The other day I saw a recipe for gluten-free tabouli, and I was intrigued. I used to quite like the stuff – a refreshing salad with parsley, mint, lemon juice, tomatoes, onion, olive oil, and kryptonite. I mean, erm, cracked bulger wheat.

I am almost positive I’ve not had tabouli in 8 years; it’s not something you often see modified for the gluten-free diet. So I was curious – what would the recipe use to replace the wheat?

My guess was quinoa, but instead it was hempseed. Interesting! A new grain! Turns out hemp seed is gluten-free, edible, and really healthy.

Hemp is higher in protein than soy, and also contains omega-3s and omega-6s, chlorophyll, vitamin E, and some other useful things. It’s got a nutty taste and can be found in a few different forms: hulled seeds, flour or powder, oil, etc.

But what do you do with it?

Turns out, there are lots of options. Most recipes that you might enrich with a sprinkling of flax powder would also benefit from hemp.

You can use the oil in place of olive oil, for example in this gluten-free hemp hummus recipe (scroll down the page a-ways). Or you can mix it with rice into a no-meat no-gluten meatloaf.

Whole Foods suggests making some hempseed apricot chews, which are also vegan and don’t require any cooking. This is as good a time as any for me to mention that Whole Foods carries hemp products, which are also available online and more than likely in your favorite local natural / health store.

Nutiva, who sell hemp in addition to a few other foods, offer recipes like Moroccan carrot and hemp salad and a creamy hemp garlic dressing (since when does dressing ADD to the health value of a salad?).

Lastly and maybe most weirdly, you can turn hemp into “milk” if you want. I’m not sure that you’d want to if you weren’t trying to avoid dairy – but I know that many of you do avoid dairy. So this might be a nice change from soy milk; it can also be turned into a vegan mayonnaise. Full instructions are here.

Oh, and that gluten-free tabouli recipe! It’s here. Tasty, no?

Have you eaten hempseed in anything? What did you think?