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I’ve created plenty of hemp hearts recipes at Simple Green Smoothies, yet today I’m sharing the best of the best to show you how to use hemp hearts. Hemp seeds have incredible health benefits and are 100% plant-based, making them a staple superfood. Despite rumors, they won’t get you high (I’ll talk more about that below).

a black measuring cup with a scoop of hemp hearts in it.

Whether you want to increase your protein, introduce more healthy fats or enjoy a meatless Mondays recipe, I’ve got you covered! These tiny seeds have a nutty flavor yet are nut-free and useful for adding to smoothies like my brain food smoothie or sprinkling over a coconut joy vegan smoothie bowl.

You can mix them into all kinds of baked oatmeal or overnight oats or bump up the protein in your next kale caesar salad. They aren’t just a fad. This amazing ingredient will be a staple in a plant-based diet.

Table of Contents
  1. Hemp Hearts Recipes
  2. Health Benefits
  3. Seeds vs. Hearts
  4. Best Place to Buy
  5. Are There Side Effects to Consuming Hemp?
  6. Are Hemp Hearts Good for Weight Loss?
  7. FAQs

Hemp Hearts Recipes

I’m including the top eight hemp heart recipes from my plant-powered blog. This is such a versatile ingredient that you can easily add to almost any meal or smoothie!

I’ve got recipes for how to make hemp milk for anyone looking for a dairy-free and nut-free option, fiber smoothie cubes for those looking to easily bump up their fiber intake and my personal favorite recipe for homemade protein powder for those looking to turn their next green apple smoothie into a meal.

How to Make Hemp Milk
5 from 2 votes
This recipe is two ingredients and a super simple way to make your own hemp milk. Apply this method to sesame milk, flaxseed milk, pumpkin seed milk and more!
Make Recipe
Chocolate Weight Loss Protein Smoothie
4.7 from 48 votes
This weight loss smoothie uses all natural ingredients to kick start your metabolism and burn fat. We're using all plant-based ingredients to keep you full until your next meal and get you the results you want.
Make Recipe
Hemp Hearts Veggie Bowl
4.9 from 13 votes
The hemp sauce makes this dish and brings the roasted veggies to a whole other level! Feel free to swap in other veggies to match your preferences, but this combo of onions, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and kale is a real winner.
Make Recipe
Fiber Smoothie Cubes
4.8 from 8 votes
Blend up a batch of these Fiber Smoothie Cubes to keep on hand for a quick and easy meal replacement smoothie that is full of fiber and protein to keep you fuller, longer and keep your digestive tract humming along.
Make Recipe
bright green smoothie full of the best brain food
Brain Food Smoothie
5 from 21 votes
This brain food smoothie has everything you need to get you going in the morning— protein, healthy fats, and replenishing electrolytes. Adding avocado to smoothies gives you a lovely dose of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are vital for brain development and nerve function. Not only that, but the avocado also assists the body in absorbing nutrients from the greens.
Make Recipe
Apple Donuts
5 from 1 vote
These apple donuts have become a go-to snack thanks to how quick and easy they are to make. Get creative and have fun topping the apple rings with your favorite toppings.
Make Recipe
Homemade Protein Powder
4.7 from 17 votes
Create your own homemade protein powder recipe for smoothies using high-quality proteins & healthy fats from hemp, chia and flax. These plant-based ingredients can turn any smoothie into a nourishing meal replacement.
Make Recipe
Cherry Vanilla Diabetes Smoothie
5 from 3 votes
Get all the sweet with none of the spike while sipping on this cherry vanilla diabetes smoothie. It is low in sugar and high in flavor + omega-3s. Who wouldn't want a healthy smoothie recipe in this gorgeous color?!
Make Recipe

If you love the sauce from the hemp hearts veggie bowl then try it on some pasta! The texture and creaminess are like alfredo sauce, and the taste is incredible.

Health Benefits

Let’s take a look at the unique nutrition inside this superfood that makes it such a winner:

  • ALL essential amino acids: Our bodies need protein, but can’t make it on its own. Hemp seeds have every single essential amino acid that your body needs, which is the foundation of protein. This also makes them a complete protein!
  • B vitamins: They benefit your heart, nerves, brain, muscles and blood cells because of all the B vitamins inside. The highest is vitamin B1 (thiamine), boasting 32% of the daily recommended value.
  • Maintain bone density: Hemp hearts are a nutrient-dense food with much of what our body needs for good bone health: magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, copper, iron and zinc.
  • Omega fatty acids: Hemp seeds (hemp hearts are at the center of the seed) are said to have the ideal ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids needed for overall health (according to the National Institutes of Health). Having a 3:1 ratio may lead to reduced inflammation that could help chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  • One serving (2-3 tablespoons) contains 11 grams of protein!

If you like using chia seeds, try swapping them for these and see how you like it. They have different nutritional profiles yet are both full of protein, healthy fat and a wide variety of nutrients.

As you can see, these are great for your overall health!

Seeds vs. Hearts

a black measuring cup with a scoop of hemp hearts in it.

Are hemp seeds the same thing as hemp hearts? Yes and no. The heart is the raw, soft, nutty-flavored center of the seed. You can eat the hearts raw, cooked, toasted and even baked. The words are often used interchangeably, yet if you want a specific kind then be sure to check your labels!

