Happy Hemp: Right on Time

Hempy hempy joy joy

Happy Hemp: Right on Time

Tara Miko of Happy Hemp
Tara Miko of Happy Hemp (Photo by John Anderson)

John Lennon wrote, "There are no problems, only solutions," and such seems to be the case with one of Austin's newest superfood products, Happy Hemp. This delicious product, made from organically farmed Canadian hemp seed, is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids, and protein and is also raw, vegan, and gluten-free. But most importantly of all: It's delicious, tasting like a cross between sunflower seeds and pine nuts, with a light, fluffy texture that lends itself easily to all manner of dishes.

It couldn't be coming down the pike at a better time. Completely vegan, hemp seeds have more protein than meat, fish, or tofu. There is no known allergy to hemp seeds, so their nutty flavor can be enjoyed with no danger by anyone with any nut allergy whatsoever. Gluten-free, they can be sprinkled on any dish to add a breadcrumblike mouthfeel. Best of all, they can supply the omega-3 fatty acids we all need. Due to the factory farming of livestock, our food supply contains the merest fraction of the omega-3 essential fatty acids it contained a century ago. Many Americans add EFA oils to their diet to make up the difference, but these oils can be hard to remember to use and difficult to work into recipes, as they can't be heated. Happy Hemp, by contrast, is easy to work into almost any dish.

"A lot of my customers have never eaten a 'health food' before," says company founder Tara Miko. "Usually my only job is to get them to try it, because it does taste so good. It's great for kids for the same reason: they don't hate it. It can be added to a lot of recipes, like chocolate-chip cookies or macaroni and cheese ... I try to post a lot of kid-friendly recipes on my blog, including recipes that are easy for kids to make themselves."

Happy Hemp can be bought at the SFC Downtown Farmers' Market (9am-1pm) or from the website ($6-25).

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