Farmacy not Pharmacy, General Gut Health, Recipes, Uncategorized

Hulled Hemp Hearts-My New Favorite Pantry Staple

Owen and I decided to go plant-based in October of 2020 and since then I’ve been exploring the world of vegan protein sources. I need protein. Well everyone does but for me– I find it especially helps me manage by blood sugar better and I just feel better when I eat good amount of it. I couldn’t be vegan and not be really conscious of my protein intake…I will feel it! Whether you are plant-based and looking for vegan protein sources, or just like to add more seeds and such into your diet, I encourage you to grab a bag!

What are Hulled Hemp Hearts?

Hulled Hemp Hearts are seeds from the sativa hemp plant that have been hulled from their shells so they are ready to eat in all their chewy nutty goodness, with no crunch from a shell. And good thing too because they are quite small and ain’t no one got time to shell those little guys one by one. Like most seeds, they are filled with carbs, fats, and proteins. But the ratio for this seed is very Keto-friendly. ๐Ÿ™‚

Why Hulled Hemp Hearts are Awesome!

For one serving (3 Tablespoons) you get 15 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein, and 1 carb so you get a real good fat and protein punch with these seeds and the versatility in which you can use these to add fats and proteins to your recipes are suprising and delcious!

Not only do these pack some awesome macros to your meals, they are also great sources of micronutrients like your b-vitamins like folate, riboflavin, and B6 but also minerals like magnesium, potassium, and iron as well as critical balance of fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 (heavier on the omega 3’s which is good).

They also are very good for your gut microbiome because of the fiber. When this particular fiber sits in your gut, it produces what’s called SCFAs, which include acetate, butyrate, and propionate. These control intestinal inflammation, strengthen colon cells, and kill cancer cells. The reduced inflammation in your gut from the SCFA’s can also reduce your risk of cardiovascular events. My husband, Owen is especially sensitive to cancer and cardiovascular health issues so I love knowing I am helping him fight with this fiber.

Hulled Hemp Hearts taste good too. They have a very mild, nutty taste to them and so can easily replace any nut you usually include in recipes or just add to the repoirtoir for variety.

How I use Hulled Hemp Hearts

Sprinkled over Salads- I make sure to add 3 tablespoons to each serving of salad to make sure I’m getting the protein I need, especially if the salad is a meal instead of a side dish.

Here’s one of my favorite salads- Baby spring mix with diced celery, cilantro, sliced and skinned cucumber, with diced spring green onions. Top with hulled hemp hearts and a few sunflower seeds as well.

For dressing I use a recipe I’ve been making for years that I took from my Italian step-dad’s family– extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with the mother ( I prefer a 3:1 ratio of oil to acid), with garlic salt and pepper to taste. It is so so good.

Blend into smoothies– Mmmmm imagine this in the morning or warm afternoon: unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a handful of your favorite berry, a splash of MCT oil, 3 tablespoons of hulled hemp hearts, some ice and a few drops of stevia. Blend on high for 30 seconds. Pour. Sip. Sigh.

Blended into Homemade Dressings and Dips-I have a dressing I created that still needs a name. It is sort of a cross of a ranch dressing and a Mexican Cesar dressing like the one you get at El Torito. Maybe I can call it Happy Hippy Dressing? But I love it because I can use it as a dip for raw veggies or use it as a salad dressing and again– know that I’m still getting some healthy protein in my body with the snack.

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Ranch version– 1 cup of Hulled Hemp Hearts, 1 Cup of Veganaise, 1 Cup of unsweetened plain almond or coconut milk, Tablespoon of red wine vinegar, Tablespoon of fresh dill, Tablespoon of fresh parsley, a heaping teaspoon of minced garlic, a teaspoon of onion powder. Blend on high until completely smooth.

Mexican Cesar Version–1 cup of Hulled Hemp Hearts, 1 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar, 1 whole bunch of cilantro springs, 1 heaping teaspoon of minced garlic, 1-2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon of iodized sea salt. Blend on high until completely smooth.

Sneak it into Soups- every have a good barley in your soup? This will add a similar vibe. I’ll add it to cauliflower leek soup, a hearty veggie soup, or even sneak it into a taco soup. Blend to make creamy or leave whole to add heartiness. ๐Ÿ™‚

Use in Noatmeal (No-Oat Oatmeal)- You got it- this is a delicious, high-protein alternative to oats that is great if you are looking to go low-grain or gluten free in your lifestyle. I like to blend it with flax, chia, some almond flour, and monk-fruit for a delicious “noatmeal”that tastes very similar to that hot breakfast cereal many of us had in the 80’s called Farina- especially if you add a vegan creamer to it like Nutpods or coconut milk. ๐Ÿ™‚ Simply pour hot water from the tea-kettle over the seeds and flour and let it sit for a couple of minutes until it puffs up and absorbs all the water. Then add the milk, mix, and eat.

Where to Get Hulled Hemp Hearts

Hulled Hemp Hearts are easy to find and natural grocery stores like Sprouts or Whole Foods. But you can find it for a better price on Amazon or Thrive. I buy a big bag because I use it in so much.

