Podcast

Hemp Hearts & Healthy Eating: Talking With Hilary Kelsay of Humming Hemp

Hemp Hearts & Healthy Eating: Talking With Hilary Kelsay of Humming Hemp
Ministry of Hemp Podcast

 
 
00:00 / 00:33:01
 
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There’s so much attention on CBD oil that it’s easy to overlook the nutritional benefits of hemp itself, especially hemp hearts (hulled hemp seeds).

In this episode of the Ministry of Hemp Podcast, our host Matt talks to Hilary Kelsay, CEO of Humming Hemp about their new hemp snack bars, adding hemp hearts and oil to your diet and the nutrition benefits of eating hemp. This is the latest part of our ongoing Women in Hemp series.

Then Matt shares his Spicy Fried Hemp Heart Shrimp recipe straight from the Ministry of Hemp test kitchen.

Recipe: Spicy Fried Shrimp with Hemp Hearts

Prep Time: about 60 minutes (frying time is variable)

Servings: Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup yogurt or kefir, plain
  2. 2 tsp Sri Racha or Sambal hot sauce (more if you like it spicy)
  3. 1 cup hemp flour (or all-purpose flour)
  4. 3 Tbsp of Humming Hemp Hemp Hearts (I used the spicy version)
  5. 2 tsp salt and pepper
  6. 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  7. 3 cups canola or peanut oil
  8. Shrimp brine (2 tsp salt and 1 tsp baking soda)

Directions:

  1. Shell shrimp and toss with shrimp brine, refrigerate for 15 minutes to an hour.
  2. Heat oil in pot to 375 degrees.
  3. Toss all dry ingredients together
  4. Pour yogurt (whip with a little water to loosen) or kefir and hot sauce into a separate container and stir well.
  5. Press shrimp lightly in paper towels to dry.
  6. Dredge shrimp in the dry mixture, then into the wet mix, then back into the dry mixture and rest on parchment or glass pan.
  7. In small groups fry the shrimp with a dry metal sieve or tongs until golden brown.
  8. Remove and place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  9. Enjoy!

Sponsored by Prima

This episode of the Ministry of Hemp Podcast is sponsored by Prima.

Prima has a full line of amazing CBD products. Our staff are a big fan of their CBD elixirs, easy drink mixes you can add to water, coffee, or your favorite refreshing beverage. Check put Prima Brain Fuel Elixir for the perfect way to start your day with some added focus.

We also recently teamed up with Prima to talk about the best natural sleep aids that could help you rest better.

Use coupon code ‘MINISTRY15’ for 15% off your complete order at Prima. Thanks again for sponsoring our podcast!

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Photo: Composite image shows a bowl of hemp hearts (hulled hemp seeds) and Hilary Kelsay posiing against a purple background.
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Hilary Kelsay, CEO of Humming Hemp, wants to put hemp hearts and other hemp staples in every American pantry.

Hemp hearts & healthy eating: Complete episode transcript

Below you will find the full written transcript of this episode:

Matt Baum: The Ministry of Hemp Podcast is brought to you by Prima. Prima has a whole line of amazing CBD products available at prima.co. Head over there and use the code MINISTRY15 for 15% off your purchase just for being a Ministry of Hemp listener. That’s prima.co. I’m Matt Baum and this is the Ministry of Hemp Podcast brought to you by ministryofhemp.com, America’s leading advocate for hemp and hemp education.

Matt Baum: It’s officially mid January, so we find ourselves in the dog days of winter. And I don’t know if you’re like me, but one thing I like to do when it’s cold outside is stay home and cook. So I’ve had a lot of food on my mind lately, and today on the show, we’re going to talk to someone who wants to bring hemp into your kitchen in some really cool ways. Her name is Hilary Kelsay and she is the CEO of Humming Hemp. We’re going to talk to her about their Humming Hemp nutrition bars, their hemp hearts, their hemp oil, and so much more. And after that I’m even going to lay a little recipe on you that’ll teach you how to get some hemp into your own diet. But first, let’s get to my conversation with Hilary Kelsay.

