Hemp hearts are a nutritious food that is high in protein, healthy fat and provides some fiber. It is one of my favorite foods to add to a recipe to give it a nutrition boost. Learn what hemp hearts are, their nutrition and health benefits, and get an idea of how to use them with a round of 9 hemp hearts recipes that are gluten, and dairy-free.
Hemp Hearts vs Hemp Seeds
Sometimes the terms hemp hearts and hemp seeds are used interchangeably. It is important to note they are different from each other.
Hemp seeds come from the Cannabis Sativa plant. They are similar to a nut or seed. They have a hard outer shell. The inside is soft and chewy. It can be likened to a sunflower seed.
What Are Hemp Hearts?
Hemp hearts is the name given to hemp seeds that are de-shelled or “hulled.” They are derived from the hemp plant called Cannabis sativa L. This is the same species of plant that makes marijuana.
However, hemp plants contain only about 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). So if you’re wondering can hemp get you high, the answer is no.
Hemp hearts are the tasty, chewy inside of the hemp seed shell. So they are not hard or crunchy. They do have a nice nutty flavor and a lot of nutrition.
Hemp Hearts Nutrition Info
This plant-based food offers a lot of nutrition. Just a small serving of these little hearts offers up a ton of nutrients. Here is a breakdown of the hemp hearts nutrition info. In just two tablespoons you get the following:
- 160 calories
- 9.2 grams of protein
- 3.5 grams of carbs
- 12.3 grams of fat
- 2.0 grams of fiber
- 1.0 gram of sugar
With its low carb and high-fat macros, hemp hearts are a food that is great for anyone on a low carb or keto diet.
In addition, the hemp hearts’ protein content is quite impressive for such a small serving size. So if you’re looking to amp up your protein intake, this food is a great addition.
Hemp hearts are a gluten-free food. It contains no dairy or animal products so it is also good for vegans and anyone who needs dairy-free foods.
Aside from its macros, hemp hearts are rich in vitamins and minerals. Just two tablespoons give you a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, iron, niacin, and B6. Hemp hearts are also high in magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and thiamin.
Hemp Hearts Benefits
Other hemp hearts benefits include its anti-inflammatory properties from omega 3 fatty acids and amino acids. These compounds can help with heart, brain, immune, and skin health. Its rich mineral content can also improve bone health.
What to Look for When Buying Hemp Hearts
Research into hemp hearts found that contamination during processing may increase the level of THC in certain products. So finding a company with good manufacturing standards is important. I also prefer to get a product that is organic and non-GMO.
Canada has a tightly regulated process to prevent cross-contamination of THC from cannabis.
How your hemp hearts are packaged is just as important as where they come from. Hemp hearts could oxidize somewhat between the shelling and packaging time. Look for hemp hearts sealed with nitrogen so they will stay fresher longer.
Look for a company that imports Canadian hemp hearts, has a facility to test products, and is sealed for freshness.
You can find all of these on Amazon*.
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How to Use Hemp Hearts in Cooking
While you can eat hemp hearts raw by the handful. I like to use them in cooking to add a dose of protein to my foods.
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack, hemp hearts are so versatile they can be added to any meal throughout the day.
Use them as a substitute for oats. Add unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, another non-dairy milk substitute, and your hemp hearts oatmeal is now a hearty breakfast porridge.
You can also hemp hearts to your smoothies and salads. Cook or bake them into your soups, entrees, and desserts.
Do Hemp Hearts Go Bad?
If you are wondering, do hemp hearts go bad? The answer is yes. The high-fat content in hemp hearts will go rancid after the package is opened.
So the way you store your hemp hearts is important if you want to prolong the shelf life. Keep them in a cool dark place. I recommend keeping them in the refrigerator after opening.
You can also put them in the freezer if you don’t think you’re gonna use them for a while. That will also keep them fresh for a little longer.
If they smell bad when you open them, throw them away.
Hemp Heart Recipes Roundup
Here is a roundup of 9 hemp heart recipes to try today.
This recipe uses hemp hearts to add some protein to a gluten-free muffin. It features almond flour, pumpkin puree, eggs, and cinnamon for that fall’s favorite taste. You can also swap in two chia eggs if you can’t have eggs.
She has put together a no sugar added PB&J Power bites featuring a kick of protein with hemp hearts. This recipe is great for breakfast or a snack to make ahead and have on the go.
It features spinach, hemp seeds, and orange juice. Between the spinach and hemp seeds, they provide plant-based protein and iron, which is great for vegetarians and vegans.
Side Effects of Hemp Hearts
One thing to consider is there are some side effects with the consumption of hemp hearts. There are no known specific interactions with hemp hearts but a high intake of this food could cause a risk of bleeding for people on anticoagulant medications.
Some people have experienced stomach issues when hemp hearts are eaten in large quantities. Getting enough water can help alleviate this problem.
Hemp allergy is another possible complication. It is rare but hemp hearts have been shown to cause anaphylaxis. So if you have an aversion it might be best to stay away from this food.
If you cannot have hemp hearts you can always sub in chia seeds as a replacement.
Get More Gluten Free Recipes
- Broccoli Potato Salad (Gluten and Dairy Free)
- Gluten Free Tabbouleh with Quinoa
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pancakes
- Creamy Garlic Purple Sweet Potato Salad
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