I love baking, especially for other people. But one of my close friends recently had to cut gluten out of her life. I didn’t want to give up baking for her (and she certainly didn’t want to give up baked goods), so I went on the hunt for gluten-free flours and stumbled across hemp flour.
As I read more about hemp seed flour and found more hemp flour recipes, I learned all about this magical ingredient. Now I’m here to share all of my newfound knowledge with you. So if you’re looking for a new gluten-free alternative or just want to increase the nutritional value of baked goods, keep reading for the lowdown on hemp flour. Plus, you’ll get some hemp flour recipes to try for yourself!
WHAT IS HEMP FLOUR?
Hemp flour, or hemp seed flour, is made from grinding up the seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Yes, this is the same plant you get weed from. In the U.S., hemp vs marijuana is partially determined by how much THC is in the product. Hemp flour meets the legal THC requirement, so you won’t get high from hemp flour.
Hemp is a pretty magical plant that makes products with all sorts of health and environmental benefits. And hemp four is no exception.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF HEMP FLOUR
I’m not saying that your baked goods need any nutritional value to enjoy them, but if you are trying to add some more nutrients to your life then baked goods with hemp flour is a great place to start.
- Good source of protein
- Lots of micronutrients like iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese
- High amounts of amino acids
- Good source of healthy fats
- Lots of dietary fiber
With that nutrient makeup, a chocolate cookie practically becomes a salad if you ask me! Also, it’s gluten-free, so it’s a great choice if you’re sensitive to gluten.
ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF HEMP FLOUR
Not only is hemp flour good for your body, but it’s also great for the planet. The mighty hemp plant is one of the most sustainable plants. It requires much less water than cotton, which is why hemp fabric is a staple in sustainable and slow fashion. But how does it stack up compared to wheat for flour?
Wheat is not a very sustainable source of food, not even when it’s grown organically. And we as a planet are currently at the limits of how much wheat we can grow, which is worrisome when you consider that it’s one of the most important crops in the world and makes up 20% of the world’s diet.
On the other hand, hemp flour is an incredibly sustainable choice because:
- It requires very little water.
- You don’t have to use pesticides on it.
- It grows very quickly and can re-grow.
- It’s a no-waste product because you can use the whole plant.
WHY (AND HOW TO) BAKE WITH HEMP SEED FLOUR?
Hemp flour is a fantastic alternative to regular flour because it’s:
- Paleo and keto-friendly
Are you sold yet? Well, you should be—hemp flour is healthier for you and the environment! Now, let’s learn how to use it in the kitchen.
The one thing you have to keep in mind with hemp flour is that it doesn’t rise on its own. So you have to account for that in baking. There are a few options to help your hemp flour bakes successful:
- You can replace about 25% of regular flour with hemp flour to add in all those amazing health benefits. If a recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, add 1.5 cups of regular flour (or another alternative flour) and then 0.5 cups of hemp flour.
- Another option: play around with leavening agents like baking powder, soda, or yeast. You can use more hemp flour this way, but it may take a few trial runs before you nail it. (So don’t try this method the night before the bake sale!)
Aside from baked goods, I also love using hemp flour in non-baking recipes to add some nutrients to my favorite foods. So instead of dredging chicken cutlets in regular flour, I’ll use hemp flour. Or I’ll mix hemp flour into my falafel! I’ve even added it to soup to thicken up the broth a bit—yum!
OUR FAVORITE HEMP FLOUR RECIPES
Without further ado, let’s get into my fave hemp flour recipes to try out!
HEMP FLOUR CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
These ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies are going to blow your mind!
- ½ cup of butter, softened (vegan butter is okay, too)
- ½ cup of sugar
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- 1 egg (or 1 flax egg for vegans)
- ¼ tsp of salt
- 1 ½ cups of chocolate chips (I love dark chocolate chips the best here!)
- 1 ½ cups of hemp flour
- 3 tsp of baking powder
- Preheat your oven to 400˚F and prepare your baking tray with foil or non-stick spray.
- Sift your flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside.
- Beat your butter and sugar together until creamy.
- Mix in the egg until completely incorporated.
- Add the flour and baking powder mix ½ cup at a time until combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Spoon 1 tbsp of dough and roll it into a ball before pressing it down on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 5-8 minutes until golden brown but still soft.
Enjoy with a glass of milk (cow, oat, even hemp. Whatever you like best!).
HEMP FLOUR BLUEBERRY PANCAKES
Is there anything better than a fat stack of blueberry pancakes on a Sunday morning? Well, yes: a fat stack of blueberry pancakes with hidden protein, fiber, and nutrients!
- 2 ⅓ cups of hemp flour
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- 2 tsp of baking soda
- 12 ounces (or 1 can) of coconut milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp of vanilla
- 1 cup of blueberries (frozen is okay)
- Sift the hemp flour, baking powder, and baking soda to a bowl.
- Once thoroughly combined, add the coconut milk, eggs, and vanilla to the bowl and whisk together until just combined. It’s okay if the batter is slightly lumpy, but make sure there are big pockets of dry flour.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and add butter or oil to the pan.
- Add ½ cup of batter to the pan to create the pancakes and sprinkle some blueberries on top of each one.
- Flip when you see bubbles start to appear in the middle of the pancake (usually about 2 minutes) and then cook another 1-2 minutes until golden on each side.
I love pure maple syrup on top. Or if I have a bit more time, I love cooking some blueberries down with some sugar until a delicious blueberry sauce forms! Either way, you’ll love these pancakes.
HEMP FLOUR: CONCLUSION
So, what is hemp flour? It’s a nutritious, sustainable flour made from hemp seeds that you can bake and cook with! So what are you going to make with it? Let me know in the comments below!