Meeting Hilary Kelsay

Matt Baum: Tell me a little bit about you. You didn’t just start off as a CEO of a hemp startup. How did we get to hemp?

Hilary Kelsay: Right. So I am the wife of an American beekeeper and we own and operate a successful Pacific Northwest honey company called Humble Honeycomb. And it was through the honey company that I learned about hemp. I was at a trade show and this was in 2017, early 2017, and there were some American hemp farmers there. They just wanted to see if we could put our bees on their hemp fields to make hemp honey. And this conversation became quite an involved conversation. And then quick little fun tidbit, you can’t make honey out of industrial hemp because you need both pollen and nectar, and industrial hemp doesn’t quite supply that for a honey.

Matt Baum: Is that the issue of the hemp flower itself basically?

Hilary Kelsay: Right, right. So yeah, there’s not enough nectar. So the bees would be able to get some pollen, but there would be no nectar for the bees to take back to the hive.

Matt Baum: Sure. That makes sense.

Hilary Kelsay: These farmers just kept telling me about what they were doing and I was so moved by their entrepreneurial spirit and their forward thinking. And then they started telling me about all the nutritional benefits of hemp as a protein and Omega rich super food. Right? So I came home from this trade show to my beekeeper husband, and we have three kids under the age of five.

Matt Baum: Oh wow.

Hilary Kelsay: Yes, I’m a busy full-time mommy as well. I said, “Why would we not take American grown hemp to the market?” I said, “We already have the distribution network built because of the honey company. We already have the relationships. These people already know us. Why wouldn’t we package it and take it to market?” And he gave me the big double thumbs up and said, “You go do that. Let’s stay married. You go do that, and you make it big. Take it big. Make it go beyond the Pacific Northwest. And share your love with everybody.” So that’s what I did.

Matt Baum: Right if you find work basically, type stuff. Let me know if you find work and send money home.

Hilary Kelsay: Exactly, exactly.

Matt Baum: So from there you start Humming Hemp from there and you’re making these Hummingbars, as you call them. And I see one is honey and cinnamon. Are you using the same honey that your husband started making?

Hilary Kelsay: Well, we have a lot of honey connections, if you will. So it is because of our honey company that we are able to have such a great tasting bar. I would put it that way.

Matt Baum: Okay, fair enough.

Hilary Kelsay: But what we did initially is here in Richland, Washington, we have a great just entrepreneurial scene, and it’s just full of entrepreneurs. So I went out and talked to some of my friends and said, “Hey, you want to start a hemp company?” And they got very excited. And so I formed a team of local entrepreneurs here in Eastern Washington, and that’s exactly what we did.

Hilary Kelsay: And so how we started, we took what we called, at Humming Hemp, we call them our pantry staples because we love hemp so much, we want every American household to have hemp oil, hemp protein powder, and hemp hearts in their pantry to consume on a daily and weekly basis. Right?

Matt Baum: Sure.

Hilary Kelsay: And those products are awesome, but we all know that the household adoption rate of those products is still fairly low. So then it evolved to, okay, wow, we have this amazingly delicious, I’m speaking of hemp heart in particular, super food that people don’t know about. And if they do know anything about it, it’s pretty much misinformation. Right? And there’s just a very small tribe of us who really know it and understand it and are already eating it.

The nutritional power of hemp hearts

Matt Baum: So can we talk about the hemp heart for just a minute while we’re on the subject? Like what is it that you love about the hemp heart? And let’s talk about a little bit of misinformation and the real information.

