More and more people are finding a place for hemp in their kitchen. Hemp protein powder is a great way to fuel your body after a workout. Hempseed oil can be used to make dressings and vinaigrettes for superfood salads. Hemp hearts, their lesser-known companion, adds a little bit of crunch and texture to many of your favorite dishes while adding a healthy boost of omega fats and fiber.
If you like to add poppy seeds or crushed nuts to your banana bread or lemon muffins, it may feel tempting to replace them with hemp hearts. Hemp hearts serve the same purpose, but they’re much more nutritionally robust.
Before you mix them into your batter and preheat the oven, here’s what you need to know about baking with hemp hearts.
What Is a Hemp Heart?
Artichoke hearts, celery hearts, romaine hearts, and hearts of palm are the crunchy centers of a vegetable. This sometimes leads people to believe that a hemp heart would be a leafy piece of the center of a hemp plant. It’s a logical assumption to make, but that’s not what hemp hearts are.
Hemp hearts are shelled hemp seeds. These tiny little seeds are a lot like sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or chia seeds, and can be used in many of the same ways. Upon first glance, they resemble quinoa. They’re tiny little off-white pieces, often split in half. They have a very crunchy texture and an earthy, nutty flavor similar to pine nuts.
Do Hemp Hearts Contain CBD?
Hemp plants create cannabinoids as they grow. After the seed germinates and eventually becomes a full-fledged plant, it uses the sun, water, and nutrients in the soil to produce and convert cannabinoids like CBD, as it needs them to grow and fulfill its biological functions as a plant.
Hemp seeds have never been sprouted and have not had the opportunity to produce cannabinoids, so hemp hearts do not contain any CBD.
Hemp hearts work to support your wellness through nutrition, and CBD oil works to support your wellness via your endocannabinoid system. They’re both great ingredients, but they do two completely different things (but you can use both to experience all the incredible things hemp has to offer your body).
Looking to get the best of both worlds? evo hemp makes hemp hearts infused with CBD. Sprinkle them on top of your smoothie bowl — it’s a breakfast hack that feeds your body and your mind at the same time.
Are Hemp Hearts Good for You?
A single three-tablespoon serving of hemp hearts packs a lot of nutrition into a very small package.
Technically, eating a spoonful of plain hemp seeds would be doing your body a favor:
- 170 calories
- 10 grams of healthy omega fats
- 10 grams of protein
- 3 grams of carbohydrates (0 grams net carbs)
- 3 grams of fiber
- 20% daily iron
- 20% daily zinc
- 25% daily thiamin
- 45% daily phosphorous
- 45% daily magnesium
- 110% daily manganese
- Small amounts of calcium, vitamin B6, and potassium
If you’re looking to improve the nutritional content of plain, simple foods like yogurt or oatmeal, hemp hearts are the simplest solution. Even if you only add half the recommended serving size, you’re still getting a substantial amount of vital nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
From a nutritional perspective, hemp hearts are outstanding — they get all the gold stars and all the blue ribbons. Finding ways to incorporate hemp hearts into a healthy diet is good common sense, especially if you’re looking to replace nutritionally empty foods with foods that fuel your body.
Can You Bake with Hemp Hearts?
Hemp hearts and hemp seed oil are nutritionally valuable, but very fragile. Hemp cannot withstand temperatures higher than 350 degrees Fahrenheit. High heat destroys the nutrients, effectively making them no different from any other oil or seeds.
While you can technically bake with hemp hearts, it somewhat defeats the purpose of choosing such a nutritionally loaded ingredient.
The best way to fuel your body with hemp’s healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber is to use hemp products raw. Cooking hemp hearts will always result in a loss, and it can be difficult to calculate exactly how great that loss will be.
If you’re focused on your wellness and you like to keep track of your intake, it isn’t worth taking the gamble of heating your hemp hearts.
Hemp protein powder may be an exception to this rule in certain circumstances, particularly if protein content is your biggest nutritional concern.
Can You Bake With Hemp Protein Powder?
People looking to make more health-conscious dessert choices often add protein powder to their baked goods to increase their nutritional value. It’s easy to justify incorporating a sweet snack if it also helps you meet your daily macros.
