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This bright and fresh seasonal Winter citrus salad is a perfect side dish to any meal. Plus, it’s made with non-GMO, Canadian-grown hemp hearts from our friends at Together Hemp Co. I think you’ll love this easy-to-make Winter salad!
In this post, you’ll also find info on how to grow your own hemp in a Canadian backyard garden. And guess what?! Together Hemp Co. is giving away an assortment of their products to one of YOU. Simply leave a comment on this blog post and you’ll be entered to win.
Contest is open to Canadian residents only.
Winner will be randomly selected on Feb 21, 2022.
All About Ontario-Grown Hemp from Together Hemp Co.
Together Hemp Co. is an Ontario-based food company located in Toronto, Canada. Together Hemp was built on the belief that healthy people and a healthy planet are one and the same. I couldn’t agree more!
The team at Together Hemp has a conscious foundation that strives to create harmony with the land they grow their hemp on as well as with their customers and local communities.
From hemp hearts to protein powders and cold pressed hemp seed oil — Together Hemp has a range of products to choose from. Comment on this post for your chance to win an assortment of goodies!
They plant their crops in a dense growing pattern. This allows the hemp plant to crowd out weeds, eliminating the need for any synthetic sprays or herbicides. This planting approach is also beneficial for water retention as well as pest management.
All this to say, Together Hemp products are 100% non-GMO and completely spray-free.
Can I Grow Hemp At Home In Canada
You can absolutely grow your own hemp at home in Canada! Hemp is a great crop to grow across Canadian provinces as it is suitable to our short growing seasons and cooler night time temperatures.
It’s important to note that while it is legal to grow hemp at home in Canada, it is however classified under the Cannabis Act. If you’re interested in growing hemp on a larger scale, you would require a license from Health Canada to ensure it has a THC level lower than 0.3%.
But if you just want to have some fun and grow a little bit of hemp for your own consumption, there’s no specific regulations that would prohibit you from doing so!
The easiest way to grow hemp at home in Canada is to direct sow the seeds directly in your garden after your last frost date.
Hemp seeds require consistently moist soil to germinate. Hemp thrives in Summer temperatures between 25-28ºC (77-85ºF), however it can withstand temperatures just below freezing once the plants are mature.
Is Hemp A Sustainable Crop To Grow In Canada
Hemp is an extremely sustainable crop to grow in Canada. In fact, it requires much less water to grow compared to other major conventional crops, such as corn, wheat and soy.
Another factor that makes hemp a sustainable crop is that the entire plant can be used for an array of applications, including:
Food for humans and animals
Biofuel (an alternative fuel option that is still in the early development stages of use)
Skin care products
How Is Hemp Harvested And Turned Into The Food We Eat
In most commercial growing operations (including Together Hemp’s practices), farmers harvest hemp using a combine tractor. The hemp is then sifted using either a mechanical sieve or by hand.
For home growers, you would harvest hemp by cutting the plant at mid stem (cutting too close to the root will cause difficulties as the stem is woody and tough).
Once harvested, you can then dry your hemp by hanging in a dry cool, dark as you would a sunflower head. Alternatively, you can harvest the seeds fresh, dehulling before consuming.
What Ingredients Do I Need To Make Winter Citrus Salad
Curly Leaf Kale: This is traditionally the most common kale sold at the grocery store. Other fantastic options for this recipe are Lacinato Kale or Purple Kale.
Red Onion: The spiciness of the onion pairs perfectly with the tart citrus. Red onion also adds great colour to this salad.
Pistachios: I like using salted pistachios for this recipe to add more flavour to the salad, but you could opt for roasted or raw instead.
Hemp Seeds: Of course, I recommend getting yourself a bag of non-GMO Together Hemp Co. hemp seeds for this recipe. You’ll need them for both the salad and dressing.
Seasonal Winter Citrus: Select any oranges, grapefruits or clementines that are in season and available at your local Canadian grocery store. More details below on citrus season in Canada.
Olive Oil: Use a high quality olive or vegetable oil for the dressing and to massage your kale. Avocado oil is a good alternative.
Dijon Mustard: The tart, bitter flavour of the mustard packs a lot of flavour in the dressing. I like a smooth mustard for the dressing but for more texture you could go with a grainy option.
Maple Syrup: A natural sweetener that balances out the flavours. Alternatives include agave syrup or coconut sugar.
Balsamic Vinegar: Adds the acidity needed to make the dressing pop.
How To Make Winter Citrus Salad
This easy-to-make salad is completely vegan and gluten-free. In my opinion, it’s an ideal Winter meal as it uses seasonal ingredients while being fresh and bright!
So how do you make winter citrus salad?
Start by massaging and tenderizing your kale. This is the process of breaking down the tough fibre in the kale leaves that can often have a chewy texture.
To do so, add a bit of olive oil to your washed and chopped kale and use your hands to massage the leaves for 30 second to 1 minute.
Next, combine all your salad ingredients — kale, nuts, hemp hearts and red onion.
From there you can move to making your dressing. Simply combine all ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender (I use my Vitamix and it works great). Blend until dressing is a smooth consistency. You want it to be runny but not too watery.
If dressing is quite thick and doesn’t pour easily, blend in 1-2 tbsp of additional water.
For your citrus, select any oranges, grapefruits or clementines that are in season and available at your local Canadian grocery store.
When Is Citrus In Season In Canada
Citrus is considered “in season” in Canada from December to April. Though the citrus you’ll find at the grocery store isn’t locally grown (for obvious reasons), it is at it’s freshest.
The majority of citrus in our grocery stores in Canada is imported from Florida and California…though sometimes it is coming as far as Australia and Brazil.
However, during the Winter months, citrus found in Canada is likely imported from the United States only, making it much fresher as it hasn’t needed to travel as far to get to our grocery stores!
Now it’s time to make this delicious and easy Winter salad with seasonal citrus and Canadian-grown hemp seeds from Together Hemp Co.
1. Start by preparing kale. Remove greens from stem and roughly chop. Then place in a salad spinner and clean with water. Once done, add kale to a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands, gently massage the oil into the kale. This will make it more tender and less fibrous.
2. Add kale, diced red onion, chopped pistachios and hemp hearts to a large mixing bowl and toss together.
3. Then, prepare your citrus. You can really cut your citrus into any formation you’d like. I chose to slice my oranges into 1/4″ thick rounds and then remove the peel with a sharp knife. For the grapefruit, I first slice off two rounds sections and then use a sharp knife to cut out individual triangles. Once all citrus is sliced, set aside. Instead of combining into salad, use it to garnish on top for a gorgeous presentation.
4. Next, prepare your dressing. In a food processor or high powered blender, blend together hemp hearts, garlic, dijon, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup and water. Blend for 1 minute on high speed or until dressing is smooth. Consistency should be runny. If dressing is too thick to pour after blending, add 1-2 additional tsp of water at a time. Mix in salt and pepper after blending.
5. Pour 2 tbsp of dressing onto salad and toss to coat.
6. Finally, plate your salad in a large serving bowl. First add salad, then arrange citrus on top. Garnish with a few more chopped pistachios and hemp hearts. Then drizzle the rest of the dressing on top. Finish with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with fresh bread and enjoy!
Use whatever citrus is available to you in your local grocery store! The fresher the better.
To transform this salad into a more filling meal, you could add roasted sweet potatoes, beets or parsnips. All these root vegetables would add a nice texture.