Recipes for Summer

MIRACULOUS SUMMER CREPES

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The crepes are gluten-free with a base of buckwheat and brown rice flour blended up with spinach, and basil. Although we took a sweet route with the version I’m presenting to you here, Elenore and I actually ate the remaining ones for dinner and piled the pancakes high with grilled mushrooms, broccoli, avocado, sprouts, and salad greens. They were so delicious! So you can go either way depending on your mood and what needs to be eaten up in the fridge – a great base for leftovers. You can even roll them up like a tortilla and use them in place of a traditional wrap.

The sauce we created for these amazing crepes, is a vanilla-infused hemp heart masterpiece that is creamy and dreamy drizzled over just about anything! We scraped the blender clean with our fingers not wanting to waste a single drop of its glory. But why hemp? Well, it’s one of our favourite foods, and not just during pregnancy, but especially so because of its perfect balance of Omega fats.

A Fine Balance: Hemp Hearts
It’s true that hemp is high in protein, fibre and phytonutrients, but it’s also a remarkable food due to its perfect balance of Omega fatty acids. We’ve all heard about Omega-3s and how important they are for the health of our entire body, helping to prevent cancer asthma, depression, obesity, diabetes and so on. But! There is another star on the block, Omega-6, which seems to be less talked about due to the fact that many of us get enough (or in some cases, too much) of this essential fatty acid.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fasts are essential, meaning that our bodies don’t produce them and we need to obtain them from the foods we eat. Sources of Omega-3 fats include flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, chia, dark leafy greens, some sea vegetables and cold-water fish. Omega-6 sources include canola, corn, peanut, safflower, sunflower, and sesame. You can see from this list that most people in the Western world at least, are getting their fair share of Omega-6 fats, and lacking in Omega-3s. In fact, in North America it is estimated that the population consumes 10 to 20 times as much Omega-6 as Omega-3 (the ratio landing somewhere between 10:1 and 20:1). Although the correct ratio of these fats is still a matter of debate,researchers in this field agree that this ratio is far too high. We should be aiming for a ratio of 2:1 to 4:1. In other words, a diet that provides at least twice the amount of Omega-6s as Omega-3s, but no more than four times as much is preferred.

So why is the balance so important? Because the ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s helps determine the flexibility of our cell membranes, meaning that ALL communication throughout the body depends on at least in part on this balance being correct. Coronary heart disease, chronic inflammation, obesity, and healthy genetic processes have all been linked to the delicate equilibrium of essential fatty acids.

How can we improve the situation then? Just by making simple, small changes to our diets will greatly improve the balance of fats in our bodies. Swapping foods high in Omega-6s like peanut butter, with foods high in Omega-3s like tahini (sesame butter) or pumpkin seed butter, and for the non-vegetarians replacing chicken, beef and pork with cold-water fish.

But the most ideal food to choose when trying to achieve that perfect balance of these fats then, is hemp! Hemp’s Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio is a healthy 3.75:1. You can find hemp in many forms these days: un-hulled and hulled seeds (also known as hemp hearts), hemp oil, hemp flour, hemp protein powder, hemp milk, and hemp seed butter. Remember that choosing hemp in its most natural form (the un-hulled or hulled hemp seeds) is your best bet to ensure a high-quality, whole food product.

I like to sprinkle hemp seeds on just about everything, from my breakfast porridge to my salads and sandwiches. They add an amazing creaminess to smoothies, raw custards and cheesecakes. You can even make your own milk from hemp and you don’t even need to soak the seeds first! Simply blend 1 part hulled hemp seeds to four parts water, and a sweetener, like dates or honey, if you so desire, strain and enjoy. Simple and delicious.

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