Hemp hearts are a nutritional powerhouse that you definitely want to try for using in cooking.
To be honest, from a personal point of view, it was a trial and error in my kitchen before I came to love this good for you seed.
My first attempt was making simple hemp milk using my Vitamix blender. It had a smooth and creamy texture, but the taste was very "earthy" tasting and I just wasn't fond of the taste even with using dried dates to sweeten.
But I was determined to find a way to enjoy hemp hearts as you'll see from some of my suggestions. First let's take a look at how much nutrition you get with just 3 tablespoons per serving.
Some highlights are they give you 10 grams of protein. Protein is vital to keeping hunger at bay. It also has over 12 grams of omegas 3 & 6.
Unlike myself, you may be fond of making your own hemp milk and not mind the taste. It's very simple to make and you don't need to strain as the outer shell is already removed.
So here are some of my 5 tips on how you can use hemp hearts into your meals:
Tip 1: Toast them!
Wow what a difference this makes. When you toast them the "earthy" taste I mentioned becomes more subtle. Use them as a replacement for anything nuts and seeds are called for in any of your recipes. They work perfect in my Hemp Pesto Recipe enriched with avocado!
Tip 2: Use them tossed in Salads
They taste great to boost the nutrition in a salad. Try using these as a replacement for walnuts in the classic fruit Waldorf Salad made with yogurt.
Tip 3: Make Energy Bites:
There are so many variations for making these but adding them to a cacao powder variety can help with a sweet tooth.
Tip 4: Make a Salad Dressing:
Instead of using commercial mayonnaise to make a creamy salad dressing, replace using hemp hearts mixed with water or plant-based milk. Add herbs and seasonings of your choice. You can make it as thick or thin as you want.
Tip 5: Bake with them:
Try tossing these into muffins, or naturally sweetened quick breads.
One final word on hemp hearts. You may try one of the suggestions I have listed here and determine it may not be for you, but I'm certain if you try another way of preparing it, you may determine you love them! Either way, give it a try. I would love to see your comments.
Eat Good! Look Good! Feel Good!
Vanessa LaBranche/Chef Instructor-Culinary Educator