Uses and Health Benefits of Eating Hemp Seeds
The hemp seeds you can pick up at your local grocery store come from the same hemp plant renowned for its durable fiber. The seeds of the hemp plant, also known as hemp nuts, are edible. Along with being eaten just as they are, hemp seeds are used in a growing number of food products that can be added to other dishes, including hemp milk, hemp butter, hemp protein and even hemp tofu.
Nutritional Benefits of Hemp Seed
Hemp is considered one of the world’s most nutritious plants. The seeds contain all of the essential amino acids, making them an ideal source of protein for vegans and raw foodists. The essential fatty acids (both Omega-3s and Omega-6s) are abundant in hemp seeds and come in a ratio that is highly beneficial to humans. Magnesium, iron, and potassium are in good supply along with fiber. Some of hemp seed’s supply of antioxidants comes from its vitamin E content.
Culinary Uses of Hemp Seed
Hemp seeds are used in many packaged products, usually found in health food stores. Some of these products, such as hemp milk and ground hemp flour, are relatively simple to make at home from the seeds. Other products are not so easily replicated such as hemp oil, hemp ice cream, and hemp protein powder. Hemp has a slightly nutty flavor, perhaps best comparable to pine nuts, but of course, the texture is quite different.
How to Use Hemp Seeds
Try sprinkling hemp seeds over a salad or as a topping on granola, puddings, or other desserts. Frequently sold as a superfood, hemp seeds can be added to smoothies both at home and in many cafes and juice bars. They can also be used in baking and cooking, though the nutritional content is at its highest in its raw state.
More Reasons Why You Should Eat Hemp
If you care about the environment and sustainable living, you should definitely be a fan of eating hemp products and hemp seeds! Hemp is widely considered to be among the most sustainable plants on the planet. It doesn’t deplete the soil, as some crops can, and it can easily be cultivated in a variety of places. Hemp grows quickly and is quite hardy as a plant, able to withstand disease and pests.
Here's everything you need to know about hemp seeds, a superfood that's packed full of proteins, making it popular for vegetarians and vegans.
Three Ways to Eat More Hemp
Hemp seeds are considered a superfood, packed with plant-based protein and a nutrient-rich profile that includes fibre, minerals, healthy fats and vitamins. They are allergen-free and hemp is sustainable to grow.
For those looking to increase the protein content in their diet, hemp seeds are an excellent option. More than 25% of hemp seeds’ total calories is from high-quality protein, compared to chia seeds and flaxseeds whose calories are 16-18% protein.
But how to eat more hemp? Here are three ways!
1) Hemp seeds – shelled or whole
Hemp seeds are small brown seeds which come from the hemp plant and have a slightly nutty flavour. They come in a hard hull or shell.
The seeds can be eaten whole, with the shell left on, and add a lovely crunch to recipes such as our vegan flapjack. Some people also separate the seed from the hull, and then grind up the hull into a fibre-rich powder that can then be used in food.
In some parts of the world, whole hemp seeds are roasted and eaten as a popular snack, like popcorn, often sold from street-food stands in bags or cones.
However, for convenience, many people opt for shelled hemp seeds, also called hemp hearts, where the shell has already been removed. Shelled hemp seeds are softer in texture and paler in colour.
The Hemp Pantry sells delicious organic shelled hemp seeds and these can be enjoyed in a number of ways. They can be eaten raw, baked or toasted.
Here are a few ideas:
· Sprinkled on salads
Add a tablespoon of hemp hearts to just about any salad to enhance its superfood credentials.
A favourite is a fresh and colourful tabbouleh salad with parsley, tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, olive oil, bulgur wheat, pomegranates and hemp hearts.
Hemp seeds can also be used to make hummus and dips.
· Mixed with granola or cereal
A healthy, protein-rich breakfast kickstarts your day and fuels you all morning.
Why not add hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds to your favourite vegan granola, top with fruit and coconut yoghurt for a delicious and filling first meal of the day.
· Added to soups and stews
A few hemp seeds can be added to any soup or stew, whether cooked from scratch or shop-bought, to improve the healthy nutrient profile.
