Have you ever used hulled hemp? Me either, until the other day. I’d seen it on the shelves but never really thought to buy an entire bag because I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. I was in the grocery store a few weeks ago and saw it in the bulk section, perfect. I bought just enough to do some experimenting and figured I’d use it as breading in one of my favorite recipes; Avocado Chicken. Why not?! After all, I typically recommend hemp to vegetarians and vegans as a way to get their omega-3s (~800 mg plant-based omega-3 in 2 Tbsp. hulled hemp) so why not use it as a way to boost my own omega-3? It’s been said that poultry has “too much omega-6 compared to omega-3″…..and while I’m still skeptical about whether that statement really means anything at all, I don’t think it would hurt to add more omega-3 to a big fat and juicy chicken breast.
Hulled Hemp Seed
And if you’re interested in the other nutritional benefits of hulled hemp, read about them here. And, in case you care to know, the omega-3 found in hulled hemp is not the typical ALA -type, it’s actually SDA, which converts to EPA more efficiently than ALA. This, my friends, is a good thing. Read more about that here.
I posted this recipe a few years ago on this blog, but used cornmeal instead of help, which was what the original recipe called for. The photos were horrific, and didn’t give this recipe any justice. Hopefully these new photos lure you in, and beg you to reproduce this deliciousness. I truly mean it when I say this recipe will forever be a favorite of mine (and Nicks!).
Hemp-Crusted Avocado Chicken
Modified from a Columbus Dispatch Recipe (1980)
4 chicken breasts -boneless
2 T cornstarch
1 t ground cumin
1 tsp garlic salt **
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 T water
1/3 c hulled hempseed
3 T vegetable oil
1 firm ripe avocado, peeled,sliced **
1 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
1/4 c sliced green onions **
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a hard surface, with meat mallet or similar flattening utensil, pound chicken to 1/2 inch thickness.
- In shallow dish, mix together cornstarch, cumin, and garlic salt. Add chicken, 1 piece at a time, dredging to coat.
- In small bowl mix egg and water. In another small bowl place hulled hempseed. Dip chicken, first in egg and then in hemp, turning to coat.
- In large fry pan, place oil and heat to medium temperature; add chicken and cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove chicken to shallow baking pan; place avocado slices over chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven about 15 minutes or until fork can be inserted in chicken with ease and cheese melts.
- Top chicken with sour cream, dividing equally; sprinkle with green onion.
**NOTE: If you are following a low FODMAPs diet omit the garlic salt and use a tuscan or garlic olive oil instead of vegetable oil (to get the flavor of the garlic). Also, use the green portions of the green onion only (not the white portion) or simply omit the onion. Lastly, stick to only a couple slices of the avocado, as avocados contain FODMAPs when consumed in portions of more than ~2 Tbsp (or 2 medium slices).
Estimated Nutrition Facts Using 4-ounce raw chicken breasts
Nutrition Highlights: ~ 500 mg omega-3, good source of fiber, and iron, excellent source of calcium.
Ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking “wowza, that’s a lot of fat!”. True, it is, but remember this is an estimate, and the entire recipe is still less than 500 calories and only 257 mg sodium, which is still likely better than what you would find at a restaurant! Seriously. Remember, you can always modify this to reduce the fat; use low-fat pepper jack cheese, use less cheese, use less chicken (such as a 3-ounce portion) and/or reduce the amount of oil to 2 Tbsp.
I actually enjoyed the hemp crust better than the cornmeal from the original recipe. We get enough corn in our life, don’t you think!?
QUESTION: Have you ever cooked with hulled hemp? Hemp Milk? Hemp oil? What do you think? I’ll be posting hemp, berry and chia parfait soon. I recently saw it on another blog and can’t wait to make it for myself!