Hemp oil for cooking: How to use it?
The hemp oil for cooking is one of our greatest allies to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
Take it cold — it loses its properties if heated — hemp oil contains high-quality polyunsaturated fats, proteins, minerals, Omega-3, and Omega 6.
Along with extra virgin olive oil, it is one of the best vegetable oils, although it is also a great unknown for most people.
Only a small part of the privileged (yes, you are already one of them) know about this oil’s existence and have begun to use it in their gastronomic elaborations.
Athletes and nutritionists have been the first to discover the great benefits of hemp oil for cooking, but as with other seed oils such as flax, it is only a matter of time before it becomes one of the most popular oils.
Hemp oil uses
Interestingly, hemp oil for cooking was not the first use of hemp oil. As happened with the same hemp, more used at first to make rope, textile, or paper than for food, the first applications were not culinary.
In the case of oil, its use has been linked to cosmetics and natural remedies. Hemp oil is perfect for dry skin and topical problems like psoriasis, acne, eczema, or dandruff.
Also, its anti-inflammatory power is achieved not only with its consumption but also with its topical use. It even serves as a mild UV filter, although it should never be an alternative to sunscreen for long-term exposure.
Hemp oil is a natural moisturizer that prevents skin aging and keeps it healthy and healthy.
In this regard, it should be noted that it is not indicated for oily skin. It is dry skin that can benefit from its cosmetic use, but it could worsen its situation for oily skin.
The other great use of hemp oil is cooking. Although the benefits of hemp seeds in food have been known for millennia, oil has come into use somewhat later.
It also had its origin in China and was used mainly as part of traditional Chinese medicine. Later, it began to be used in cold soups, dressings, and dressings, which remains today as its primary gastronomic use.
How do you get hemp oil?
To obtain hemp oil for cooking, a process of cold pressing the seeds must be carried out. The processing is cold and unrefined, which is very important since, with heat, it loses its nutrients and its taste becomes unpleasant.
Its most significant benefit is the high content of polyunsaturated fats — up to 80% — which also becomes its main drawback. It cannot be used for frying, grilling, or for any other preparation that requires heat.
With high temperatures, hemp oil becomes unstable, decomposes, and forms free radicals, aldehydes, and lipid peroxides.
The free radicals are some harmful substances to the body that oxidize cells and cause premature aging. They can also help the formation of different diseases such as cancer.
Other high-quality oils such as extra virgin olive oil can also generate free radicals from 170ºC. Therefore, they are not recommended for frying.
The smoking point of hemp oil
This temperature, at which cells break down and free radicals emerge, is called the smoke point.
In the case of hemp oil for cooking, the smoke point is between 110 and 165 degrees. For this reason, it is only recommended to use it cold or in warm dishes, but never to cook in a deep fryer, a grill, or a frying pan.
It can only be used in the oven for long-term low-temperature cooking, so its use is not common.
It is also important not to worry. In the same way that nothing happens when you eat something fried in virgin olive oil, nothing will happen to you if you do it with hemp oil.
It will simply stop being a super healthy food with multiple benefits to becoming a harmful food like monounsaturated fats or sugar.
Also, in the case of hemp oil, its flavor changes with heat, being less pleasant than when consumed cold.
Is CBD oil the same as hemp oil?
One of the most common doubts that hemp oil users have is if it is the same as CBD oil.
Although both oils come from hemp, we are not looking at the same product with the same composition.
The CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is the natural compound found in cannabis resin flower. A safe and non-addictive substance, CBD is one of more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” unique to cannabis and give the plant its robust therapeutic profile. It has become popular contrary to THC because it does not have psychoactive effects and has favorable medicinal effects.
Hemp strains grown for human consumption have a high percentage of CBD and a percentage of less than 0.3% THC.
While CBD oil is a para-pharmaceutical product, a cannabinoid extract from the hemp flower, when we talk about hemp oil for cooking, we imply oil that comes directly from the seeds, separated from their shells and cold-pressed, ready to be consumed.
We can say that hemp oil has a non-existent CBD percentage because the seeds do not contain cannabinoids.
If what we are looking for is a natural oil to use in our daily diet, that’s hemp oil.
Hemp oil properties
Hemp seeds help lose weight in a balanced diet, accompanied by physical exercise. For this reason, nutritionists and athletes were the first to take into account its beneficial effects.
Hemp oil stands out for having essential fatty acids for the human body, which cannot be generated outside the body and necessary for its proper functioning.
Also, due to its sitosterol content, it is a highly recommended food to curb cholesterol, which is helped by the ratio between Omega 6 and Omega 3, of 3:1.
Also, omega 9 is present in hemp oil, not as indispensable as omegas 6 and 3 (the body can make it), it is also central to the proper functioning of the brain.
In addition, hemp oil has an important number of vitamins, among which are vitamin E and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, or iron.
The taste of hemp oil in cooking
Hemp oil has a mild flavor that can remind that of olive oil. Compared to the taste of olive oil, the nuances of hemp oil are more earthy, reminding the walnut taste.
To properly enjoy its flavor, use it in moderation and take only in tablespoons, enjoying it more in combination with other dishes.
Due to its nutty taste, it is especially recommended for dishes with nuts or vegetables. It can combine well with other oils such as olive oil or directly substitute it, as well as with vinegar.
What dishes can I use it with?
As we have already mentioned, the main tip you need to use hemp oil for cooking is not to use it hot. To get the most out of its flavor and properties, it should always be used cold.
That said, hemp oil is a pretty versatile food that can be used with a lot in the kitchen. With such new food in our diet, experimenting can always bring us the greatest joys.
Still, we are going to explain the most common dishes in which it is usually used.
Perhaps the most common case is to see it in salad dressings. Its nutty flavor makes it great for dressing salads or making vinaigrettes. With a bit of fresh cheese, walnuts, or almonds, you can have a tasty and very healthy dish.
Another widespread use is adding it to smoothies. Athletes use the oil combined with carrots, spinach, and other vegetables to create highly nutritious shakes. In this case, the hemp’s mild flavor is masked, so it is a good option if you do not like its taste.
You can use it in protein shakes without any problem by adding a teaspoon of oil.
It is also quite common as a topping for sandwiches. In this case, the goal is to make them more palatable and digestive, covering the bread with a tablespoon of oil. This works well with veggie snacks and cheese.
Another good idea is to use it in pesto, whether it is almonds or pine nuts. Hemp oil combines very well with wheat, rye, lentil, or buckwheat pasta.
Finally, one last option to get the oil right is to use it in hummus. In this case, there are two options: either add it to the mixture together with the chickpeas or do it the traditional way and use a splash before eating while adding the paprika.
Be that as it may, there are many different options to enjoy hemp oil and benefit from all its qualities.