As the world embraces more sustainable farming practices, ingredients like hemp seeds, an eco-friendly crop, are paving the way forward. Should we be using them more in our cooking? The answer is yes, absolutely. They have a rich nutty flavour and are a nutrient-dense addition to dishes; they're packed full of protein and are high in essential fatty acids. Cold-pressed hemp seed oil is also a great addition to recipes, acting like a robust olive oil, but with a grassier note.
What are they like?
Although derived from the cannabis sativa plant, you won't get high from hemp seeds as they don't have significant psychoactive properties. The seeds are great for cooking, however, and their soft texture makes them perfect for salads and soups. Find them at good health food shops or online at hempfoods.com.au.
"At Quay, we cook hemp seeds in a little butter and stock and serve them on a lamb dish as you would couscous. You can eat them raw but they taste better when cooked. If you want them crisper, fry them in oil at about 160°C," says chef Peter Gilmore, who shares his recipe for Hemp Seed and Cauliflower Salad below.