Hemp seeds are a nutritious, tasty addition to every recipe. They have a mild but nutty taste that’s somewhere between a sunflower seed and a pine nut. As for nutrients: you’ll get protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and all nine essential amino acids.
If you’re unsure how to cook with hemp seeds, you have lots of options, and most of them are easy. Stick around for a full rundown on how to buy, cook, and store them, plus hemp seed nutrition.
Where To Buy Hemp Seeds
Long before hemp-derived products went on the upswing, cannabinoid-free, denatured hemp seeds were available to buy at specialty shops and large grocers, alike. Here are some places to shop:
- Natural grocers
- Health food stores
- Farmer’s Markets
Ask for Hulled Seeds, aka Hemp Hearts
Look for hulled seeds, otherwise known as “hemp hearts.”
Hemp hearts have the same or greater amount of protein and essential fatty acids than seeds with intact shells.
If you choose to buy in bulk, you may encounter hemp seeds with intact shells. Skip them. The process of hulling is time-consuming and restrictive for individuals. You want what’s inside.
Beware of clear packaging. Exposure to sunlight quickly degrades hemp hearts and their nutritional value. A quality brand will use opaque packaging.
Besides opacity, try to ignore branding trickery. Look at the net weight and estimated nutritional value. Or, ask a salesperson which brand they prefer and which has the best quality control.
An Underrated Source of Nutrition
Pound-for-pound, Hemp seeds contain more protein than chicken and beef. How about the respected and protein-packed almond? Nothing compared to the hemp seed’s nutrition profile.
You get a full dose of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids at 3 to 1 ratio. At this ratio, omega fatty acids support healthy levels of cholesterol. “Fatty” acids don’t make a fatty. Quite the opposite.
Rich In Vitamins & Minerals
Hemp seeds contain all nine essential amino acids, organic compounds that our bodies need but produce naturally in short supply.
Essential amino acids combine to form proteins. Proteins, in turn, regulate the structure and function of cells and impact virtually every bodily function. It’s complex. But you need proteins.
The top hemp seed minerals and vitamins are:
- Vitamin E
Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds
Benefits range from cardiovascular health to digestive health. Here’s the short list.
Support Healthy Cardiovascular Function
One of those amino acids that’s plentiful in the hemp seed — arginine — has been linked to supporting normal and healthy heart function.
According to one study from the journal Nutrition, “Individuals may be able to lower their risk for cardiovascular disease by consuming more arginine-rich foods.”
Promote Healthy Inflammatory Responses
The presence of omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) means that hemp hearts have anti-inflammatory properties.
Aid Digestive Health
Because hemp seeds are unusually high in fiber, integrating them into your diet can lead to improved digestive health and support healthy blood sugar levels.
How to Cook with Hemp Seeds
The best way to add hemp hearts to your diet is straightforward: sprinkle them on anything, including yogurt, cereal, salads, or toast. Two heaping spoonfuls for
For folks with nut allergies, hemp seeds are a perfect substitute for walnuts or almonds. They taste mildly-nutty and natural. The texture is pleasantly crunchy, but never overpowering to any fresh dish.
Get Extra Flavor By Doing This
You can increase that nutty flavor by toasting your hemp seeds. Just toss them in a skillet and cook them over low heat.
Ideal for Gluten Sensitivities
Seeds can also be used as a breadcrumb replacement to coat fish or chicken, ideal for those of us with gluten sensitivity.
Hemp Seed Oil: A Great Finisher for Lots of Foods
Note that hemp seed oil is not the same as full-spectrum hemp oil or CBD oil, which come from the flowers of the cannabis plant. Hemp seed oil is extracted by cold-pressing, made in much the same way as olive oil.
Drizzle hemp seed oil over potatoes or grilled vegetables, or incorporate it into a salad dressing, or even a smoothie or shake.
Just don’t cook hemp seed oil. It will lose its nutrients, especially the essential amino acids which break down at high temperatures.
Rules for Proper Storage
Once you’ve opened a package, keep it in an airtight container to extend their shelf life. If you refrigerate hemp seeds, you can expect them to last for about a year before going bad. Stored at room temperature, they’ll last three to four months.
Omega fatty acids will eventually break down. Like all foods, If you encounter an unpleasant smell, it’s time to throw the batch out.
CBD Hemp Seeds?
Unfortunately, CBD hemp seeds are not a thing; they don’t exist. CBD and THC come from sticky “trichomes” on the leaves and stems of hemp and cannabis. The seeds are practically inert.
Eating them will not get a person high; that’s true no matter how many seeds a person can fit on top of their avocado toast.
Is the hemp seed illegal? No, they are completely legal. But could the sheer healthiness of a hemp heart diet lead to unfair outcomes? Is there a “seed gap” in this country? We’ll speculate on these questions another time.
Buy the way, take a look at Green Lotus Hemp products before you go.
Cheers? Jeers? Send Your Feedback
Hopefully, this blog has helped get to know the hemp seed a little better. If not, let us know why. Direct all cheers and jeers to email@example.com. We’ll get back to ASAP.
The Green Lotus Hemp Team