Hilary Kelsay: I love that they are the most powerful and convenient super food on the market. So at Humming Hemp we’ve coined the phrase “powerful nutrition”. And what that really means is hemp’s got more protein per ounce than chicken, it’s got 10 times more iron per ounce than spinach, it’s got four times more potassium than chia seeds. You know, I don’t want to hack too bad on chia seeds, but they’re really trying to keep their super food status. And so they’re touting potassium right now. And it’s like, “Hello, hemp hearts have four times the potassium.” Right? And then let’s talk about the omega fatty acids, the most balanced omega fatty acids on planet earth with the perfect ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Matt Baum: That’s that three to one ratio that is on your website. Right?

Hilary Kelsay: Exactly, right.

Matt Baum: Okay. The fact that there’s four times as much protein is chicken kind of blows my mind.

Hilary Kelsay: Oh, I know.

Matt Baum: I had no idea.

Hilary Kelsay: Right? And so if you look at the main food trends right now it’s plant based and it’s protein, and that’s everything hemp is, it’s a complete plant based protein and you don’t have to cook it. You don’t have to soak it like other seeds and nuts. You know, for the keto world, hemp hearts have 50% fewer carbs than almonds. And so what we’re really trying to show people, Americans that you can do, is that you can snack on hemp hearts straight out of the bag.

Matt Baum: Just like a nut.

Hilary Kelsay: Exactly. So we have two flavors of hemp hearts. We have a spicy and a honey Aleppo, and they’re in these, it’s a new brand block for us, if you will. Yeah. We encourage you to just literally snack on them with a spoon. They are so amazingly delicious, and they’re convenient and they’re versatile. The most convenient and versatile superfood there is.

Matt Baum: So what do I do with my hemp hearts? Let’s say I’m cooking, and I’ve got hemp hearts. I’ve got eight ounces of your hemp hearts, I’m looking at right now, like the plain ones. What can I do with these in my pantry?

Hilary Kelsay: You can sprinkle them on literally everything and make whatever you’re eating richer with nutrition and richer in taste.

Matt Baum: You’re adding protein, basically.

Hilary Kelsay: Yeah. Yep. You’re adding all of that protein and omegas.

Matt Baum: That’s very cool. So this would be something that if I were a vegan, I’m not, but let’s say I were, this would be a great place to add some protein to your diet basically.

Hilary Kelsay: Absolutely. And I am a vegan. Well, the biggest honey eating vegan there is.

Humming Hemp’s Hummingbars

Matt Baum: I don’t fault any vegans that eat honey. I’ve heard the arguments and I just don’t know where I come down on that. So now, let me ask you, everything you guys do is vegan, right, at Humming Hemp?

Hilary Kelsay: No. So let’s go back to that Hummingbar, speaking of not vegan. So we love hemp hearts and obviously I have a fond affection honey. And so we really started to pose the question and then answer it of, how do you take the most powerful, convenient, sustainable, we could stop there for second if you want to, sustainable super food on the planet, and put it in a form that Americans have already adopted, love eating and trust? Right? And for us, me being a busy mom of three kids under the age of five, it was a protein energy bar.

Matt Baum: Makes sense.

Hilary Kelsay: So we set out to deliver the most delicious and powerful nutrition bar we can. And what we did is we combined American grown hemp heart with raw USA honey.

Matt Baum: Okay.

Hilary Kelsay: And that’s the Hummingbar. So we have five great flavors, but the base of every single flavor is American grown hemp hearts and raw USA honey.

Matt Baum: So vegan, yes, but if you’re the kind of vegan that doesn’t eat honey, no.

Hilary Kelsay: Exactly.

Matt Baum: And I would argue if you’re that kind of vegan, you’re missing out. So I mean, you should be eating honey. It’s delicious.

Hilary Kelsay: Exactly. I know. It’s so good for you.

Matt Baum: So tell me about the hemp that you guys are using for the grains and the oils and whatnot. Are you growing this yourself or does this come from a local farm?

Hilary Kelsay: We are not. So we partner with a handful of small to medium American farmers who are growing industrial hemp specifically for food. Because there’s so many genetics out there for CBD and whatnot.

Matt Baum: Of course.

Hilary Kelsay: So these farms and [inaudible 00:10:25] are specifically for food.

