Hemp seeds are not only edible, but they are also highly nutritious. They go under the name of superfood, along with the more celebrated chia and flax seeds. That is how high and balanced their nutritional quality is. And, no – they will not give anyone a high, so it’s absolutely alright to consume hemp seeds.
Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a cousin of the narcotic cannabis, also known as marijuana – true. They both belong to the same plant species Cannabis Sativa L – true. So, hemp is also psychoactive like marijuana – false.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical compound responsible for the psychoactive properties of marijuana or cannabis. Cannabis is a prohibited drug as it has a high concentration of THC: 7.5 to 10% or higher. That is why it has mind-altering properties.
In contrast, THC concentration in hemp is around 0.3% only. That makes it free from the psychoactive properties of its plant kin. Consuming hemp seeds will not produce any psychoactive effects. Nor will anyone fail a drug test because of that.
But yes, to consume hemp seeds as a dietary supplement will certainly bring anyone several health benefits. Why have we never known about hemp seeds till recently, then? To cut a long story short, because the crucial difference between hemp and cannabis got overlooked.
A plant in human use since ancient times for its versatility got prohibited in the 20th century as a result. Good sense has returned in the new millennium, and governments across the globe have started decriminalizing this plant with amazing qualities. That is why hemp has entered public discourse only recently.
About Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are light to dark brown in color and are fully edible in both hulled and dehulled states. Hulled hemp seeds have their shells intact, while dehulled hemp seeds have their shells removed. Also known as hemp hearts, dehulled hemp seeds are light green in color.
The US Department of Agriculture mentions that every 100 grams of hulled hemp seeds contain 553 kilocalories of energy and 31.56 grams of protein. Hemp seeds constitute one of the most complete plant proteins as they contain all the 10 necessary amino acids that the human body needs.
Hemp seeds are often called nature’s most balanced vegetarian food source because of the proportions in which they contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Both these polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are necessary for human health.
Three portions of omega 6 to one portion of omega 3 fatty acids constitute the ideal proportions for human beings. Hemp seeds contain these two PUFAs in that exact ratio. Also, these wonder seeds are very low in the harmful fat content and contain no cholesterol at all.
They are rich in vitamin A and E, as also in several essential minerals. Dehulled or shelled hemp seeds retain much of the nutritional value of their hulled counterpart, except the fiber content. In both versions, hemp seeds are remarkably versatile. We present here some of the most creative ways to consume hemp seeds.
How to Consume Hemp Seeds Innovatively
Hemp seeds are really nuts. Hulled or dehulled, you can always just sprinkle them on your salad and mix them with your breakfast cereal. They will not only add a nutty flavor and a crunchy taste, but a healthy supply of essential nutrients also.
However, there are other, more creative ways of consuming them.
Love the look of milkshakes, but lactose intolerant, or vegan by choice? Lament no longer. Just blend some hemp hearts with water. Throw in your favorite fruits: banana, black currant, pineapple, pomegranate, strawberries – take your pick. All you need to do is to put them in your blender.
Adjust the water quantity as per the consistency of your preference. Switch your blender on. Fruity in taste and flavor, your very own hemp smoothie will be ready in a matter of minutes. You could add some coconut milk to give your smoothie a tropical twist.
Love coffee, but worried about the caffeine effect? If you are willing to compromise just a little on the aroma of pure coffee, we present a solution here. Lightly roast some hulled hemp seeds and mix them with your coffee beans. Grind them together and make your coffee.
You’ll have a nut-flavored coffee with reduced caffeine. A healthy supply of several essential nutrients will be a bonus.
Love a cuppa now and then? Mix some hemp hearts with your tea leaves when you soak it. Readymade hemp tea is also available in the market in different flavors. However, if you are partial to your own preferred tea leaf, you certainly don’t need to give up on it.
