As far as the world of nuts and seeds go, hemp is the straight-A student! It is a nutritional powerhouse, representing one of the most valuable plant-based sources of protein alongside a pleasantly nutty flavour and so many different uses. Here’s how and why you should include hemp in your diet, if you’re not already…
Hemp’s Nutritional Value
First and foremost, hemp has long been prized for its super rich content of plant-based protein (over 30% total protein), with almost double the amount of protein compared to chia seeds or flaxseeds. Hemp also packs in all nine essential amino acids that we need to ingest through dietary sources, since the body cannot produce them naturally.
We not only love hemp for its amino acid & protein profile, but also because it’s rich in important omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids i.e. the healthy fats that our bodies need for various health benefits including brain function, eye health, heart health, and naturally glowing skin. Being the richest known source of these polyunsaturated fats, hemp hearts are made up of the perfect 3:1 ratio of omega-6:omega-3. This balance of omega-3 to -6 can be considered the harmonious proportion for optimal human nutritional benefits.
With a similar look to sesame seeds and a similar taste to pine nuts, hemp hearts (or hemp seeds) are often referred to as the world’s most nutritious seed. Hemp protein offers similar health benefits to hemp hearts, being made from the seeds of the hemp plant. As with hemp hearts, hemp protein has the complete amino acid profile, including all three naturally occurring branched-chain amino acids for efficient uptake of protein by the body. Unlike some other proteins, hemp protein is non-bloating due to its rich content of dietary fibre and digestive enzymes.
How to Include Hemp in Your Diet
Hemp hearts have a soft texture and subtle, fresh aroma. With a light, slightly creamy and nutty flavour, they are a delicious and healthy addition to sweet and savoury dishes alike.
Eating hemp hearts can be as simple as sprinkling a spoonful or two into smoothies or on top of cereal, yoghurt, salads or roast veggies.
Other ideas include…
– People with gluten sensitivity can use hemp seeds as a substitute for breadcrumbs to coat chicken or fish.
– Just like you can blend almonds and water to make almond milk, you can do the same with hemp seeds to make hemp seed mylk, which you can use as an alternative to dairy milk in drinks and recipes.
– Make brownies – use the hemp protein powder to whip up these tasty bites.
– If you’re thinking a little outside of the box then add hemp hearts to your homemade vegan cheese, such as this Brazil Nut Parmesan.
Because of its nutty flavour, hemp seeds also make a great substitute for people with nut allergies. You can dry-toast them over low heat to bring out even more of that delightful nuttiness. When using hemp hearts in cooking or baking, it is best to stick with raw recipes or those at very low temperatures to hold the integrity of all the seed’s amazing nutrients.
Hemp protein can be enjoyed blended through smoothies, acai bowls, porridge, granola and muesli. As with hemp hearts, you can even add it into homemade nut cheeses and pestos for a seedy protein hit. Include a tablespoon in recipes for bliss balls, energy bars, muffins and loaves. Anywhere you consume other protein powders, hemp protein can be substituted.
GoodFor’s Hemp Options
Hemp Hearts: Our Hemp Hearts are a super popular option from our range of nuts & seeds, providing pure, unrefined nutrition. Hemp hearts have been removed from their hard shell to create a 100% raw culinary product that tastes simply delicious. Our hemp hearts are NZ grown and spray-free.
Hemp Protein: Our Hemp Protein is a unique plant-based option from our protein range, often overlooked but growing in popularity as people learn more about the incredible array of health benefits. It can be used as a substitute for all other types of proteins and will provide your body with a significant hit of energy, vitality and plenty of important vitamins and minerals.