Hemp seeds are just as good for you as hemp hearts. One main difference is the outer shell. In some recipes, you can use hemp hearts and hemp seeds interchangeably. One reason I prefer hearts more than seeds is that they keep smoothies from becoming too gritty.

Best Place to Buy

I typically buy hemp hearts from Thrive Market or Costco, because they have the best prices in my area.

Shop around a bit before purchasing if this is your first time buying them, because some specialty food stores have four-ounce bags for $10, while the two companies mentioned above have much larger sizes for the same price! No need to overpay for this delicious superfood.

Are There Side Effects to Consuming Hemp?

It’s natural to wonder whether or not hemp hearts can cause similar negative side effects like that of marijuana. However, the overwhelming majority of research shows that hemp hearts cannot get you high.

The plant that produces hemp hearts is very similar to, but not the same as the marijuana plant. The hemp plant contains 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), whereas the marijuana plant contains anywhere from 5%-30%.

According to Jolene Formene, staff attorney at Drug Policy Alliance, “Hemp seeds are non-psychoactive, meaning that consumers cannot get high by eating them.” A study found that THC levels are minimally affected when eating hemp hearts and that it would be nearly impossible to see levels altered enough to draw concern from federal drug testing.

One thing to keep in mind, though is Hemp hearts are naturally “fatty,” but it’s the good-for-you kind of fat (unsaturated fat). Eating too many hemp hearts can increase your caloric intake (if you’re watching those numbers), so just consume these hemp hearts recipes in moderation, just like all other delicious foods I recommend!

a marble tray with a container of hemp seeds in a white bowl.

Are Hemp Hearts Good for Weight Loss?

Yes! As mentioned above, they have good, healthy fat, yet all of us need to eat some fats to keep our bodies working. It’s what helps skin stay moisturized and the digestive system running smoothly, as well as helps the body absorb certain nutrients.

Hemp hearts are protein-rich, and the body uses protein for energy. This awesome plant-based ingredient keeps the body going and can help curb sugar cravings. Green smoothies boosted with hemp hearts can act as meal replacements, which in turn can help shed some extra pounds.


What can I do with hemp hearts?

The better question is what can’t you do? I love tossing hemp seeds in smoothies to increase protein and healthy fats, blending them into salad dressings, dips and more for creaminess, as well as using them as salad or smoothie bowl topper. Try adding a serving to your next batch of hummus or pesto.

How do you prepare hemp hearts to eat?

You can eat hemp hearts raw or cooked so you don’t need to do any prep in order to use them. Straight from the bag into whatever you are making! It’s as easy to add them in as it is cashews or almonds.

Are hemp hearts healthier than chia seeds?

Hemp hearts and chia seeds are both considered superfoods for their incredibly dense nutritional profiles. Hemp hearts have more protein than chia seeds, yet they aren’t necessarily “healthier,” just different nutritionally. If your body has a hard time digesting chia seeds, try hemp seeds to see if they might work better for you!

Whichever hemp hearts recipe you make, know that you’re using whole foods and plant-based ingredients to fuel your incredible life. Which one of these recipes has you checking your pantry for ingredients?

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to let me know what you think of these recipes!

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  1. Hi Jen, thank you for the meal replacement smoothie recipes. I have one question: are hemp hearts (ones from Costco) as good to use in the smoothie recipes as the one that is shown on this particular website feed? The one shown is “Just” brand with finer added? Thanks again! Marjorie

  2. Veggie bowl is my favorite! Looking forward to including hemp hearts in other ways. I appreciated that you explained the difference between hemp hearts and hemp seed. 🙂

  3. I had no clue I could make dressing with hemp hearts. How come sometimes my hemp hearts are bitter? Does that mean they’re old?

    1. Cool question! Hemp hearts are good for up to a year, even in an opened container, due to the natural Vitamin E they contain which acts as a preservative. If your hemp hearts taste rancid, then they’ve def gone bad. But nutty to bitter is totally fine. 🙂

  4. I like to call hemp hearts “protein confetti” when I sprinkle it on top of my smoothie!

  5. I love the brain fuel smoothie.
    When I saw the ingredients ,I thought ,I wonder where I’d be able to find hemp hearts and how much they would cost.
    But since it was optional, I figure I could do without.
    And then I find them at Marshals. For s great price.
    When I made the smoothie ,those hemp hearts gave it a punch, I love the flavor and it’s benefist.
    I can’t wait to try the other recipes here.

    1. Love the nutty taste from those hemp hearts! Thanks for the tip on where you found them. Awesome job keeping an eye out in out-of-the-box places! 🙂

  6. You introduced me to hemp hearts years ago, and now I use them on a regular basis! I also buy them at Costco, and love how I can toss them onto a variety of recipes.

  7. Hi there! Do you know if there is a difference in the health benefits of hemp hearts VS hemp protein powder? I like using 100% hemp protein powder in my smoothies to boost my protein… yet now I’m wondering if I should use hemp hearts. What are your thoughts?

    1. The hemp hearts added once the smoothie is done , gives the smoothies a delicious texture and flavor.