We’ve created plenty of hemp hearts recipes at Simple Green Smoothies, but today I’m sharing the best of the best. Hemp hearts have incredible health benefits and are 100% plant-based, making them a winner on my blog. And despite rumors, they won’t get you high (I’ll talk more about that below).
4 health benefits of hemp hearts
- ALL essential amino acids: Our bodies need protein, but can’t make it on its own. Hemp hearts have every single essential amino acid that your body needs, which are the foundation of protein.
- B vitamins: Hemp hearts benefit your heart, nerves, brain, muscles and blood cells because of all the B vitamins it contains. 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 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada). Having a 3:1 ratio may lead to reduced inflammation that could help chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
As you can see, hemp hearts recipes are great for your overall health. Keep scrolling to find our five best recipes using this plant-powered superfood. But first, here’s some answers to a few more common questions about hemp hearts:
Are hemp seeds the same as hemp hearts?
Yes and no. Hemp hearts are the raw, soft, nutty-flavored center inside hemp seeds. You can eat hemp hearts raw, or they can also be cooked, toasted, and even baked.
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 we prefer hemp hearts more than hemp seeds is because they keep smoothies from becoming too gritty.
Are there any side effects to hemp hearts?
It’s natural to wonder whether or not hemp hearts can cause similar negative side effects like that of marijuana. But the overwhelming majority of research shows that hemp hearts cannot get you high.
The plant that produces hemp hearts are very similar to, but not the same as, the marijuana plant. The hemp plant contains 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), where as 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:
Hemp hearts are naturally “fatty,” but it’s the good-for-you kind of fat (unsaturated fat). The only thing to note is that eating too many hemp hearts can increase your caloric intake (if you’re watching those numbers).
Are hemp hearts good for weight loss?
Yes! As mentioned above, they are have good, natural fat, but ALL of us need to eat some fats to keep our bodies working. It’s what helps our skin stay moisturized, our digestive system running smoothly and help our body absorb certain nutrients.
What we need to avoid are the bad fats, aka: saturated fats.
Hemp hearts are protein-rich, and our bodies use protein for energy. They keep our bodies going and can help to curb sugar cravings. Green smoothies with hemp hearts can act as meal replacements, which in turn can help us shed some extra pounds.
Can you buy hemp hearts from the grocery store?
In most stores, yes. If your local store has them, then they’ll most likely be in the aisle with the nuts. Some grocery stores have a “natural foods” section, and you might be able to find them there, too. Another place to check is the baking and cereal aisle.
If your grocery store has a bulk foods aisle (where you can dispense custom quantities of items into a bag), then that would be the last place to check.
Whole Foods + Trader Joe’s should always have them in stock. Regional grocery store chains (Publix, Kroger, Safeway) should regularly stock them, too. Even stores like Walmart + Target are carrying them.
There’s a good chance that a store nearby has hemp hearts ready for you!
5 Tasty Hemp Hearts Recipes
Today, I’ve include the top five hemp heart recipes from our plant-powered blog. I could have made all five of them smoothies (we have loads of recipes!), but I decided to give you a variety to choose from. Enjoy!
#1: SPRINKLED ON TOP OF SMOOTHIE: BRAIN FUEL SMOOTHIE
This 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.
#2: BLENDED SMOOTHIE: CHOCOLATE WEIGHT LOSS SMOOTHIE
This weight loss smoothie uses all natural ingredients to kick start your metabolism and burn fat. We’re using all plant-based ingredients to get you the results you want for your life!
#3: SNACK: APPLE CINNAMON “DONUTS”
This tasty snack is a take on everyone’s favorite apple n’ nut butter combo. But we love how darling (and sneaky!) these fruity “donuts” are. Get creative and have fun topping the apple rings with your favorite toppings.
#4: DRINK: DIY HEMP MILK
There are some delicious dairy-free alternatives that you can whip up in your blender! When making this recipe, you can substitute 1 cup of plants such as oat, rice, hemp, coconut, almond, cashew, etc. You may find yourself doing a little happy dance down your health-food store isle because many stores now carry non dairy options. We like easy and we like convenience, but there’s nothing more empowering than making your own yummy creation from scratch.
#5: COOK: RAWKSTAR VEGGIE BOWL
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.