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hulled vs shelled hemp seeds

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.

· Toasted

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.

· Confectionary

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!

Hemp Hearts vs. Hemp Seeds: What’s the Difference?

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Hemp seeds are a superfood. With a serious amount of all the right nutrients and fiber, a serving of these super seeds not only nourishes your body but also helps keep your gut healthy.

However, while there’s no doubting their nutritional value and health benefits, it can be tricky to decide which form of hemp seeds are best. As far as that goes, you have two options – hemp seeds and hemp hearts. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they’re two different things. Despite sharing an origin, both forms of hemp seed have different implications for consumers.

So, should you buy hemp seeds or hemp hearts?

Hemp Hearts vs. Hemp Seeds: Which One is Good for You?

For an exhaustive hemp hearts vs. hemp seeds comparison, let’s take a look at how both forms stack up on the following merits:

1. Appearance

A mature hemp plant produces brown kernel-sized hard seeds with a crunchy exterior. When people talk about hemp seed, they’re generally referring to the whole seed with the exterior intact.

Removing the crunchy outer shell, also called hulling, exposes the soft inner kernels with a white to light green color – which is known as the hemp hearts. Hemp hearts may also be referred to as shelled hemp seed, hulled hemp seed, or hemp nut.

Essentially, the main difference between hemp hearts and hemp seeds is the presence (or lack of) of the outer shell.

2. Ease of Consumption

Both hemp hearts and hemp seeds are edible, but the ease of consumption varies. For many, the hulled seeds are easier to consume than hemp seeds because they don’t come with the crunchy, fibrous outer layer.

What’s more, the remains of the hull tend to stick between teeth when eating, which is quite uncomfortable for many. Therefore, the main reason for hulling hemp seeds is to make them more appealing and palatable.

For a better understanding, consider the processing of wheat to make bread. Bleaching wheat to create white bread removes lots of nutrients. If the whole wheat grain is more nutritious than white bread, why do bakers still process it? Simple: white bread is more visibly appealing, softer, and easier to consume.

The same analogy applies to whole hemp seeds and hemp hearts.

3. Fiber Content

While hemp hearts are easier to consume and more visually appealing, whole hemp seeds have more fiber content. They contain 20% soluble and 80% insoluble fiber, both of which are important for a healthy gut.

Soluble fiber forms a thick gel-like fluid in the digestive system that serves as an important source of nutrients for the “good” digestive bacteria. It’s also linked to reducing high blood sugar and regulating cholesterol levels.

Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, makes it easier for food and waste material to pass through the digestive system. Research studies have also linked consuming insoluble fiber to reducing the risk of diabetes.

The main reason why whole hemp seeds contain more fiber is the presence of the outer shell. When you remove the hull to expose hemp hearts, you eliminate an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, something that modern processed foods are typically low on.

If you have been having issues with your gut and would like a gentle way to cleanse it, consider taking hemp seeds instead of hemp hearts.

4. Nutritional Value

There isn’t much difference when it comes to the nutritional value of hemp seeds and hemp hearts since they have similar nutrient composition. Both hemp seed forms contain protein, vitamins, all the known essential amino acids, minerals, as well as Omega 6, Omega 3, and Omega 9 fatty acids.

The only difference is that whole hemp seeds have more fiber and minerals, both of which exist primarily in the hull. However, that doesn’t mean hemp hearts don’t have any fiber and minerals. They do, but only in smaller amounts.

How to Consume Hemp Seeds and Hemp Hearts

You can find both of these hemp seed forms at your nearest grocery store. To enjoy the full health benefits of these seeds, here are some of the best ways to consume each form:

Consuming Hemp Hearts

Hulled hemp seeds are ideal in situations where chewiness is preferred to crunchiness. Removing the outer fibrous hull doesn’t just make the seed’s texture softer, it also makes the “meat” of the seed more accessible for chewing. This part of the seed has the highest concentration of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and protein.

Manufactures can use hemp hearts to garnish yogurts and dips as well as blend into nutrition bars and baked foods. If you prefer some flavor, these products can be a fun way to enjoy the nutritional value of hemp hearts. You can also sprinkle hemp hearts on other foods such as yogurt, smoothies, cereal, or use it as a coating substitute for breadcrumbs on fish or chicken.

Consuming Hemp Seeds

With the outer fibrous shell intact, toasted hemp seeds provide an entirely different eating experience compared to their hulled counterparts. The shell makes them crunchy and more fibrous, which some people like.

Before consuming whole hemp seeds, it’s important to sterilize them through toasting, which adds some flavor to the seeds without compromising on the seed’s nutritional value.

Due to their crunchiness, toasted whole hemp seeds generally have fewer applications compared to their hulled seeds. You can eat them as they are (if you don’t mind the crunchiness) or grind them into flour and mix with other ingredients.

Hemp Hearts vs. Hemp Seeds: Which Should You Buy?

Ultimately, the winner of the hemp hearts vs. hemp seeds debate will depend on your personal preferences and needs.

If you’re looking to add fiber into your diet for a healthier gut, whole hemp seed is a more suitable choice. On the other hand, hulled hemp seeds are ideal for anybody looking for extra versatility in terms of consumption.

For more information on the health benefits of hemp, browse our blog and subscribe to our email list today.

Hemp hearts and hemp seeds aren’t the same things. Check out this hemp hearts vs. hemp seeds comparison guide to know which one is good for you.