Great plant-based protein can be hard to find. If you’re vegan or simply looking to use more plant-based products, you’ll find that hemp protein powder is the perfect solution. With 27 grams of protein per 4 tbsp serving, hemp protein powder comes out ahead of the majority of plant-based protein products.
If you want to bake your own protein bars or protein muffins, use hemp protein powder. Substituting a small amount of flour for protein powder will incorporate protein and nutrients into your baked goods without significantly changing the texture.
Baked goods with protein powder have a tendency to be a little denser than their full-flour counterparts, but they’ll still satisfy your sweet craving.
(Alternatively, you can always opt for hemp protein bars for portable, sweet, protein-rich deliciousness!)
Using Hemp Hearts in Your Baked Goods
It’s easier to add hemp hearts to your baked goods after they’ve already been cooked.
- You can make muffins, banana bread, cookies, or brownies and save your hemp hearts for the topper.
- You can combine hemp hearts with maple syrup, agave nectar, molasses, or honey and drizzle it on top of your baked goods. The sticky sweetness will combine with the earthy crunch of the hemp hearts to add more texture and depth of flavor to your baked goods.
- Hemp hearts can also be mixed into butters, jams, or frostings that you can use to finish off your baked goods.
- They can also be sprinkled over the top of baked goods with crunchy crusts, like fruit cobblers. You could use hemp hearts the exact same way you’d use sprinkles, crushed nuts, granola, or graham cracker crumbles.
Making No-Bake Treats With Hemp Hearts
If you’re looking for a simple solution, you can frost your baked goods with a thin layer of nut butter or seed butter and sprinkle on a tablespoon or two of hemp hearts.
- For a quick sweet snack, try toasting up a slice of cinnamon raisin bread, topping it off with chocolate almond butter, and sprinkling a pinch of hemp hearts on top.
- If you prefer savory snacks, use hemp hearts on your avocado toast. It can take the place of everything bagel seasoning.
- If you’re willing to put in a little more work, you can add hemp hearts to almost any recipe for no-bake protein bars, energy balls, or trail mix.
- You can toss hemp hearts into salads or rice dishes for a little extra crunch.
You can toss hemp hearts into smoothies, oatmeal, smoothie bowls, acai bowls, or protein pudding the same way you’d use chia seeds or crushed nuts. This gives your hemp hearts an opportunity to shine.
Mushy foods are often boring to eat due to their lack of texture. Hemp seeds fix this problem very quickly. They might be the key to motivating you to eat a healthier breakfast. Try incorporating them with different fruits or berries and tossing them into your bowl.
Not everyone enjoys crunchy textures, either — especially if they have braces, veneers, dental crowns, or sensitive teeth. If you’re not fond of the crunchy texture of hemp hearts, put them in a wet dish. You can add hemp hearts to soup or overnight oats. They’ll soak up the liquid in the dish and soften up, especially if you allow them to sit for a prolonged period of time.
Cooking With Hemp Hearts
You can prepare meals with hemp hearts without sacrificing their nutritional value as long as the recipes use little to no heat.
- You can use hemp hearts in place of pine nuts to make pesto. If you wanted to take things one step further, you could replace the olive oil with hemp seed oil to make hemp pesto. Serve it over pasta or use it as a sandwich spread.
- You can use the same technique to make hemp hummus by adding cooked chickpeas into your blender with garlic, herbs, and hemp hearts. Swap out chickpeas for Greek yogurt and add in some fresh dill to make your own hemp tzatziki.
- If you’d rather get right down to business, toss hemp seeds into your food processor with a sprinkle of salt. Slowly add olive oil until a paste forms. That’s all it takes to make homemade hemp butter you can use in place of other seed or nut butters.
evo hemp’s Philosophy
Hemp is one of the greatest foods on earth. We use Native American grown hemp to make hemp seed oil, CBD products, hemp protein, hemp hearts, hemp bars, hemp chocolate — you name it. There’s no shortage of uses for hemp in your health and wellness routine, and evo hemp can make it easy for you to incorporate it there.