Hemp Hearts are a new food to love that will love you right back. Delicious topping oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, cottage cheese, salads, soups and ice cream, Hemp Hearts are a delightful change of pace from other nuts and granola that you may normally use and are delightful as a snack on their own. They are also a complete vegetarian protein, like soybeans and quinoa, which means that you can simply eat a serving of Hemp Hearts and have your complete protein served right up. What is a complete protein, you ask? I went to FitSugar.com to find out:
Protein is essential for many bodily processes, including building and repairing tissue. You use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Plus, your hair and nails are mostly made up of protein. It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Protein is made of smaller components called amino acids, 12 of which are manufactured by the human body. Another 9, called essential amino acids, must be obtained from food.
A complete protein or whole protein is a protein that contains all of the essential amino acids.
All animal proteins are complete, including red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy. Vegetarians will be happy to know that complete proteins can also be obtained through certain plants, such as soy, spirulina, hemp seed, amaranth, buckwheat, and my fave quinoa.
Foods can be combined to make complete proteins like pairing beans with rice or corn. There are other combinations as well. Beans and seeds, beans and nuts, and beans and grains will form a complete protein. When you eat hummus and pita bread, nut butter on whole grain bread, pasta with beans, veggie burgers on bread, split pea soup with whole grain bread, and tortillas with refried beans, you are eating complete proteins.
But, with Hemp Seeds, you don’t have to pair anything, it’s complete on its own!
Ashley Koff’s Top Ten Reason for Eating Hemp Seeds (Hemp Hearts)
1. Hemp seeds (Hemp Hearts™) provide essential fatty acids (omega 6 & 3s) in nature’s intended balance (about 4:1); ‘essential’ means we need to get these from our food choices.
2. Hemp is never genetically modified and is grown sustainably, so better for you also means better for the environment.
3. Hemp protein is a complete vegetarian protein (like soybeans and quinoa).
4. Hemp protein, unlike other vegetarian proteins, is not a source of carbohydrate so it’s the perfect partner to all the healthy and delicious carbohydrate-rich plant foods like grains, fruits, and legumes.
5. Hemp’s essential fats includes the rare GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid), an omega 6 fatty acid, shown to support healthy hair, skin, nails and aid in optimal hormone balance.
6. Hemp is a good source of iron, a mineral that is especially important for prenatal nutrition, athletes, and children.
7. Hemp seeds do not require grinding, come already shelled, and are an excellent portable option for nutrition-on-the-go.
8. Hemp is versatile and can be consumed as a whole food (Hemp Hearts™), as an oil, as a protein powder, or as a dairy replacement (Hemp Bliss®).
9. Studies show that both your health as well as that of the environment benefit from reducing animal product consumption (source: The Meat Eater’s guide ewg.org), so you don’t have to be a vegan or even a vegetarian, but exchanging animal products for hemp when high quality animal options aren’t available is a great way to improve overall health.
10. Hemp that we consume is different than hemp the drug so there is no risk of “getting high” from hemp foods.
Fantastic Hemp Heart Recipes!
Breakfast: Hemp Pancakes
- · 1 cup of Hemp Hearts
- · 3 Tbsp. Hemp Seed Oil
- · 1 cup organic whole wheat flour
- · 2 teaspoons baking powder
- · 1 teaspoon baking soda
- · 1 teaspoon salt
- · 2 tablespoons honey (optional)
- · 4 eggs, slightly beaten
- · 1 cup plain organic yogurt
- · 1 cup water
- · 2 tablespoons vanilla
- · Berries (optional)
- Combine flour, Hemp Hearts, baking powder & soda, and salt in bowl.
- Combine eggs, yogurt, and water. Whisk in oil. Pour into dry ingredients. Use blender to mix to smooth consistency.
- Cook on (buttered) pan / griddle (medium heat). Cook until tops are bubbly – turn and cook until browned.
Lunch: Rosemary Oregano Noodle Salad
- · 1 cup zucchini noodles, from about 1/2 zucchini, spiralled
- · 1/2 cup diced tomato
- · 1/2 cup diced avocado, peeled and seeded
- · 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- · 1/8 teaspoon rosemary, dry
- · 1/4 teaspoon oregano, dry
- · 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Place all ingredients into a bowl. Toss to mix. To serve, transfer into bowl. Garnish with 2 tablespoons Hemp Hearts.
Appetizer: Hemp Stuffed Tomatoes
- · 15 small organic vine ripe tomatoes
- · 1 ½ cups of Hemp Hearts
- · 1 ¼ cups of firm tofu
- · 1 packet of choice chili seasoning
- · 2 tbsp. of fresh garlic
- Scoop tomatoes, save half of tomato flesh in bowl. Combine other ingredients in bowl thoroughly stuff tomatoes and serve.
Entree: Seared Salmon with Hemp Hearts, Radish Sprout & Watercress Salad
- · 2 salmon filets
- · 4 tbsp. Hemp Hearts
- · 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- · 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- · 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 cup sliced fennel
- · 1/2 cup chopped watercress 1 cup fresh radish sprouts, well rinsed salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Rinse and pat dry salmon filets. Rub lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place Hemp Hearts in a shallow dish and dip salmon filets in.
- Heat an ovenproof cast iron skillet over high heat for 3 minutes. Reduce to medium and place filets, seasoning side down, into the pan and allow them to cook for 2 minutes without moving them. Turn the filets over and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until the salmon is just cooked. Time may vary depending on thickness of the salmon.
- While salmon is in oven, in a small bowl whisk the mustard, juice, vinegar and salt. Add fennel, watercress and sprouts and lightly toss until combined. Put each filet on a dinner plate. Place a heaping handful of the salad on top of each of the salmon filets.
Entree: Hemp Veggie Burgers
- · 10 ounces soft tofu
- · 1 cup Hemp Hearts
- · 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- · 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
- · 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- · 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- · 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- · 2 cups herb seasoned stuffing
- In a blender, puree tofu. Then add the rest of the ingredients except stuffing. Put stuffing into a bowl and pour tofu mixture over top. Mix well. Form into burger patties and bake on a greased cookie sheet in a 300F oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Side Dish: Cheesy Red Pepper Dip
- · 1 extra large red bell pepper (or 2 regular sized)
- · 1 heaping cup Hemp Hearts
- · 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- · 1/4 cup lemon juice
- · 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. mild curry powder
- · 1/4 cup water
- Pile ingredients in a high speed blender, and begin mixing (you’ll want to use the plunger!). Liquid in the dressing will vary based on the pepper you use. If you find that your dip is super thick, simply add water as you go along.
- Use dip as a spread on sandwiches, as a crudité dip or as a salad dressing.