Matt Baum: Okay. And the food based hemp that’s being grown, I mean, do they have to worry about THC levels, like everybody else, like the CBD market? Or is it the industrial stuff that’s food grade, is there something where you don’t have to worry about that at all because the CBD levels and THC levels are so low?

Hilary Kelsay: Well, I’m a big fan of not reinventing the wheel. And so our progressive neighbors to the north, Canada have been cultivating industrial hemp for two decades, right? 20 years. They just had their 20th year. They’ve grown it for food and textiles for a long time. And so the seeds and the genetics are there that are good and that are proven. And so that’s what we’re seeing a lot of our American farmers do, rather than maybe potentially get some bad seed out of Colorado or whatnot. We don’t want our farmers to take that risk and not have products that they can take to market.

Matt Baum: Absolutely. So the Hummingbars themselves, I’m going to guess these are your biggest sellers. They look really slick.

Hilary Kelsay: Yeah. So we literally launched those, so all of 2018 with me in my kitchen with my kids, eating them, copious amounts of test Hummingbars. And then we finalized our recipes and formulations and commercialized them at the very end of 2018. Did our first production run at the beginning of 2019, in January. And then in March, just two months later in early March of 2019 we launched the Hummingbar at Expo West down in Anaheim, California. We came out of Expo West with national distribution with Kroger as well as a handful of a few other small chains across the country. And then from there it’s just been a big snowball effect and we are so excited.

Matt Baum: So should I think about, like this Hummingbar, should I think about it the way I would think of like a Clif bar or a Larabar? Something I can throw in my bag when I’m going on a bike ride or something I can have after the gym? Is it the same type of idea?

Hilary Kelsay: Yeah, it truly is the anytime bar, same exact idea, right? You’re going to put it in your gym bag, the busy mom’s going to rip it open in the middle of the grocery store when her screaming kids are screaming. It’s that good for you, permissible snack that is absolutely delicious and you can know, no matter who you are or what you’re doing, that it is good for every single cell in your body, right? So if you’re the male cyclist, it’s for you. If you’re the teenage girl, it’s for you. If you’re my three year old toddler, it’s for you. If you’re the busy mom, it’s for you. I mean, no matter who you are, the Hummingbar is for you and it is delicious.

Matt Baum: And it’s gluten free, so you really don’t have to worry about any food additives or food allergies either. There’s no nuts and no gluten. Right?

Hilary Kelsay: Exactly. Exactly. It’s free from most of the main allergens. We are processed in the facility that also processes peanuts, so that’s always a concern for folks. But it’s part of that. I mean, our honey cinnamon literally only has four ingredients: American grown hemp heart, raw USA honey, and then cinnamon and sea salt. And that’s it. And so our bars range from four ingredients up to technically nine ingredients, our pumpkin seed and spice, we have to literally lists all the different spices that make up pumpkin spice. But the core of every bar is minimal ingredients that you know, that you have already been eating, that you trust, you can pronounce. There’s nothing added and nothing fortified. All of the macro and micronutrients come from the ingredients themselves.

Using hemp protein powder

Matt Baum: That’s very cool. Tell me about the hemp protein powder. Is this the same type of thing that I’m thinking like, I’m making a smoothie because I’m going to the gym, I would add a hemp protein powder instead of some weird GNC muscle guy powder or something?

Hilary Kelsay: Exactly, yes. So it is green, it is raw. It is sustainable. It’s rich, nutty, and nutritious tasting. And it is so, so good for you. Not everybody’s a fan of the hempy, earthy, grassy taste of hemp. But if you do like it or if you can get past it, it’s one of the cleanest, most sustainable protein sources on the planet.

Matt Baum: See, personally I really like it so I don’t have a problem with any of the tinctures I’ve tried or the powders that I’ve added to things, it doesn’t bother me. It’s got almost got like a tea type flavor to it and I kind of like that.

