You may have seen hemp seeds in your local grocery or health food store. You may also be confused as to how to use them. There are dozens of ways to use hemp seeds. The seeds may offer some nutritional benefits such as being a good source protein, healthy fatty acids and healthy oils. We’ve composed a list of some of easy ways to incorporate hemp seeds into your daily diet.
Toss Hemp Seeds into Breakfast Cereal
If your breakfast cereal is lacking that “something extra” then hemp seeds might be the ingredient it needs to be more satisfying. In granola-based cereals the seeds blend in rather well and are barely noticed.
You only need a couple of tablespoons per bowl of cereal. Bring out more flavor in the seeds by giving them a quick toast in a dry nonstick skillet. This helps to release some of the natural oils in the seeds and bring out their natural nutty flavor.
If you are a toast or muffin person in the morning, no worries – add the hemp seeds to your spread.
Add to Smoothies
A morning smoothie often contains fresh fruit, yogurt and juice. Some may include protein or vitamin powders, ice, greens or peanut butter. Smoothies can be quite filling if you are able to get enough protein and fiber into them. Fiber is part of what helps you feel full and satisfied after a meal.
When you need just a little more protein, fiber and flavor – consider hemp seeds. Fiber also aids in healthy digestion. If your morning smoothie sometimes causes you a bit of stomach upset, it may just need to be more balanced with more fiber and less ingredients that conflict with each other.
Try this smoothie recipe:
1 small banana
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ cup fresh strawberries
2 Tablespoons hemp seeds
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup almond milk
1/2 dropper vanilla hemp CBD tincture
1 – 2 Tablespoons peanut butter powder (or chocolate peanut butter powder)
The above recipe is quite filling and is just a little sweet so it doesn’t make it seem like you’re having something healthy.
If you are not a fan of the texture of hemp seeds in your smoothie, consider hemp hearts instead. Hemp hearts are a little softer and can absorb some moisture.
Use Hemp Seeds as Texture in Casserole Toppings
Hemp seeds in your casserole toppings? Absolutely! Hemp seeds add texture, flavor and nutrition to your dish. It’s best to wait until the final 5 minutes of baking to add your topping though. Hemp seeds are sensitive to heat and can burn easily.
Simple Casserole Topping Idea:
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup hemp seeds
¼ Panko bread crumbs
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 Tablespoons melted butter
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Mix in a bowl and sprinkle it over your casserole. For larger casseroles, double the recipe. This would also be a good topping over baked cheesy broccoli, over roasted vegetables and as a topping for baked zucchini sticks.
Do you make baked macaroni and cheese with a crunchy topping? Make your normal topping and blend in ¼ cup hemp seeds. This will add even more flavor and texture to your comfort food dish.
Consider this as a quick topping for chicken or turkey breast too. Get a little more creative and blend in some cream cheese, pimentos and shredded sharp cheddar for stuffing chicken breasts, pork chops or a burger.
Crunchy Element in Salads
Salads don’t always have to start with a bed of lettuce or mixed greens. Salads can be made with a variety of vegetables, pastas, rice and grains. Hemp seeds should be the last ingredient that you add so that they maintain their crunch.
Consider making a warm couscous salad and tossing in about ¼ cup of toasted hemp seeds with some dried fruits and a citrus vinaigrette. Fresh mint will add an herbal element, but this is a good complementary side dish to seafood and lighter proteins.
If you are making a pasta dish, simply add the hemp seeds to your sauce. Bring out more flavor by toasting them first. You can also go a step further and add extra to the top for more texture.
Have you ever made a homemade parmesan frico for your salad? These add a lot of flavor and texture to boring salads and the flavor combinations can be versatile.
Try this frico recipe:
2 Tablespoons hemp seeds
1 cup shredded parmesan
1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
4 basil leaves shredded
A few grinds of freshly cracked black pepper
Mix these ingredients together and make small little piles on a silicone pad lined baking sheet. Spread them out just a little and place them in a 400 degree oven for between 3 and 5 minutes. You’ll just want to look for the tops of the frico to have a light golden brown color to them.
Let these cool and place them on top of your salad of choice, as a garnish on a pasta dish or just snack on them as they are.
DIY Salad Toppings with Hemp Seeds
Consider finding some hemp hearts in bulk and putting a scoop in a bag. Combine them with sunflower kernels and/or pumpkin seeds for more texture in your green salads. You can also add a few different chopped nuts like almonds, pecans or walnuts too. Creating your own salad topping to cater to your own preferences is fun and tasty. Keep the mixture in the fridge as the hemp hearts can go rancid if exposed to heat or kept in a place where heat could be a factor.
Hemp seeds can easily become a part of every meal. For those that maintain vegan or vegetarian diets, hemp seeds can be a good source of nutrients, vitamins, protein and fiber that may otherwise be lacking from those diets. The healthy fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) may also help provide fat that could be lacking from those diets. Hemp seeds have more flavor when they are lightly toasted. If you can’t find hemp seeds, you can also substitute hemp hearts.