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hemp seeds

I know, it’s fall and there’s a distinct chill in the air. If you live in the high country, you might even have a skiff of snow on the ground. Not exactly smoothie weather, but my detox buddy and I have been doing a fall cleanse for the past three weeks and smoothies have been a major part of our diet. Although I didn’t have the time this fall to document our progress like I did last spring, the results have been the same. I’ve lost a few pounds and feel light, healthy, energetic and rejuvenated. In fact, even though I do this every spring and fall, I’m always struck by how good I can feel. It’s a twice-yearly reminder to reset my health goals and pay attention to how I treat myself. Everything we eat, drink, breathe and absorb through our skin must be dealt with by the body. We’re exposed to a long list of icky environmental toxins on a daily basis. Periodic cleansing gives the body a chance to sort through the muck and unload some of that toxic burden that has accumulated over time. Every system and organ in the body is impacted by what we eat, but the liver is the workhorse. Periodic cleansing gives it a chance to catch up on its workload and regenerate, which is vital to overall wellness. 

This smoothie is filled with antioxidant goodness, high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to boost health and combat free-radical damage. Hemp is one of nature’s best plant-based protein sources, containing all the essential amino acids the body needs. And no, you won’t flunk a drug test if you’ve had a hemp smoothie for breakfast. I’m a product of the sixties, a hippie-girl at heart, so the word “hemp” brings to mind marijuana, peace, love and tie-dyes. Having said that, I never inhaled. 

Marijuana and hemp both come from the same species of plant, Cannabis sativa L., but from different varieties. There are different breeds of dogs in the Canis familiari group – think Chihuahuas and my guy, Fairbanks. This is no different. Hemp protein powder and marijuana are not the same, so don’t worry that you’ll start wearing bell bottoms and sporting flowers in your hair. Or singing old Janis Joplin or Jefferson Airplane songs. Not that that’s a bad thing. “Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know.”

Quick, what’s that song?

the word 'hemp' isolated on white

hemp protein smoothie
what you need

2 ripe pears *
2 cups Romaine lettuce or spinach
1 ripe banana *
1 cup goat kefir or goat yogurt
1 cup coconut water
1/4 cup shredded raw zucchini
1/4 cup berries (any kind, organic preferred, frozen is fine)
3 tablespoons hemp protein powder
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon

what you do
Wash and cut fruit, throw it in the blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Makes 2 BIG servings or 4 small ones. If you don’t have this mix of ingredients, make up your own. Color outside the lines! Some of these ingredients were from my weekly CSA share. This is a great way to use fruit that is on the far-side of mid-life.

* Overly-ripe fruit is actually better in some ways, especially in smoothies. Ripe bananas are more alkalizing, green bananas are more acidic. Which foods give you the best chance for a healthy pH balance is for another post, but this is a good way to add alkalizing foods to the diet (that’s a good thing), so don’t toss overly ripe bananas. Use them in smoothies. 

A sampling of nutritional highlights
Pears are in season now and full of vitamin C and copper, both of these nutrients help protect cells from free-radical damage. High in fiber and considered a “hypoallergenic” fruit, pears are not only healthy, but creamy and delicious as well.
Romaine lettuce is packed with nutrient goodness and contain only 7 or 8 calories per cup. You get a lot of bang for your buck with Romaine, but make it organic as the Environmental Working Group lists lettuce as one of the “dirty dozen” on their shopper’s guide to pesticides
Pumpkin seeds are rich in anti-inflammatory properties, which may be protective against arthritis and joint inflammation. Guys – pumpkin seeds contain a rich blend of health-promoting minerals, including zinc which helps protect your “boy” parts and your bones. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found a connection between low zinc levels and osteoporosis of the hip and spine. We always think of osteoporosis as a female condition, but it can be a problem for older men as well. 
Cinnamon contains unique essential oils that are anti-microbial and help balance yeast and bacteria in the intestinal tract. In addition, cinnamon helps balance blood sugar levels and is rich in fiber, iron, manganese and even calcium. Plus, cinnamon is sweet and tasty. I add it to everything I can think of.

For more cleansing information, check these posts from last spring; cleanse introduction, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, and a cleanse wrap-up

Go forth and power up your smoothies! Singing songs from the sixties is optional. 