Hilary Kelsay: Yeah, I like it too. People are always like, “What does it taste like?” You know, hemp in general. And I’m like, “Well, it tastes like a sunflower seed and a pine nut had a super baby.”

Matt Baum: That’s a really good description. That is an excellent description. I’m going to steal that from you. That’s good.

Hilary Kelsay: And they’re like, “Oh, I love pine nuts.” And I’m like, “Oh, you’ll love hemp.” And then lo and behold, they do.

Matt Baum: Lot cheaper than pine nuts too. You don’t have to go out to the forest and find them. You know, it’s incredible.

Sponsored by Prima

Matt Baum: Let’s take a quick break to hear about our sponsor this week, Prima, they’re [email protected] on the internet, and they have a full line of amazing CBD products with free shipping on orders over $75 and a free 30-day return guarantee. The good people of Prima were nice enough to send me some of their new beverage infusion samples. There’s one for the morning, one for noon and one for night. I have been making a daily regimen of the brain fuel one before I go to work, and I got to say, I really like it. It’s not sweet. It’s got a nice sort of earthy almost tea flavor to it. You can pour it in your water or your coffee, give it a stir and it dissolves almost instantly, and the effects hit you pretty fast. I’ve really liked it so far. And they also have one that is for resting easy, if you have trouble sleeping. And they have another one that’s just called The GoTo for your normal daily homeostasis. I got to say, I am a really big fan.

Matt Baum: And they have some really cool technology behind it too. If you’ve been listening to the show, you know that CBD bonds with oil very well, but oil does not bond with water very well. This new powdered CBD that they offer makes the cannabinoids in CBD that you’re trying to get much more bioavailable, and that is what’s really important, optimal bioavailability. If you like this show and you want to support Ministry of Hemp, please head over to prima.co, check out their whole line of CBD infused skincare and their new powdered elixirs. Head to prima.co now and use the code MINISTRY15, that’s MINISTRY15, no space, for 15% off your purchase. And any purchase over $75 gets free shipping and free 30-day returns.

Matt Baum: We’re big fans of Prima here at Ministry of Hemp, so much so that we are going to have them on the show very soon. Head over to prima.co that’s P-R-I-M-A.co, and shop their whole line of skincare, therapeutic body care and wellness essentials made for the whole you. At Primo, it’s all good.

Using hemp seed oil for healthy eating

Matt Baum: So tell me about the hemp oil. So this is also made from the seeds. It’s extracted from there.

Hilary Kelsay: Yeah. So the pantry staples. So we covered the hemp hearts, right? So those are shelled hemp seeds. So think sunflower seed is what I like to tell people, the hard outer shell is removed and what remains in the hemp world is called a hemp heart. And then we just covered the hemp protein powder. So that too is a raw straight out of the farm field hemp product. It’s just ground into a protein powder.

Matt Baum: So this is the only one that you really doing anything with, you’re expressing the seeds basically.

Hilary Kelsay: Yeah, but it’s all cold pressed. No solvents, no chemicals. So it’s just straight out of the farm field, it’s just a different process, right? We didn’t shell it into heart, we didn’t grind it into a protein powder, we’re cold pressing it into an oil. And hemp oil has a smoke point of 300 degrees Fahrenheit. So it’s not a cooking oil. It’s a low temperature finishing oil or a supplement. So we have a little eight ounce bottle that people use for omega supplementing. So we have a lot of that in the natural channel. And then the more conventional grocery store channels love our 375 milliliter glass bottle, and it sits in the conventional oil set, and people like to use it for bread dipping with balsamic, for drizzling on soups. It makes amazing salad dressing.

Matt Baum: That’s exactly whre I was going to go with that. You can make a salad dressing with a benefit as opposed to just putting olive oil or canola oil, which is just going to make you a little fat, you know?

Hilary Kelsay: Yeah. No, it’s so true. And then my husband’s favorite use of it is he uses it instead of butter on his popcorn, he pops a bag of popcorn and then he tops it with our flavored hemp hearts and hemp oil. And it is absolutely delicious.

