Friday, May 11, 2012

Hemp seed muesli squares and apple, zucchini and hemp seed pikelets

After my short but busy trip to Sydney, it was with some relief that I landed back in Perth last night. Sydney is a lovely place, but it isn't home, and juggling my usual work tasks from afar, around 8 hour training days, was starting to take its toll!

The other nice thing about coming home, as I've discussed before, is returning to a house full of the foods I like, including all the 'little' ingredients that you wouldn't pick up when away. Herbs and spices, for instance. A range of teas. A range of cereals. And, as of recently, hemp seeds.

I was impressed at how many of you were keen to pursue hemp seeds when I mentioned them in my April recap post. Prior to Theresa's post and give away, I hadn't really heard of them - but then, I'm so often behind the times. From a nutritional perspective, hemp seeds are worth looking out for. They contain all 10 essential amino acids and a number of fatty acids. I have mentally filed them in the same category as flax and chia seeds, although I'm not sure how correct that really is.

The thing about hemp seeds, though, is that it's actually illegal to sell them for eating use in Australia. I don't really know what to make of this or how to interpret it in the context of hemp seeds being available, but there you go.

Putting legalities aside, here are some of the ways I enjoyed hemp seeds;
  • Mixed into smoothies, as we saw
  • In banana softserve with coffee (pictured above) - something about the hemp, coffee and banana combination worked incredibly well
  • Mixed in with yoghurt and oats
  • Tossed through a salad with chickpeas
  • In muesli bar squares (see recipe below)
  • In pikelets (see recipe below)

There is a clear bias here towards the breakfast and snacks category, and I haven't yet tried these in any savoury recipes. I will, though, and Theresa noted they worked well in soy burger patties. For now, I'll leave you with these recipes and will look forward to reading more about how others use the seeds.

Hemp seed muesli squares

Makes 16 squares
Soft and chewy, these squares are full of flavour but have a far shorter ingredient list than most commercial varieties

Print recipe

1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup puffed millet, or puffed cereal of choice (puffed rice would work fine, for instance)
2 - 3 tbsp agave (I used 2 tbsp and these were barely sweet; use more to taste)
3 tbsp unhulled tahini
1 - 2 tbsp hemp seeds (I used 1.5 tbsp)
1/4 cup sultanas, or dried fruit of choice
1/2 cup apple sauce
2 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 160'C and line a square baking tin with baking paper.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Press into the baking tin. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until set and slightly browned.

Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

Apple, zucchini and hemp seed pikelets

Makes 16 pikelets
Sitting at the intersection of sweet and savoury, and of breakfast and lunch, these work well at any time of day

Print recipe

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
3/4 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 chia egg or commercial egg replacer to the equivalent of 1 egg (or 1 egg)
3/4 cup almond milk
1 medium apple, peeled and diced
1/2 small zucchini, peeled and diced (Note. I would grate the zucchini in future)
1/4 cup sultanas
1 tbsp hemp seeds

Combine the oats, quinoa flakes and bicarb. soda in a medium bowl. Mix the egg replacer and milk together in a separate bowl, then add to the dry mix and stir well to combine. Mix through the apple, zucchini, sultanas and hemp seeds.

Heat a non-stick pan and cook 4 pikelets at a time, flipping them when they are starting to bubble and turn golden brown.

I liked both of these products, but as noted would grate the zucchini in future - it was a bit odd having the chunks alongside apple and sultanas. The muesli squares were also barely sweet, so I would recommend 3 tablespoons of agave (or other liquid sweetener) if you want something sweeter.

Would the products have been as good without the hemp? That I can't really say, but I did like knowing the seeds were in there, and it seemed like it improved the texture and flavour. All in all, I'm very happy with it as an add in.

Have you ever used hemp seeds? Do you have any favourite uses?

My hemp seeds were provided from Hemp Seeds Australia, via Theresa at The Tropical Vegan


  1. I hope you've settled back into life in Perth after your time in Sydney. I haven't tried hemp seeds but I'm looking forward to trying them after your recipe. These look really good for you. I'm just wondering where I might find them. xx

    1. I have updated the bottom of the post to link to Hemp Seeds Australia - they ship Australia wide for free if you wanted to order online :)

  2. Sometimes I think about what our grandmas would've thought seeing our recipes when they were young women in the kitchen. "Hemp seeds? Quinoa? Millet? Tahini? What on earth?" :P

    Glad you're happily ensconced back in home-comfort!

    1. Hehe, I know - but then, my paternal grandmother cooked brains and tongue for my Dad when he was young, and my maternal grandmother adopted dishes from Africa and Jamaica (where they lived for a while). I'd take the African and Jamaican, but am going to put brains ahead of hemp in the weirdness category!

  3. Nice to be home sweet home - though who would have thought you would be hurrying home to hemp seeds for home comfort! I like your comparison of them to linseeds and chia seeds because I just love both of these - I am sure if I looked I would notice all the hemp seeds and hemp seed products I have been ignoring - unless they are so illegal that they aren't sold in many places (do you know if this is the case?)

    1. I actually don't know - I had never seen them about either, so perhaps the legal thing does make it hard to find them? You can order them online with no problems (such as through the company who sent me mine), but health food stores might stock them too.

  4. oh those squares look so good! how creative!

  5. THANKS so much for these recipes!!

  6. Ah, hemp and zucchini - I can see how that would go well together. Very creative uses of your hemp seeds, and even though it's biased towards the sweets, at least adding the hemp seeds makes them healthy sweets. Right?

    1. Exactly! I am keen to pursue hemp and zucchini further - I think making these savoury fritters instead of pikelets might have been a better option. Next time :)

  7. can't say i've ever had hemp seeds...but u make them look darn tasty!! i'm glad u were able to have fun and make the most of ur whirlwind quick trip. :)

    1. Thanks Cait - and if you ever see hemp seeds, they are fun to try!


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