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12 Responses to “hemp protein smoothie”

  1. Tevis says:

    Oh mom, I keep thinking of when we had those awesome smoothies on Saturday morning listening to music. It was SOOOO much fun!

  2. Melissa says:

    Hey Tev — just don’t tell anyone I like Christina Aquilera!


  3. Ionah says:

    melissa- i love that i’m receiving your newsletter!
    can’t wait to try this smoothie…xoxoionah

  4. Chuckling quite a bit here … you just never know what you are going to find here at Melissa’s Gluten Free for Good place. There were some memories evoked with this post … the bell bottoms, flower power, Grace Slick. This is one fantastic sounding smoothie, and I have many of the ingredients–not hemp protein powder though. Our last support group meeting was about eating raw and its alkalizing effects. I have a new smoothie recipe evolving in my brain … you are inspiring me to try it sooner (even if it is colder now) and to share.

    Thanks for everything, dear!


  5. Cid says:


    An autumn cleanse…. what a great idea and since having a 48hr flu recently, it makes even more sense. All the stress in life can mean we reach for quick and easy energy boosting snacks, long term it makes us feel sluggish and open to all kinds of illness. As with so many other seeds and flours, we in the UK sometimes have to search for things like hemp protein powder but it’s got to be worth trying.


    p.s. worktops on and stove top fitted and working at long last. Time to dust off the blender and juicer before diving into the world of the divine smoothie (sit down Daniel, we’re not talking about you 🙂 )

  6. greedydave says:


    *Replying while listening to the Woodstock performance of White Rabbits*

    Hemp is another foodstuff I have always overlooked. I think it’s truly time to knuckle down and put more of your recommendations into practise. Silly because it’s quite readily accessible. Your smoothie recipe looks so good, primarily because it clearly won’t be over-sweet (sorry, it’s that sweet tooth thing again!) and that it’s packed full of the stuff I love.

    Wonderful nutricional advice in here too. NEVER get the impression that we don’t love the facts and figures! I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve informed that vitamin D is a hormone, not a vitamin. 🙂

    Simply spiffing, Melissa.


    PS. Hey, I wear bell-bottoms. They never went out of fashion!

  7. Melissa says:

    Ionah — yeah! It’s so nice to have you here. I’ve missed you! Can’t wait to meet for lunch and catch up.


  8. Melissa says:


    I’ve just wrapped up a 3 week cleanse that I’ve been doing with a friend. The smoothies are always a major part of that and hemp is such a good protein to add to the mix. That and chia seeds. Seriously, these smoothies give me balanced energy all morning. They really are power house drinks and you can mix whatever fruit you have around. Great way to use up slightly aging fruit.

  9. Melissa says:


    I’m sorry you’ve been sick. Too many things going on in your life, I suppose. Having a demolition team in your house for weeks on end probably doesn’t help. It’s hard to relax while someone is pounding away in your kitchen! I hope things have mellowed out a bit for you. I want to see photos of the finished product! What colors are the walls? What do the cabinets look like? How have you added your creative touch? Where is Daniel hiding?

    Take care of yourself and when I come to visit, I’ll bring a bag full of hemp, chia seeds, mesquite flour and so on for you and the gang from the other channel.


  10. Melissa says:


    I’m not sure that bell-bottoms pair well with Lego hair, but I can only imagine that you have a unique style all your own and don’t follow the trends anyway. You’re way too young for Janis Joplin and Grace Slick, but those of us who grew up as flower children are most happy to share our music. I’m just glad I wasn’t born in the 80s! I don’t think I’d call that the best decade for music, although Tevis (20-something daughter who lived in Glasgow) and I were dancing around the kitchen last week to some fine 80s pop rock.


    I like that, whatever it means!

  11. Cid says:


    I’m busy playing with all my new kitchen toys… so many buttons and new fangled ovens, ’tis like Christmas here 🙂

    Soon as it’s finished I’ll zap a photo off to you.


    p.s. I look forward to your visit Melissa and for the first time in my life, am conscious of the gluten element and not too much dairy as I recall.

  12. lo says:

    What a wonderful looking smoothie. We need to keep hemp protein in mind when we make ours… I’ve never liked most of the protein powders out there, and it can be tough to get good quality protein into a smoothie… so this is good stuff.

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