Most people who really enjoy the outdoors have at least a passing interest in nutrition. Some are very serious about their food intake for achieving maximum performance, while others are more concerned about overall health. Regardless of which of those groups describes you, there are certain things that we all need in our diets. For the uninitiated, these are the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, (among others) which are referred to as Essential Fatty Acids, or EFAs. And of the twenty known amino acids, there are nine that the human body cannot produce. These are considered Essential Amino Acids, or EAAs. Now, if you were really concerned about getting all your essential oils and acids, there are several foods you could eat on a regular basis to get these. Although I do love my sushi, and the omega fatty acids it provides, I’ve become a bit wary of the mercury content. But as mentioned in a previous article, there is only one plant in the world that contains all the essential fatty acids and amino acids – the hemp seed. If that interests you, read on for a few suggestions on how to add hemp seed oil to your diet.
Greg Perez is a pretty forward-thinking chef, who certainly knows his way around the kitchen. He also understands the benefits of hemp seed as part of our diet. That’s why he’s been marketing a variety of delicious and nutritious salad dressings, plus a salad topper. On his website, Greg’s Hemp Products, (www.gshemproducts.com) you’ll find the various products he offers, along with some tasty recipes. The GMO and gluten-free dressings include a vinaigrette, ranch, balsamic vinaigrette, and an unsweetened balsamic vinaigrette. There’s also the salad topper, which is a mix of different herbs and seeds that’s perfect for sprinkling on your salads, pizza, veggies, and even grilled meats.
We tried Greg’s hemp oil vinaigrette, along with the salad topper. A certified raw food, the dressing’s ingredients list includes sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar, hemp oil, unrefined sugar, filtered water, sea salt, and white pepper. That’s it. In order to get an unbiased first impression, we initially served a small amount over a salad of mixed greens. The dressing itself is very light, like an extra virgin olive oil, with a nice clean flavor that includes an herbal element. Mixed in with a proper salad, the hemp seed makes its presence known without being overpowering. Describing it further is a bit difficult, as there’s really no point of reference in your typical food vocabulary to adequately convey the properties of the hemp seed. I’ll have to settle for “delicious”, and you’ll have to take my word, or try it yourself. Rarely does anything so healthy resonate so pleasantly with my taste buds.
Once the dressing was well and truly tested, we sprinkled some of the salad topper on our salads. This fat-free herbal mix includes flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, spices, sea salt, parsley, and lavender. Even with all those ingredients, it’s still possible to taste the individual herbs and spices. Because there are whole seeds, rather than seeds ground into a powder, each bite can be a little different, with more of one flavor or another present. This not only livens up every mouthful, but adds some variety to a any meal. I’d use it as my do-all seasoning when camping, because it packs so much flavor into each serving. And with only 60mg of sodium per serving, this would make a great substitute for salt. I can’t wait to try it on a baked potato.
Both of the products impressed us (Mrs. Outsider assisted in this review) with their fresh and original flavors. You’re not going to find much else like them on your typical grocery store shelves, which is too bad. While Greg is working tirelessly to get his products more widely distributed, repealing the ridiculous laws that prevent growing hemp in the US would go a long way towards making beneficial foods like this more readily available. That’s food for thought right there.
A special thanks to Greg Perez for generously providing some samples for us to try. His products are truly unique, and deserve all the praise we have given them.