Matt Baum: That sounds excellent. What kind of flavor does the hemp oil have? Is it very neutral?

Hilary Kelsay: You know, I love it because it’s like Frankenstein green and then it’s pretty nutty.

Matt Baum: Okay, that sounds delicious. Similar to like a sunflower seed oil?

Hilary Kelsay: Yeah.

Matt Baum: Okay. That makes sense. Now let me ask you, you’ve talked a lot about the nutrition and whatnot, do you come from a nutrition background? How did you get interested in this?

Hilary Kelsay: I think nutrition ha just always been in my DNA. I’m a big believer and always have been that food is medicine. Everything we choose to put in our bodies affects every cell in our body. Now, don’t get me wrong, we just all came off the holiday season and we all indulged. And I’m also a firm believer in eat, drink and be merry as well. But on a day to day basis, I’ve always been very mindful of what I put in my mouth and how I’m fueling my body, and preventative maintenance, if you will. And now even more so that I’m a mama of three little babies, you know, it’s like I want to be around for a long time, and so if I eat good and have good nutrition, I can avoid a lot of illness in my life and be there for my loved ones.

Matt Baum: Absolutely. So let me ask you, where do I go to get this? You said you had a deal with Kroger. I know we have a Kroger here. I’m in Nebraska and we have Kroger here. How far have you penetrated outside of the West Coast?

Hilary Kelsay: Oh my goodness, we are all over. So our Kroger distribution is national. So just get on our website, find a location closest to you. If for some reason we’re not close to you, you can always purchase at humminghemp.com. But I mean, we’re down in the Carolinas, we’re in Colorado, we’re in the Pacific Northwest, we’re in Northern California. We’re all over. And 2020 is definitely going to be another year of rapid growth for us.

Matt Baum: Awesome!

Hilary Kelsay: Yeah, we’re excited.

Focusing on hemp nutrition

Matt Baum: Speaking of growth, have you guys felt any pushback? Like a lot of the CBD farmers or CBD companies that I’ve talked to had experienced serious pushback with their local government and senate. But you’re one of the first people I’ve talked to this dealing with hemp as a food item. Did you have any of the same headaches?

Hilary Kelsay: We haven’t. We haven’t. Right. So again, we’re just leveraging what Canada’s been doing for 20 years and I’m using it for our company as a launch pad forward. Right? They’ve already paved the way. Manitoba Harvest is literally in every grocery store across the country. Our products are now sitting side by side theirs. You know, I’m an Oregonian, I’m in Washington now obviously, but Bob’s Red Mill carries hemp hearts and stuff. So you have these big, proven, trusted food companies that have hemp in their lineup. And so we’re just following right behind them and we haven’t had push back.

Hilary Kelsay: The other thing we are choosing to do is, we drew a firm line in the sand and said, “Okay, CBD is awesome. It’s bright, it’s shiny.” Us CEOs get distracted by shiny objects, right, that can be exciting and make us money. And we’ve just had to say, you know, “This is who we are as Humming Hemp. These are our core values. We’re all about food and nutrition and how hemp…” Because for us that’s the definition of him for our company is that powerful nutrition. And so we said, “We’re not going to cross the line and start putting CBD in our food or any of that. Even if there’s part of the market that wants that, we’re not going to do it, so that we can avoid the FDA push back.” There’s other companies that are doing that, that are on the front lines paving the way and I’m happy they are. And we watch them and we respect them, but for us that wasn’t the move we wanted to make.

Matt Baum: It sounds like you’re saving yourself a serious headache. So good for you.

Hilary Kelsay: I know, I know. One of the things I love too is just our whole message that hemp is literally for everyone. Right?

Matt Baum: Right.

Hilary Kelsay: So whether you’re already a Birkenstock wearing stereotypical hempy hempster, or just whoever you are, it’s for you, right? If your favorite food is macaroni and cheese, hemp is still for you, just top your macaroni and cheese with him hearts, it’s delicious.

