Ceres Organics; The Good Bite

Ceres is a big player in New Zealand’s organic snack game. They make everything from natural health care products, to gluten-free rice snacks. Like many people, I try my best to live plastic-free, but I’ve found that most energy balls on the market come in heavy, non-reusable packaging; which is what makes Cere’s Organics Good Bite energy balls really stand out. Sure, the cute, home-compostable packaging drew me in, but it was the taste of the Hemp and Raspberry Good Bite ball that really got me excited. A tangy, fruity, gooey centre, enveloped in a date, nut and seed mix, rolled in hemp seeds makes these little bites perfect for an in-car road trip snack, or between-meal hunger slayer. The taste is a 10/10 for me, but what’s extra-great about these little babies is that they’re suitable for almost every diet; vegan, gluten and refined sugar-free, they’re also a good source of Omega-3, to boot. Per pack of 5, there’s 7.6g of protein and, at $2.40 a pack, this product will, not only, attract the eco-conscious customer, who enjoys the sweeter side of life, but will also appeal to health conscious consumers looking to benefit from the goodness of plant-based proteins.

Pam’s; Hulled Hemp Seeds

I like to call these Hulled Hemp Seeds ‘super food sprinkles’! Healthy little seeds that can be added as a topper on oats, or tipped into smoothies, for those in search of eternal youth (and a sneaky protein hit!) Pam’s also sells Hemp Seed Protein Powder, in 200g bags, but I chose the Hulled Hemp Seeds for their diversity; they make a great topping for both sweet and savoury dishes. On porridge, the seeds add both crunch and rich flavour and, sprinkled onto salad, add nuttiness and interest to, otherwise, dull leafy greens. The seeds would also work well as a hummus garnish, or in loaves, adding texture and a fuller flavour. Hulled Hemp Seeds taste rich and oily, to me (not dissimilar to cashews or almonds) and, high in Omega-3, they’re great for boosting nutrition, without breaking the bank. A 200g bag of 100% Hulled Hemp Seeds is only $8.99 and lasts a pretty long time; even if you do add them to everything! Versatile and with a hard-to-beat price point, these seeds are an ideal addition for anyone wanting a little more from their porridge or salad.  I just wish they were organic.

Good Hemp; Creamy Seed Milk

I like most dairy-free milk alternatives, but am a firm believer in using the right milk for the job, since most milks have their specific use and, sadly, few can do all things well. Coconut milk is a great example – a winner in coffee but not the best decision in tea. I’m pleased to report, though, that Good Hemp’s Seed Milk is mild enough to pass both the coffee and tea test! Made from water, hemp seeds and gellan gum, there’s no sneaky oil or added sugar and I rate its fresh, creamy taste and versatility. Despite these appealing features, though, it’s, unfortunately, rather difficult to find in the supermarket; with only a very small amount stocked in one major retailer and an even lesser amount in another, hiding remorsefully in the gluten-free and organic section. After struggling to find what you’re after, there’s more bad news for shoppers; hemp seed milk is also priced higher than other milk alternatives, at $5.69/litre. All that being said, it’s still a sure-fire winner if you’re in search of a whole milk alternative that’ll work in any morning beverage.

Chantal Organics; Organic Hemp Seed Oil

As an avid lover of olive, sesame and avocado oils, I was really excited to try this new addition to my pantry. The ingredients are simple: raw, cold-pressed, organic hemp oil and the elegant glass bottle not only looks great, but also boasts 2g of Omega-3 per serving; making it an Omega-3 heavyweight in the supermarket aisles. Unfortunately, its cost is almost as high as its nutrient content and, since hemp oil doesn’t handle the high temperatures of frying well, this oil was less versatile than others I tried. But all was redeemed when I drizzled a healthy amount onto sourdough bread with sliced tomato and black pepper and almost died and went to heaven. The oil itself is light and delicate but packs a punch with flavour and would be dynamite in salad dressings. Again, I found the unique nuttiness, that I also found in the hulled hemp seeds, leading the charge on the taste buds and think it would add something special to marinades, or drizzled over pasta. Costing $16.99 for 250ml, Chantal Organics’ version is a few dollars less than two competitor brands and would be a nice addition to any charcuterie board. Hemp oil would not only add a new taste sensation to the gastronomical experience but also be a great conversation starter over the dining table. 

The Brothers Green; Hempy Bar

The Brothers Green make a hemp bar that is so popular, I could only find it stocked in one supermarket in the whole South Island – but, boy, was it worth the search! Made from organic New Zealand hemp and wrapped in compostable packaging, the Hempy Bar is healthy, tasty and kind on the planet. I chose the Chocolate and Coconut flavour, which is the perfect balance of sweet but not too sweet, sort of like the difference between cocoa and milk chocolate. Dense in texture and full of rich cocoa and hemp flavours, Hempy Bars are full of natural ingredients, all of which are grown and produced in New Zealand. The satisfied feeling you get after eating one comes without any uncomfortable sugar spike and The Brothers Green are obviously onto something, having already won the Food Starter Award for Food Innovation, in 2018. At $6.99 for a pack of four bars, the value is really good and there’s just enough for one after Yoga, one with a cup of tea and a couple for the kids’ lunchboxes. Keep an eye out as these guys release more products, I guarantee they’ll be more of the same delicious goodness.

hemp bars
Brothers Green

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