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Refrigerator Look Book: Tara Miko Grayless

(Photo: Tara Miko Grayless)
Hemp has got this girl smiling—and not the way you think… (Photo: Tara Miko Grayless)


Tara Miko Grayless has a mission: to make people see hemp seeds as a gourmet food and not a health food.

“It’s my job to highlight hemp seeds’ flavor,” explains the Austin-based founder of Happy Hemp, “and not alienate those not into health food. If you want to put them on cheeseburgers and French fries, that’s fine. I’m not trying to take anything away from you.”

That said, the 38-year-old is a changed woman because of hemp seeds. Grayless says she was 30, living in Los Angeles, and working at the jewelery company, Virgins, Saints, and Angels, when she started having terrible digestion issues.

“This was the pre-gluten-free era,” explains Grayless. “There weren’t aisles of options.” With nowhere to turn, she started listening to her body, and on a whim tried hemp seeds, which within weeks improved her digestion, energy levels, and mood, she says.

Now the owner of her very own hemp seeds company, Grayless uses her experience in the fashion industry to promote her love of hemp. Instead of getting celebs to wear her client’s designs, she inspires rockstar chefs to use her hemp seeds on their menus. With Happy Hemp in restaurants like Barley Swine, Qui, and Sparrow, we’d say her mission is complete.

Here’s what the digestion-savvy food purveyor stocks in her own fridge. —Jamie McKillop

I see some gorgeous radishes on the top right. How do you eat them? I love snacking on them with a little bit of sea salt. They are so good raw—as is. Simple!

Yum. I notice coconut creamer. Dairy and I have a love-hate relationship. I love it and it hates me. My body is just not a fan of diary. The good thing is I love all the awesome milk options these days.

So you drink coffee? There’s a strong argument on both sides of coffee. I drink about one cup of coffee a day. I think it is less about the coffee for me and more about the morning ritual. I love the quiet of the early morning before the world wakes up. My cup of coffee is morning meditation for me.

Tara Miko Grayless


Now for that gorgeous bushel of kale. What do you make with it? I write a weekly recipe for Happy Hemp’s blog, and these days about every other recipe has kale in it. These emerald gems ended up in a smoothie. But I honestly love kale raw. I wash it, roll it like a cigar, and chop it up into ribbons. Then I massage it. Kale needs to go to the spa—it does. It’s delicious with just a little lemon and sea salt. I actually Googled “Is too much kale bad?” once.

There’s no such thing as too much kale! That’s an awesome bottle of almond milk. Who makes it? I know, isn’t so cool? I’m such a sucker for great packaging. It’s a great brand called Califia. I found it at Whole Foods recently. I use almond milk in place of anything that calls for dairy, because of my digestion issues. The other night I made a spin on mashed potatoes with cauliflower and almond milk.

That’s another thing I’ll have to pick up at Whole Foods! What’s the most common dish you make with Happy Hemp? That’s easy, pesto! I am all about making unique pestos. A dallop on a fresh tomato is the perfect lunch. Most pesto is made with pine nuts, which is the nut most people are allergic to after peanuts. When hemp seeds are really fresh, they actually have a very rich, nutty flavor to them. When they’re raw, if they’re fresh, they should just melt in your mouth.

Delish. How do you use the aloe vera juice on the door? Everyone has their issue and mine, as I’ve said, is digestion. I drink a swig of aloe juice every morning. It’s very soothing and healing. It’s the same as when you get a burn and you put aloe vera on it. I drink it straight out of the container. My boyfriend think it’s disgusting.

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