Hemp isn’t something you would normally associate with milk; It’s a natural fibre derived from the cannabis plant and has been used for thousands of years to make rope, canvas, paper and clothing. Cannabis is the most popular illegal drug in Britain so you might initially be put off by hemp milk but it contains none of the unsavoury qualities of cannabis. It’s made from water and hemp seeds and is a healthy alternative to dairy and soya milk.
This was a new one for me. I’ve never heard of hemp milk before but, in the interests of keeping my diet as varied as possible, it seemed a natural progression from rice, oat and soya milk. So when I spotted GOOD HEMP milk in Waitrose supermarket I thought I’d give it a go.
Here’s what’s in it…
Filtered water, hemp seeds (9%), fruit extract from apple, calcium from vegetable origin (from seaweed Lithothamnium calcareum), Emulsifier: sucrose ester, sea salt, vitamin D2.
So what was it like?
First I poured some out into a glass. It wasn’t quite as white as normal milk but it looked OK; not too murky and grey like some of the oat milks, which even though I know they are natural and not bleached can look a bit unappetising. It looked really quite milky and appealing but I eased myself in gently and tried it first with my coffee.
What’s it like in coffee?
I take my coffee quite strong and like most dairy free milks it didn’t make the coffee change colour much, it stayed quite darkish, but my morning fix was perfect as usual. The coffee was very tasty and I couldn’t really tell much difference to normal. The milk is sweetened with apple juice so it was slightly sweeter than normal so if you don’t take sugar you may find it a bit too sweet. I usually use rice or oat milk in tea and coffee, or have my coffee black, but I quite liked this in my coffee. Score: 10/10.
And on its own
Next I tried a few sips straight from the fridge in a glass. It had quite a strong beany, almost creamy flavour and was quite sweet. I’m not so keen on most of the dairy free milks just on their own because they’re sweetened and I didn’t really like the taste of this on its own much. I enjoyed watching my husband try it. Needless to say his semi-skimmed dairy milk taste buds rejected this hemp milk straight away and he spat it out with much urgghh-ing and yucking. This milk is not to everyone’s tastes, however if you’re used to not drinking normal cow’s milk give this a go. I had a few sips trying to identify exactly what it tasted like, I can’t quite put my finger on it. It had quite a distinctive taste and aroma and I’m not sure I would drink it on its own from choice. It wasn’t horrible, just a bit weird. Score: 4/10.
Next I tried it on my corn flakes; the first mouthful I wasn’t quite sure, the second I was going off it, and eventually I had to abort mission. Not so good for me, again mainly because it was too sweet and not quite to my taste. By this point my stomach was growling so much I went for the easy option of toast and marmalade, however I have every faith that it will taste absolutely delicious in tomorrows’ porridge (eyes skywards, fingers crossed) which I normally have with fresh fruit so the sweetness wont make such a difference. Score: 3/10.
In hot chocolate
I love hot chocolate. It’s a great way to use up your milk; I do struggle to use up a whole carton before it goes off sometimes so making milky hot chocolate is a real treat which saves milk wastage. Whilst I’m making it there is an unidentified strong aroma and the taste was still strong, even in hot chocolate, but I still enjoyed my elevensies. It did seem to maintain quite a unique taste, whereas I find rice and oat milk don’t really taste strong in hot chocolate. Soya milk can also have a strong beany aftertaste. Did I like hemp milk hot chocolate? Yes I did enjoy it, but the hemp taste is very concentrated; far more than it was in the coffee where I couldn’t really taste the hemp at all. Score: 7/10.
And finally, in porridge
It smelt quite strongly whilst I was cooking the porridge and memories of the aborted corn flakes came back to haunt me, but despite my overcooking of the porridge, making it a tad stodgey, I ate it all up and quite enjoyed it. The hemp milk porridge was a big success. It tasted creamy, not so strong as when drinking it neat, and just a hint of that (is it the taste of hemp?) unidentified flavour. I had the porridge with strawberries and blueberries so the sweetness of the hemp milk was not a problem. I don’t normally sweeten my porridge so I was a bit worried I might find it too sweet. I would definitely eat that again. Score: 9/10
What exactly is hemp milk?