If you soak some hemp hearts along with your favorite tea leaves, you’ll have your own unique tea. The aroma of your preferred tea, along with the nutritional goodness of hemp hearts. A mildly nutty flavor in your tea is undoubtedly a minor compromise only.
Hemp Seed Hummus
Yes, it is possible and quite quickly. If you already know how to make hummus at home, then there is only one additional detail for you. Throw in some hemp hearts along with your other ingredients. If you don’t, follow any one of the million recipe demonstrations available on the internet – but do add the hemp hearts.
Adding the dehulled hemp seeds will add much nutritional goodness to your hummus. You can even replace the oil with hemp seeds. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that the creaminess does not suffer at all.
There is almond butter and peanut butter. Now, there is also hemp butter. Readymade hemp butter is available in the online marketplace. You can also make your own seeds special butter using chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds,
You need to roast the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. But you can add the chia seeds and hemp hearts just like that. A food processor, some salt and/or sugar to taste – as per your preference – that is all you need. We recommend sea salt.
Hemp Seed Granolas
Dates boiled and softened in maple syrup mixed with hemp hearts and oats make delicious and healthy granolas. You can buy them, of course, but why not try making them at home?
Break the dates with a fork or the back of a spoon once you’ve softened them.
Then mix all the ingredients, bake them, cool them, break them into small pieces, and store them. Remember to store them in an airtight container. You can add almonds if there is no nut allergy problem. The average baking time would be 20-25 minutes.
Hemp Seed Energy Bars
Yes, they are available in the online marketplace. Sorry, we do not have a recipe for this one. Buying them is so much easier!
Hemp Protein Powder
This is one of the most popular ways to consume hemp seeds. Readily available in the online marketplace, this is a super source of complete protein for vegans and vegetarians with lactose intolerance.
Hemp Hearts for Bread Crumbs
Hemp hearts make a great substitute for breadcrumbs for those with gluten allergies. They are a lot more nutritious, anyway.
Mixing hemp flour with regular flour or whole wheat flour, or with any other flour for that matter, immediately increases the nutritional value.
Hemp Hearts for Chicken or Fish
Sprinkle some hemp hearts on your baked chicken or fish dish. Feel the difference in the crunchy texture. The nutrients will be a pure bonus.
Savory Hemp Meal
Everyone cooks oats porridge. Ever tried a delicious oatmeal? Don’t bother. Try one with hemp hearts instead. Cook it porridge style with salt to taste. Add veggies and other goodies for taste enhancement. Some garlic paste will increase the flavor quotient if you like garlic. Don’t forget to sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper before serving/eating.
Coarse Grind Hulled Hemp Seeds
Whole hemp seeds have the fiber advantage over hemp hearts. Coarsely ground whole hemp seeds add a crunchy texture and a nutty flavor when sprinkled on just about anything. Try it.
Hemp Seed Cookies
You can bake them at home or buy them. One of the healthiest munchies you can think of.
Hulled Hemp Seeds for Alfredo
Increase the health outcome of your alfredo sauce by leaps and bounce. Substitute the butter and parmesan cheese with hulled hemp seeds ground in a high-speed blender with lime juice and yeast.
Hemp Seeds for Vegan Meatballs
It does sound like a misnomer, but you can actually make the most delicious meatball-type food using hemp hearts, lentils, and quinoa. Not an issue if you want to throw in some other seeds as well.
Hemp Hearts for Muffins
Make your muffins the way you do. Just add some hemp hearts for extra nutrition.
Hemp Hearts for Puddings
You can add hemp hearts to any nutty pudding you make. Or you can substitute hemp milk for the dairy milk in your pudding.
Hemp Hearts for Salad Dressing
Blend hemp hearts, yogurt, garlic, black pepper powder, and parsley or cilantro to make a mouth-watering salad dressing that is healthy, too.
Hemp Hearts for Basil Pesto
Substitute the pine nuts with hemp hearts to make your basil pesto considerably more
Hemp ale and hemp vodka are now available in the USA!