Come with me on a behind-the-scenes hemp-tastic tour of Manitoba Harvest headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
I’ve likely never been ahead of any fashion trends… I live in lululemons and rarely do my hair, I’d like to think that I was eating Manitoba Harvest hemp products since before it was cool.
When specialty stores were the only ones who knew what hemp was and adding hemp hearts to my salads at school elicited weird stares from 99.9% of my peers.
So, while I may not look like a trendsetter… my kitchen rocks the latest and greatest, let me tell you.
From the beginning, Manitoba Harvest has been my go-to hemp source. When their team approached me about traveling to their headquarters for a 2-day facility and education tour, it was like Charlie finding the golden ticket – a dream come true.
So, last week, I jumped on a plane headed to Winnipeg, Manitoba to learn about all things Manitoba Harvest, hemp and farming.
The group (a combination of health store owners, reps, distributors, vitamin managers and bloggers) arrived in Winnipeg last Tuesday where were were treated to a glorious home-style, hemp-themed dinner at deer + almond.
Wednesday was the big day. We began with a tour of the hemp fields where I learned…
:: the females are the lush plants that produce the seeds we consume.
:: Manitoba Harvest has contracted 50,000 acres of hemp farming.
:: hemp is one of the most resilient crops. No pesticides are needed, it can withstand many storms and grows 3-5cm per day!
:: hemp is planted in June because it needs a drier climate.
:: hemp is the only edible source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA) with a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
After the tour of the field, our smaller group took a tour of the Manitoba Harvest facility – where the magic happens! What impressed me was their commitment to quality. From beginning to end, each product is tested 34 times which has resulted in 0 recalls in their 16 years in business. And, because of all the testing, they have a 99.9% pharmaceutical grade product – meaning 1 in every 1,000 seed is a foreign seed (aka not hemp).
The tour lead to a beautiful whole-foods lunch in their Customer Experience Center. Hemp-crusted chicken skewers, California rolls dusted with hemp wasabi, asparagus and hemp oil gazpacho, hemp protein mousse and granola hemp bars. Delicious!
The group was presented with many details on the history of hemp fiber and it’s many uses in the early 1900’s. Did you know that hemp fiber was widely used throughout North America until the induction of the nylon rope and paper sourced from trees yet it’s safer for the environment and (pound for pound) stronger than carbon fiber?
Hemp’s not just for boosting your plant-based protein + reaching your omega-3 quota!
Thursday morning, I was invited to come back to the Manitoba Harvest Customer Experience Center (where they have an amazing full kitchen) to create recipes using their new smooth hemp protein product, Hemp Pro 70.
Of course, we made dessert… at 9:00am. No-bake brownies with an almond flour and cacao base (no medjool dates!), protein frosting and almond-avocado mousse – no gluten, no animal products, no refined sugars, grains or dairy.
Next week, I’ll be sharing a completely sugar-free, grain-free recipe for my hemp-inspired Black Forest Trifle.
There’s so much more to hemp seeds, proteins and oils than just sprinkling it here and there. I am sure many of you have some awesome strategies for using hemp as the main ingredient in your favorite dishes. Let’s create a fun + engaging comment thread below for those in our community who are newer to hemp.
(Link up or share)… What are your favorite hemp-based recipes?
Hemp Hearts make a delicious base for Grain-free, Nut-free Granola.
High-Fiber Hemp Protein is a perfect flour in Grain-free Protein Cakes.
Smooth Hemp Protein is a great way to pump up the omega-3’s in Fruit-free Smoothies.