Here’s the brand I personally buy. They have a small bag, medium bag, and you can even get a hefty 5 lb bag if you know you will use it a ton.


Belly Friendly Pasta Alfredo Dish That is Amazing!

Who can deny the deliciousness of creamy, cheesy Alfredo Sauce over a bed of warm pasta? Then add in some broccoli or some mushrooms for me, and you have a heaven for your taste buds. Unfortunately, also for me and about 65% of the population, that heaven can turn into purgatory later, or worse yet–a night of hellish belly aching.

What’s to blame? Nope, it’s not the lactose.

The biggest culprit for most people’s cow dairy intolerances has more to do with the milk protein over the sugar. And for those, the dairy protein is specifically A1 casein. And if that alone isn’t a recipe for disaster, add to that wheat based pasta, and now you’ve got another food on the top ten allergen list to really bloat you out and get you enflamed.

I had to give up Alfredo sauce years ago. It just worth the pain anymore after years and years of suffering through each delicious spoonful of oozy goodness, only lead to greater and greater sensitivity and pain. With that went quesadillas, ice cream, and greek yogurt.

And stomach pain is just one of the many forms of reactions to A1 casein…but most all are in the form of digestion.

But over the last couple of years I have done a lot of research and have discovered some dairy that does not have A1 casein. And I must say, I just don’t react with the grumbly, pain-stricken belly aches when I eat them.

This is A2 Casein, which is now gaining much more attention since the recent launch of A2 milk.

See many moons ago, the cow mutated and started creating an A1 casein protein in it’s milk that most people struggle with digesting. For some, the difficulty is so bad it actually leads to allergies that result in congestion or eczema, and the worst of digestive issues that many with IBS know all too closely. But they originally produced only A1 casein, just like sheep, and goats. And there is a still a small selection of cows that did not develop this mutation- These cows still thrive in the farms of France and Italy.

So since I hate too many long-winded stories involving how a recipe was invented, I’ll cut to the chase. I came up with a recipe that uses little to no A1 casein and no gluten so it has minimal implications on the belly, with all the deliciousness to the taste buds that traditional Alfredo has. And it is so easy.

I use French butter instead of regular butter (including Irish) so I don’t get any chance for A1 casein in it.

Then I use heavy whipping cream which is traditionally used in Alfredo sauces and of all cow dairy this does have the least protein in it, because it is almost entirely the dairy fat. There are trace amounts so I do cut this ingredient in half and balance it out with fresh, whole goat milk from my local grocery store in the refrigerated section. You can do the same with A2 milk, I just know it is more difficult to find. Goat milk only has A1 casein and at half the amount, doesn’t give the sauce a “goaty” flavor.

The next ingredient is key– Pecorino Romano. This is a belly-safe alternative to Parmesan cheese traditionally used in Alfredo sauce. It tastes very similar but this type of Romano is made from Sheep (Pecorino means “of sheep”). It does not taste gamey like Goat cheese does and it works perfectly in this recipe.

Finally the last belly-friendly ingredient includes gluten free pizza four for the roux and gluten free ramen noodles (you can use any gluten free noodle really, I just like the way these turn out…still light flavored bc some gluten free pasta can be dominant in flavor). Then I add my favorite spices and flavor enhancers of course including garlic, salt and pepper, paprika, and the best– a dash of nutmeg.

Here are the deets:

3 TBSP of French butter (I user Trader Joes)

1 TBSP of gluten free pizza flour

1/2 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream

1/2 cup of whole goat milk

6-7 clusters of Lotus Foods Rice Ramen (I get mine at Costco)

2 cloves of garlic crushed or finely diced

1 1/2 cups of grated pecorino romano cheese

Paprika, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste

So if you are unfamiliar with making Alfredo sauce you first start by making a roux. This involves melting the butter in a pan (I like to brown it slightly for added flavor) and then add the four and then garlic. I stir until the butter starts to thicken and bubble. Then you pour in the dairy liquids and stir again until it starts to bubble. Then you add the grated pecorino romano and whisk. Once that is all melted in, you lower the heat to simmer and add the seasonings to taste and keep it warm.

During the time I am making the sauce, I’ve boiled the water for the pasta and have plopped the cluster nests of ramen into the pot. They usually take about 5 minutes to soften if I put them in the water while boiling.

While the pasta and sauce is cooking, I microwave the broccoli in a steam bag (yes–this is not the best for nutrition. If you are better than me at multitasking multiple flames on the stove, then steam the broccoli over another flame. For me the microwave comes in handy here.

Once you drain the pasta and rinse them, I pour the sauce right over it and mix it together with some broccoli on top and serve it with a cesar salad. Did it tonight and bam, a delcious hit. Best of all— NO BELLY ACHES! The key is cutting the dairy with goat milk and swapping out that parmasean for pecarino romano. The gluten free is an added safe haven for those with wheat issues.

If you don’t have easy access to a Trader Joes or Costco for the ingredients at an easy-to-swallow-price, here is a list you can get on Amazon. These will cost more, but if you are craving some Alfredo without the bellyache, it will be worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

French Butter

Pecorino Romano

Goat Milk

Rice Ramen

Hope you like it, and let me know how it works for you!