Sustainability of Hemp Hearts
Maybe most importantly, hemp hearts are a sustainable crop that are locally grown! No longer do we need to ship almonds from drought-ridden California or soybeans from deforested South America. Another point for sustainability is that the hemp plant can out-compete weeds, so no or minimal herbicides or pesticides are required.
Tips On Making Homemade Hemp Milk
Blending the Hemp Milk
Good news! No fancy blender required. I used to make it in my Vitamix, but now my little handy NutraBullet does just fine. I like making it in my small blender because I can easily keep leftover hemp milk right it in. Works best for half batches (ie 2 cups of water).
Do You Need To Strain Hemp Milk?
More good news! No! For the first two days, the hemp milk will stay nice and creamy. After that, the hemp milk is definitely still tasty, but if you want to add it to your coffee you may find that it separates or ‘curdles’ so best to use older hemp milk in smoothies or baking. The hemp pulp will naturally sink to the bottom of the storage container, don’t throw this out! Add it to your smoothie or your oatmeal.
Adding Flavour To Hemp Milk
Hemp milk on its own has a slightly grassy flavour, like hemp! If you’re the type to want a glass of hemp milk with your cookies then you might want to add a little flavour. I like adding a pinch of salt (no more than 1/8 teaspoon), and one soaked date. If you are not using a Vitamix you may want to chop up the date first to make it easier to blend. More flavour ideas:
- Chocolate Hemp Milk: Add 1 tbsp cacao powder and 1 tbsp of maple syrup, honey or 3 dates,
- Vanilla Hemp Milk: Add 2 tsp of vanilla and 1 tbsp of maple syrup, honey or 3 dates,
- Matcha Hemp Milk: Add 1 heaped tbsp matcha and 1 tbsp of maple syrup, honey or 3 dates,
- Turmeric Hemp Milk: Add 1 heaped tbsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp ginger powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, 1/4 tsp ground pepper, and 1 tbsp of maple syrup, honey or 3 dates.
Want More Recipes with Hemp Milk?
Try my favourite High Protein Steel-cut Oats with Peanut Butter, Banana and Hemp. For a warming drink try this Chaga Turmeric Golden Milk Latte. For something cooler try this Healing Breakfast Smoothie or this Turmeric Golden Milk Smoothie Bowl.
More Easy Hemp Heart Recipes
If your looking for more hemp inspired recipes, try these Raw Vegan Date Chocolate Bars with Hemp or these No Bake Tahini Hemp Protein Balls. I also love these High Protein Peanut Butter Energy Balls, this Hemp and Sunflower Seed Pate or for something different this Vegan Ranch Dressing with Hemp Hearts.
Did you make this recipe for Homemade Hemp Milk? Please let me know how it turned out for you! Share it on Pinterest and leave a comment below. I would love it if you shared a picture of your recreation on Instagram so I can take a look, and be sure to tag me @theconsciousdietitian.
Homemade Hemp Milk
- 3/4 cup hemp hearts raw
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract pure (optional)
- 1/8 tsp salt (optional)
- Add hemp seeds and water to a high speed blender, along with vanilla and salt if using.
- Blend until the seeds are broken up and a creamy milk is produced.
- Store in a glass jar with a secure lid for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Use leftover hemp heart meal and use in your next morning porridge, add to muffins, or bake into crackers.
Rachel Dickens, The Conscious Dietitian, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She graduated with her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2010 from Griffith University. She strives to provide evidence-based nutrition information with a focus on plant-based nutrition, and share some of her favourite seasonal recipes and sustainable eating tips.