Matt Baum: Yeah. Instead of breadcrumbs. There you go.

Hilary Kelsay: Right, right, have your carbs and put some hemp on it.

Matt Baum: And way better for you, yeah.

Hilary Kelsay: On our website we have a picture of an ice cream cone being topped with hemp hearts, and everybody’s like, “Oh, this just seems so contradictory. Why do you have an ice cream cone?” And it’s like, “No, this is who we are. You are going to be who you are and you’re going to eat what you want to eat, but you can always make it more powerful and more nutritious and delicious by adding hemp to it.”

Matt Baum: Sure. I mean, just because it’s ice cream doesn’t mean it can’t also be good for you. I mean, sure, I love rolling ice cream in peanuts or whatever. And think of all those new places that you go to where they have the rolled ice cream and they’re stuffing it. What if you put something that was delicious and good for you in it? I mean, it just makes sense. We don’t need to stick cigarettes in our ice cream to make it more delicious. I mean, come on.

Hilary Kelsay: I like it. I like it.

Matt Baum: Hilary, thank you for coming on the Ministry of Hemp Podcast. You obviously have a real passion for this.

Hilary Kelsay: Hemp can change the world. I want to one day fix world hunger with hemp, and I really think we could.

Matt Baum: I don’t disagree. I think you’re right on. Well, awesome, Hilary. Thank you so much.

Hilary Kelsay: Thank you.

Matt Baum: I don’t want to take up anymore of your time. You’ve got babies and bees, and a farm, and a husband. My god, I can’t imagine.

Matt Baum: If you’d like to add some hemp to your diet or try the Humming Hemp bars, you can find links to Humming Hemp and Humble Honey Company in the show notes for this episode.

Cooking with hemp hearts

Matt Baum: Kelsay was nice enough to send me a whole box full of their samples and there’s a bunch of great stuff in there including their hemp hearts. And so I figured, why not get them out and mess around in my kitchen with them. And I did just that. The other night I made a red curry for my wife and I, I took some red curry paste and some coconut milk and made the curry base. Not going full in there. But I did dry roast some sweet potatoes and some onions as well. Dry roasting is great because you don’t cover anything in oil, so you’re not masking any flavor, and the flavors of the sweet potato and the onion really come out. And when you do introduce them into the curry, they just soak it up like a sponge. Absolutely delicious. But for the final element of this curry, I wanted to add a little crunch. So I decided to try a take on an old fried shrimp recipe that I used to use at one of the restaurants I worked at.

Matt Baum: Step one when you want to make any shrimp dish is to brine your shrimp. It’s quick and it’s easy, and it makes for an amazing finished product. Basically, if you’ve got a pound of shrimp, you’re looking at about a teaspoon of salt and a fourth teaspoon of baking powder, and just toss it together, give it a good whisk, throw it in the fridge for 15 minutes and up to an hour. You’re going to have nice crunchy shrimp in the end.

Matt Baum: Next up, we’re going to set up a basic dredging station. Dredging basically means you have your liquid and then you have your dry ingredient that you’re going to coat your protein with. In this case, we’re going to take a cup of either yogurt or kefir, which is like a yogurt liquid. Make sure that you’re using plain. We don’t want flavored yogurt here. If you have to use regular yogurt, that’s fine. You can whip it until it breaks down consistency a little bit and you can even add just a little bit of water if you need to if you think it’s not thin enough. Now, I fully believe in seasoning every step of the dredging process, so I like to add a little sriracha or you could use sambal, both of which are Asian hot sauces that are going to just lift the flavor and add a little bit of spice in the end.

Matt Baum: Next up, we get together our dry ingredients. So we’re going to go for one cup of hemp flour. Now if you don’t have hemp flour, you can use normal all purpose flour as well, but we’re trying to get hemp in our diet here. Then I added three tablespoons of the Humming Hemp spicy hemp hearts, because I love spicy, directly to the flour, along with a tablespoon of pepper and a tablespoon of salt. You want to mix that real well. The whisk is perfect for this.

