Thursday, May 20, 2010
Featured Ingredient: Hemp Milk
Rich and creamy with a great nutty flavor, hemp milk is a most welcomed addition to the non-dairy beverage market.
Made by blending organically grown hemp seeds with water, a glass of hemp milk boasts a healthy dose of those beneficial omega-3 fats that have become a regular blip on the media’s radar. It’s also one of the few dietary sources of a fat called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA may play a role in helping ward off inflammatory diseases such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis and heart disease. Hemp milk is also free of any allergens such as lactose, gluten and oligosaccarhides and dishes out a respectable amount of high-quality protein, iron (absent in moo juice), magnesium, phosphorous and vitamin E.
Made from different cannabis varieties than those used to produce marijuana, hemp milk contains none of the psychoactive ingredient THC.
For the recipe below, I used Hemp Bliss from Manitoba Harvest. They recently reformulated their hemp milk which has resulted in a better tasting product. Hemp milk runs about $3.99 at most health food stores and some larger supermarkets. Make sure to give it a good shake before pouring.
Hemp Milk Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce
This iconic Italian dessert is usually made in ramekins with generous amounts of sugar and cream (the loose translation is “cooked cream”). Muffin tins work just as well as ramekins as does hemp milk and yogurt instead of calorie laden cream. Lemon and blueberries bring brightness to this fanciful dessert and make it possible to cut back on the amount of sugar needed. If you want to forgo the sauce and simply top the panna cotta with whatever berry is in season go for it. Silicon muffin cups are ideal for this recipe making extraction a breeze.
1/2 cup lemon juice, about 2 squeezed lemons
1 packet gelatin
1 1/3 cup plain hemp milk
2/3 cup plain yogurt (the yogurt should have a bit of fat in it so don’t use fat-free)
3 tablespoon sugar
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin in the lemon juice. Let sit for 10 minutes. It will form a gelatinous mixture. In a small saucepan, bring hemp milk to a slight simmer. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Stir in the thick lemon juice and the lemon zest. Stir in yogurt and vanilla extract. Divide mixture evenly among 10 greased medium sized muffin cups lightly. Place muffin tin in the fridge for at least 4 hours to let the panna cotta set. Meanwhile, combine blueberries and maple syrup in a blender and pulse several times. You want the blueberry sauce to remain clumpy. To remove panna cotta from the cups, gently guide a butter knife around the edge of each cup. Serve on a plate topped with blueberry sauce.