Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hemp Hearts

Featured Ingredient: Hemp Hearts

Let there be no doubt: I  heart hemp!

One of my favorite companies out there Manitoba Harvest recently rebranded their hemp seeds. They are now called hemp hearts. Why? Well, these little parcels of nutrition are the inner kernel (a.k.a. the heart) of the hemp seed.

Hemp seeds or hemp hearts. Regardless of names, they remain a staple in my daily bowl of yogurt and I’m making good use of them in recipes for my upcoming book. Here’s why you should too.

Protein power: With 10 grams in 3 tablespoons, hemp hearts contain more protein than most other seeds and nuts. What’s more, they contain a full arsenal of amino acids making them a complete protein source. If you’re a vegetartian shunning animal foods, hemp needs to be a part of your diet. Heck, I eat meat and I’m happy to load up on hemp protein.

Phat fats: Most health experts agree that our omega-6 to omega-3 ratio should be around 3:1, which is about what you will find in hemp hearts. Because of the glut of processed vegetable oils in our diets, most North Americans consume a diet with an excessive omega-6:omega-3 ratio that is thought to promote inflammation and chronic disease.

Marvelous magnesium: Hemp hearts are also loaded with magnesium - an often under consumed mineral shown to help slash the risk of diabetes by improving blood sugar control.

Truly tasty: Even if hemp hearts were not so nutritious, I’d still gobble them up for their toothsome nutty flavor.

Green with envy: Hearty hemp is one of the most sustainable crops out there as it grows easily without chemicals. Hemp foods are also never ever genetically modified.

Versatile: Sprinkle them on cereal, oatmeal, salads, stir-fry’s, soups and yogurt. Or work them into batters such as pancake, cookie and muffins. You can also try them in these hemp tarts.

Forget the grind: Unlike flax, hemp hearts do not need to be ground for proper absorption.

So there you have it. My rant on why hemp should be in your pantry. Is anyone else out there a hemp superfan?


  1. hi is hemp pot/weed/? whatever else you wanna call it can you pass a drug test if you use hemp weeds/hearts?thanks for the info
    Chef robert lamb
    ps ill be a super fan of hemp again in a year

  2. No, it comes from a different variety of plant than the happy one. The reason you can buy hemp food products in stores is because they don't contain any of the psychoactive substance so no worries with a drug test.

  3. Hi Matthew ~ I started using flax seed about six weeks ago for it's uhm, "smoothing qualities". I have to have iron therapy three times a week and that has brought on a nasty little side effect that I don't really care for. Do you find that hemp hearts act in the same way as flax seed? I'm also interested in the additional protein benefits that it offers. I found you through foodgawker and I want to thank you for posting such an informative article.

  4. Hi Lisa;

    Hemp hearts don't have the same levels of soluble and insoluble fiber as flax so probably wont be as effective at altering bathroom habits. However, I do believe hemp has higher levels of iron. I think you could benefit greatly by using a blend of the two in your diet.

  5. Wow! Sounds nutritious AND delicious! I plan to add some to your recipe for green smoothie cups. How much do you think would be a good amount to add?

  6. For that recipe, you could add up to 1/4 cup.


I love hearing from fellow muffin tin fans, so let me know what is on your mind.