Thursday, January 03, 2013


Being vegan is great these days with so many cookbooks and convenience foods, but dealing with life-threatening allergies with your kid sucks.  I've been in a rut lately trying to find ideas for lunches that would appeal to the world's pickiest 2-year-old...the same kid that has several life-threatening food allergies.  It's not fun.  And I like to cook. 

Lately I've been extra bitter that I can't just whip out peanut butter (life-threatening allergy to peanuts and tree nuts), or the supposed allergy-safe Sunbutter (severely allergic to sunflower plus it may contain soy, which is life-threatening), nor pea-based butters (despite growing out of legumes, some pulses bother him).  How I long to just make a quick sandwich with one of those, with some fruit.  I remembered how as I kid I ate Nutella sandwiches in ridiculous quantities - so much so, that my mother ended up with a complete set of drinking glasses (they used to be packaged that way - great recycling idea back in the day!).

And then I had an epiphany today - I use hemp for everything under the sun!  Surely I could make a spread with it!  And this is pretty much what I did: I threw all of this stuff in the Vitamix and blended.  Easy!  And somehow, it doesn't have that grassy hempy taste...somehow it tastes like hazelnuts!  It's totally weird!

Hempella (Nut-free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free)

1 cup shelled hemp seeds (I use Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup rice milk powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature
Optional: piece of vanilla bean or scraped seeds

Put liquids in Vitamix jug first, then dry ingredients, ending with hemp seeds.  Blend, using the plunger to help mix everything up so it's consistently smooth, about 1 minute.  If mixture looks a little dry, add a little more agave until it gets running more smoothly. Scrape into a jar with a lid. 

I used this as a spread on a wrap with bananas, but can also see this plopped into homemade ice cream in the last few minutes to make fudge chunks, or to sandwich two cookies together.  It's pretty rich and nutty tasting!