Hemp seeds are incredibly nutritious, rich in Omega 3 & 6 and contain high levels of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. They also protect the brain, boost heart health, reduce inflammation and improve skin conditions.
Pairing that with local Nelson Honey's Manuka Honey - which has its own health benefits and is the sweetener.
Hemp seems to be everywhere these days. It appears that manufacturers have finally realised what a versatile plant it is, so it is suddenly popping up everywhere. I first tried a sample of Pete's Natural's Hemp and Manuka Sparkling Goodness at the Auckland Food Show, and really liked it, so I was delighted to get a whole bottle to myself so I could sample it properly. My first reaction was surprise when I realised the drink was a pretty shade of green. Almost too good to drink! But I overcame that; once I started, I did not want to stop.
Like all Pete's drinks, it is aimed at the adult market. There is none of that annoying sweetness you get from commercial soft drinks, and there is no sticky residue from sugar. Neither is it like the artificially sweetened "diet" drinks that save your teeth and waistline by substituting chemicals for the sugar. This drink is not sweet in the conventional sense at all; it relies on its honey and monk fruit content to alleviate the sharpness of the lemon base by adding flavour rather than sweetness. And yet there are children who also prefer drinks like this, drinks that are made from natural products only and don't attack their systems. Our Miss Seven and Mr Nine are quite ok to eat sugar free products as they have always been encouraged to do that.
The main flavour is lemon - you can taste the honey, but it is quite light in comparison. As for the hemp, I could not distinguish that at all, but that is often the case when several ingredients are combined. I drank the bottle chilled, and I think that is probably the best way to have it; it is very refreshing and went down well with a hot, home baked lamb pie. As someone who does not drink much alcohol, I could happily have this in a wine glass at dinner and look just as sophisticated as everyone else.
On this occasion, I did not share the bottle. Normally I would ask a couple of other people to give their opinions too, but I thought this time that I might need to drink it all myself in order to get the full effect. My mouth felt clean and refreshed after I had finished it all, and I am sure I could feel all those hemp antioxidants working their magic on my system. I might just buy some and share it next time. Then again, I might keep it all for myself!
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