Hemp: Something New to Cook With
Developing the food side of hemp is where chefs like Lexington-based Jeremy Ashby come in. At his restaurant, Azur Restaurant & Patio, he’s been experimenting with all types of hemp products in his kitchen and creating some uniquely Southern dishes, like hemp cornbread.
“I love watching people’s ears perk up when I discuss hemp as one of the components of the hemp cornbread recipe,” he said. “It sparks so many questions, and I love informing people on the many great uses hemp has for food and industry. It’s almost like tasting the economic future of Kentucky.”
The high protein content of hemp can make cooking with it difficult, so in the cornbread recipe below, the extra oil, eggs, sour cream and creamed corn help balance out the hemp protein. Ashby’s been working with local hemp processors, including Victory Hemp Foods, to help better understand its food applications. “We have this uniquely Kentucky thing, and we are in a position to corner that market,” Ashby said. “I think that is where chefs can come in. There isn’t a lot of practice or research behind it in the kitchen but that is changing.” He believes hemp is an amazing supplement to any main food dish, adding protein, fiber, amino acids and fatty acids. It is perhaps the most protein-loaded and fat-rich—with a perfect balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids—plant-based food on the planet.
Learn more about Azur: azurrestaurant.com. And, check out Jeremy’s Food, News & Chews radio show on at 1pm on WVLK 590 AM. FoodNews.podbean. com.
Read more about hemp and other recipes by Helene Trager Kusman on her blog @alltheverdue
Black Bean Dip
1 can black beans
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ tablespoon chile powder
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
¼ cup fresh cilantro
Victory Hemp Foods Hemp Oil
Goat cheese crumbles
Seed the jalapeño by slicing off the top, then cutting it in half and scraping out the seeds. Slice and juice the lime into the food processor. Add all ingredients except oil and goat cheese to food processor, leaving a sprig of cilantro for garnish. Pulse until combined, then drizzle oil while pulsing. Pour into bowl and garnish with goat cheese crumbles and cilantro.
Hemp Smoothie Bowl by Helene Trager Kusman
1 cup almond milk (or any milk/nut milk of choice)
2 tablespoon cacao powder
1 tablespoon almond butter
½ frozen banana
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon maca powder
2 tablespoons Victory Hemp Foods Hemp Protein
Optional: a few ice cubes to make it colder and frozen berries to add more flavor/ antioxidants
Toppings: Victory Hemp Foods hemp seeds, raw shredded coconut, raw chopped walnuts, ½ sliced banana, raw cacao nibs, ground flax seeds
Blend ingredients together until smooth. Check consistency—add more almond milk to make thinner, add more ice to make thicker and/or colder. Pour into a bowl and top with toppings. Photos: Helene Trager Kusman
Hemp Cornbread by Jeremy Ashby
Makes 1 (9- by 13-inch) pan
2 cups self-rising cornmeal
1 cup hemp protein flour
1 cup hemp hearts
⅓ cup sugar
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
3 cups sour cream
3 cups cream-style corn
Combine all ingredients in order listed; mix well. Pour into a greased 9- by 13-inch pan. Bake at 350°F for approximately 30 minutes.
Hemp Med Bowl by Helene Trager Kusman
1 large sweet potato
½ cup quinoa (dry)
1 cup vegetable broth (low sodium)
1 bunch kale
Tahini Dressing* (recipe follows)
1 red onion
1 can chickpeas
Avocado Cream* (recipe follows)
Victory Hemp Foods Hemp Hearts
Sweet Potato: Cube sweet potato and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and coriander. Roast at 400°F for around 35 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork. Use a spatula to toss them around the pan halfway through.
Quinoa: Add quinoa and vegetable broth to a small pot. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 30 minutes or until broth has been absorbed.
Kale: Massage kale with a generous amount of tahini dressing using your hands, until it’s tender. Add chopped red onion and cucumber, rinsed and drained chickpeas and sweet potatoes to kale. Drizzle bowl with remaining tahini dressing. Put a dollop of avocado cream in the middle and top with hemp hearts.
Tahini Dressing 1/4 cup tahini Juice of 1 lemon 2 large or 4 small garlic cloves 2 tablespoons Victory Hemp Foods Hemp Oil Salt and pepper Water Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, hemp oil, salt and pepper to food processor. Pulse until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time and pulse until dressing has desired consistency (should be thin enough to drizzle but thick enough that it’s still creamy).
Avocado Cream 1 ripe avocado 1 bunch basil Salt/pepper Juice of 2 limes 2 garlic cloves Victory Hemp Foods Hemp Oil Put all ingredients except for oil in a food processor. Once combined, drizzle oil until the consistency has thinned out from looking like guacamole into looking like a thick dressing. Toss into a salad, pasta or grain dish.
Hemp Seed Hummus by Jeremy Ashby
Makes about 4 cups
1 cup dried chickpeas
2 teaspoons baking soda, divided
5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
½ cup (or more) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
¼ cup hemp seeds
1 cup tahini
⅓ teaspoon (or more) ground cumin
Place chickpeas and 1 teaspoon baking soda in a medium bowl and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Cover and let sit at room temperature until chickpeas have doubled in size, 8–12 hours. Drain and rinse.
Combine soaked chickpeas and remaining 1 teaspoon baking soda in a large saucepan and add cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil, skimming surface as needed. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer until chickpeas are tender and really falling apart, 45–60 minutes. Drain; set aside.
Meanwhile, process garlic, lemon juice, hemp seeds and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until coarsely puréed; let sit 10 minutes to allow garlic to mellow. Add tahini and pulse to combine. With motor running, add ¼ cup ice water by the tablespoonful and process (it may seize up at first) until mixture is very smooth, pale and thick. Add chickpeas and cumin and process, occasionally scraping down sides, until mixture is extremely smooth, about 4 minutes. Thin with more water if you prefer a looser consistency; taste and season with salt, more lemon juice and more cumin as desired.
Spoon hummus into a shallow bowl, making a well in the center, and drizzle liberally with oil. Top as desired with more hemp hearts or seeds.