According to their website GOOD HEMP milk can make the following claims:
- A non-dairy alternative to milk
- Made from a blend of pure hemp seed
- Natural source of Omega 3 & 6
- Just one 250ml serving of GOOD Hemp provides 50% of our recommended daily intake of Omega 3
- Low in saturated fat
- Easy to digest
- Free from Dairy & Lactose
- Free from Soya
- Free from Cholesterol
- Free from known Allergens
- Suitable for Vegetarians
- Suitable for Vegans
- 0.00% THC *– it is completely safe to drink
- Made from one of the most sustainable crops on earth. Hemp is an excellent CO2 sequester
- Produced in the UK with hemp grown by UK farmers
* Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the psychoactive substance found in marijuana. Hemp oil is proven to contain little or no THC so it wont cause you any funny reactions.
It’s packed full of goodness
Hemp milk contains loads of natural Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential fatty acids and other nutrients include magnesium, phytosterols, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, calcium, fibre, iron, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin and thiamin. WOW! What a list. Surely that’s more even than normal milk?
It also contains ten essential amino acids, making it a good vegetarian source of protein as hemp protein does not contain phytates which are enzyme inhibitors found in some soya protein which can hinder the absorption and processing of essential minerals. Hemp milk is far easier to digest than soya because it has no oligosaccharides. Soya milk does contain these complex sugars which can cause bloating and wind if they’re not digested properly.
Naturally high in polyunsaturated fat
Hemp milk is high in good fats, unlike rice, soya, oat and cows milk which contain little or none. One glass will give you 50% of the recommended daily allowance of Omega 3. People with dairy allergy, intolarance, eczema and allergies can often be deficient in omega fats which help maintain heathy skin so hemp milk would be a great addition to the diet.
You can find Good Hemp milk in supermarkets and health food shops.
Have you tried it? Are you tempted to? I’d love to hear what you thought. Will I be buying it again? Yes I will, but I wont be having it on cornflakes…
Thank you for this post! I found this very useful in preparing myself for my first taste of hemp milk. I especially like how you taste-tested it in a variety of uses, giving a very detailed analysis. Thank you very much!
Rowena, I never replied! How did you get on tasting hemp milk? I tried it at the Allergy and Gluten free show in June and I actually liked it better there than when trying it at home… strange? I think it’s a bit strong for my tastes…
wow, this was brilliant, perfect in depth description of the taste of hemp milk and it was great that you tried it in a variety of ways.
thanks for a great post! 🙂
I tried it and did not like it at all. Tasted like incense and reminded me of the smell if pot. Yuck. I like almond milk and oat milk is my absolute favorite alternative.
It is very much an acquired taste. A bit weird. I do buy it occasionally but it does taste a bit odd I agree. But the carton says it’s so good for me, sometimes I do work my way through a carton with my halo glowing and my strange tasting coffee ;o)
I was looking for an alternative to dairy and having tried Soy, rice, almond and oat milk I was wary of yet another ‘white water’ product. I loved it! The taste is different from anything else I’ve tasted but it was delicious! In fact I ordered 30 cartons from Tesco’s whilst they were on offer for £1.19 each. I’m down to my last carton so looking again! It does taste a bit weird in my cereal, but I got used to it. My better half made me a coffee with dairy the other day and i found it tasted awful. I feel a lot less bloated since I started on good hemp milk.
Glad you enjoy the hemp milk, it is an acquired taste. Now I have a challenge for you. Try some flax milk! and let me know what you think. I really like it, not the same as hemp milk but distinctive in its own way. I would try alternating too between rice, oat, coconut milk (KoKo is my favourite). Enjoy!
I love this post!!! I’ve been making homemade ice cream with hemp milk and other dairy/soy free alternatives and there’s always a taste that I can’t identify but now I know for sure it’s the hemp milk. Your description of how it tastes alone is perfect! It really does have its own smell and taste that can’t quite be identified. Thanks for the reassurance lol 🙂
And it’s good for you Lamar so as long as you don’t detest it keep going. I think alternating and using different milks regularly is the way to go. I’m on the coconut milk at the moment 🙂