Brighten up your lunch with our bright-green vegan pea, mint and hemp soup.
· In cakes and bakes
Hemp seeds can be an ingredient in cakes and bakes recipes. For inspiration, see our flapjack recipe.
As they have a slightly nutty flavour, they can be used in place of nuts in many recipes. They can be included in cakes, such as carrot or banana, in muffins and in energy bars for an extra shot of protein.
· With pasta
Hemp seeds can be sprinkled on top of pasta, or used as a key component of the sauce.
Make some hemp pesto or add hemp seeds to our vegan bechamel sauce recipe with some vegan cheese for a moreish creamy pasta.
· To make delicious bread
Hemp seeds work perfectly in bread recipes, adding a delicious nutty taste and complementing other seeds.
Spread our vegan butter alternative Veurre® on warm hemp bread as a perfect accompaniment to soup.
· As a dairy milk substitute
Shelled hemp seeds can also be used to make hemp milk, which is a great dairy-free alternative to milk.
Simply blend 100g shelled hemp seeds with 1 litre of water. There’s no need to filter it and it will last up to five days in the fridge. It has a mild nutty flavour and perfect to use on your morning cereal.
For a toasty flavour and more of a crunch, you can toast hemp seeds in a frying pan or in the oven.
The browned seeds can then be added to salads, soups, eaten as they are, or used as an ingredient in baking and cooking.
Hemp seeds are very versatile and can even be enjoyed in sweet treats – they are a key ingredient in our mouth-wateringly good vegan fudge which comes in five flavours from lemon drizzle to chocolate.
2) Hemp seed oil
Hemp seed oil is made from pressing hemp seeds. It is not the same as CBD oil which comes from the flowers, stalks and leaves of the hemp plant.
Hemp seed oil is packed with healthy polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. It contains a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids, which is considered the ideal ratio. For this reason, it has been dubbed ‘nature’s most perfectly balanced oil’.
The Hemp Pantry’s organic cold-pressed hemp seed oil has a mild nutty, slightly grassy flavour. It’s a light-green oil that is perfect for drizzling over salads, vegetables and soups. It can also be used to make salad dressings, dips and pesto.
Hemp seed oil can also be applied topically like olive oil or coconut oil to nourish the hair and skin.
One thing that’s not recommended is frying with it. Hemp seed oil has a low smoke point which means it starts to burn at a lower temperature than other vegetable oils.
3) Hemp protein powder
Whole hemp seeds that have been pressed to remove the oil are then grinded into a fine powder.
This fine powder is considered a complete protein source as it contains all nine essential amino acids. These cannot be made in the body and can only come from food.
Essential amino acids perform a number of vital roles in our body including in our nervous, reproductive, immune and digestive systems. They are also widely known for their role in muscle repair and development.
The Hemp Pantry’s organic hemp protein powder contains 50% protein and has a natural, earthy, slightly nutty flavour. For a massive protein hit, add hemp protein powder to smoothies and shakes, cakes and bakes, porridge and cereals. See our vegan berry and hemp smoothie recipe for a fresh and fruity drink.
We add hemp protein powder to our tasty Kakaoboll. These bite-sized cacao, coffee and oat balls are inspired by the traditional Swedish sweet treat. They are perfect for a mid-morning snack, a before-during-or-after workout energy boost or to satisfy a sweet craving.
Eat more healthy hemp
Brimming with protein, fibre, healthy fats, minerals and vitamins, it’s no surprise that hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, and hemp protein powder are popular choices for those on plant-based, vegan, protein-rich or healthy diets.
Delicious and versatile, hemp can be eaten at every meal of the day, including in snacks and drinks!
To check out our hemp-based, organic vegan products, including shelled hemp seeds, hemp seed oil and hemp protein powder, please visit our online shop.
Hemp seeds are considered a superfood, packed with plant-based protein and a nutrient-rich profile that includes fibre, minerals, healthy fats and vitamins. But how to eat more hemp? Here are three ways!