This post is sponsored by Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods.
These November days with clouds like marshmallow hanging low; they start with a chill that seeps in through the window sills. These days are finally containers for stillness, the elusive quiet that blooms once the leaves have sloughed off their fiery dresses. My afternoons are stirring pots of soup. My evenings are filling my kitchen with steam that rises from endless roasted vegetables. My nights are burying my body under comforters. These days right before the holiday squeeze with their shortened daylight and crisp spangled nights; I hold them close to my heart. Let myself observe the sun winking out over the mountain at 5pm. I walk lank sidewalks that lead to winding, unfinished trails that edge city limits. I buy knobby skinned squash at the market with many smiles, few words.
I’m so grateful for this precious spaciousness before the storm of social energy that is the holidays. I like to make a point of taking extra good care of myself before Thanksgiving and Christmas, so the quiet has been essential. I love my family but… don’t we all get a bit stressed by family gatherings? And I like to indulge somewhat during festive meals. I never go too crazy, what with all of my sensitivities (I get a sinus infection almost every time I eat more than a tablespoon of dairy these days, oy!). But real life requires enjoying real food, and sometimes that means eating some creamy marshmallow whipped sweet potatoes and a whole lot of buttery brussels sprouts.
So when it comes to pre-holiday self care prep, my goal is to bolster that inner resilience, health and fire that keeps me feeling sparky despite any seasonal winter blues (or drunken uncles saying infuriating things about women’s rights / climate denial / the president / etc.).
My self-care priorities right now are pretty simple. Everyday I want to: drink plenty of water and herbal tea, move my body through dance and yoga, take magnesium salt baths, do my nightly facial treatments (with most of these products / methods), free-write three pages in my journal, massage and stretch my neck and jaw, sleep deeply, eat slowly and make myself cozy toasts / soups / lentil bowls as much as possible.
I think I usually get to about 90% of those. Some days I eat breakfast wicked fast or forget to drink water or it’s suddenly 7pm and I haven’t done any exercise — life happens. But all in all this combo of self-care goodness has been serving me pretty well. I feel my spiritual stores of flower power leveling up! And it feels gooooood.
Manitoba Harvest sent me some hemp hearts to play around with this as part of my healthy eating routine this season — adding to my already plentiful stock. If you’re not super familiar with hemp hearts, they’re creamy and mildly nutty; hemp hearts are rich in protein (they contain all 10 essential amino acids), Omega-3’s, magnesium, iron, zinc and phosphorous. They contain twice as much protein as chia and flax! And they blend really well into everything from smoothies to soups to sauces. But my favorite way to eat them is perfectly lazy: sprinkled on top of my whole life.
As one of my favorite pantry staples, it always surprises me that there isn’t greater awareness about hemp hearts (aka shelled hemp seeds). I think there’s a misconception that hemp foods might intoxicate you the way marijuana does, since they both come from cannabis species; but hemp seeds / hearts are not psychoactive in any way. I can tell you from over 9 years of experience eating hemp hearts that they’re wholesome and safe for all ages!
I typically sprinkle them over my morning oatmeal, avocado toast and smoothie bowls. I’ve been digging these gluten free bagels spread with this sun-dried tomato cashew cheese with avocado, a generous sprinkle of hemp hearts, a squeeze of lemon juice, fancy salt, ground black pepper and a dash of cayenne (pictured above). I could eat that every single day.
Lately my most typical lunch time fare is miso soup with millet ramen, bok choy, shiitakes, my functional mushroom broth and sautéed tamari tofu with a dash of rice vinegar. I add hemp hearts to that right before slurping it down (pictured below).
I’ve been pretty obsessed with these white wine ginger maple carrots lately — I’ve been making them for dinner every other night. The carrots get steamed in white wine, then I hit them with a lot of fresh ginger root and let them fry in ghee or coconut oil to get all caramelized and browned. I didn’t think carrots of all things could be addictive. But let me tell ya, I crave this recipe!
I’ve been finagling them into dinner by pairing them with french lentils — which I cook in a vegetable broth with some olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, rosemary and pepper. And then for some texture I toss it all with chopped walnuts and pomegranate seeds. I add a couple spoonfuls of hemp hearts to each serving for a touch of nuttiness and extra omega’s. I could eat that every day in the cooler months!
I’ve included the recipe solely for the ginger carrots because they truly need no accompaniment. I eat them hot, straight out of the pan almost every time I cook them up. I’ll be making them for Thanksgiving with a bit of fresh rosemary stirred in. Honestly I just think it’s cool that such a simple dish can hang with other more impressive holiday dishes and still get a lot of love — and with so little accoutrements!
And hey here’s a giveaway to spread some gratitude and healthy-eating self-care vibes your way! I’ve partnered with Manitoba Harvest to raffle off a hemp hearts prize pack. One lucky reader will get a box filled with hemp heart swag including hemp hearts, toasted hemp seeds, hemp heart toppers, a natural fibre grocery tote, a journal and a smoothie cup.
*UPDATE 11/22: GIVEAWAY CLOSED. WINNER IS ALISON GODART!* TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY: leave a comment with your favorite way to use hemp hearts, or a way you’d love to use them in the future. Giveaway closes 11/21/2017 at 11:59PM EST. Winner will be chosen at random. Open to USA residents only.
This post is sponsored by Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods. All opinions and words are my own. I’ve been using hemp hearts for over 8 years and have been advocating for them for about as long. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this site. Find more hemp recipes via Manitoba Harvest’s blog here. Connect with them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.