Matt Baum: Now it’s time to dredge the shrimp. And you want to start with a dry product, so if they’re still a little moist, throw them between some paper towels, give them a nice little pap, don’t squeeze them too hard, we’re not trying to destroy them. From there, the shrimp go into the flour, hemp heart, salt and pepper mixture. I like to use a small sieve to shake off the excess, and then I drop them directly into the yogurt. From there, a different sieve scoops them up, I drain off the extra yogurt, and back into the dry mixture for one more coating. Again, shake off the excess and then you can either transfer them to a glass baking dish or some parchment paper.

Matt Baum: Now it’s time to fry our shrimp. So I use a small pot with about three cups of canola oil over a medium flame until it gets up to about 375 degrees. A candy thermometer is really good for testing a temperature like this. But if you don’t have access to one of those, you can dip your fingers into your dredging liquid and then into your flour mixture, wad up a little ball of that and drop it in the oil. If it starts sizzling, you know you’re at a good cooking temperature.

Matt Baum: You don’t want to fry the shrimp in too large of batches because they can stick together, they won’t all cook at the same time. So just make sure you go a few at a time. Watch as they start to brown up, and when they do, use that same sieve that you were using to shake off the excess dry ingredients, and scoop them out and set them on a paper towel lined plate so they can drain any excess oil. Keep in mind you’re using hot oil here, so you want to make sure that your sieve is metal and that it’s not wet, otherwise you’re going to get snapping and popping.

Matt Baum: Now if you have an air fryer, you can probably skip all of this and just throw the shrimp in the air fryer after they’ve been dredged. I haven’t had a chance to try it in mine yet, but I assume it’s probably still pretty delicious. Once all your shrimp are fried, they are ready to eat, and they’re going to be absolutely delicious. The hemp hearts adds this amazing crunch. Like I said, I served this with a red curry over rice and I just dropped the fried shrimp right on top for a nice little crunch. Not only did the spicy hemp hearts add some nutty, crunchy goodness, they made the dish more nutritious too. They’re definitely a healthier ingredient than the corn meal that I would’ve normally used to fry the shrimp.

Matt Baum: I’ll be sure to include my recipe for spicy hemp heart fried shrimp in the notes for this episode, which you can find at ministryofhemp.com.

Final thoughts from Matt

Matt Baum: That about does it for this episode of Ministry of Hemp Podcast. Huge thanks to Hilary Kelsay for coming on the show. And I would love to hear from you about your ideas about getting him into your diet. You can always shoot me a message at matt:ministryofhemp.com if you want to send me an email. Or you can follow us on Twitter @MinistryOfHemp. And of course hit us on Facebook/ministryofhemp. By the way, you can give us a call if you’ve got questions: (402) 819-6417 is the Ministry of Hemp phone line, and we love to answer your questions on the show, so please give us a call. At the Ministry of Hemp we believe that an accessible world is a better world for everybody, so you can find a complete written transcript of this episode in the show notes at ministryofhemp.com. While you’re there at ministryofhemp.com be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you can be the first to hear about all the cool articles that Kit and the gang are throwing up online.

Matt Baum: Next time on the show, I hope you’re still hungry because we are talking CBD and chocolate. But right now it’s time for me to get out of here. So this is Matt Baum reminding you, take care of yourself, take care of others, and make good decisions, will you? This is the Ministry of Hemp Podcast signing off.

Photo: Composite image shows a bowl of hemp hearts (hulled hemp seeds) and Hilary Kelsay posiing against a purple background.
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Matt Baum has been hosting, producing, and editing podcasts for almost ten years. He's been a touring musician, chef, journalist, and avid comic book fan for as long as he can remember. Currently, Matt lives in Omaha Nebraska with his wife Kacie and pugs Mable and Bobo.

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