I’ve found some people who are exploring new ingredients and superfoods can find the whole thing quite intimidating - What is it? How do I use it? How much do I use? Why is it good for me? Will it make my food taste bad? Where do I buy it?
Which is why I always suggest starting simple. And when it comes to superfoods, there really aren’t many more simple than hemp hearts. And here’s all the answers to the questions you may have if you’ve never tried them before;
Hemp hearts are the result of shelled hemp seeds. Shelling the seed produces the most nutritious and tender part of the seed for consumption. The hemp plant has hundreds of uses on top of being a nutritional powerhouse- it is also used for making clothing!
The name often confuses people who mistake it for marijuana. They actually are from the same family - Cannibas sativa - but hemp is not the same is marijuana. According to Manitoba Harvest “hemp foods contain less than 0.001% THC and will not cause psychoactive effect.”
The great thing about hemp hearts is that you can literally incorporate it into anything you eat. You can sprinkle it on top of salads or blend it into your salad dressing, use it in a smoothie, put it on top of your granola or yogurt, incorporate it into your baking from muffins to breads - anything! There’s no need to even cook or grind them, the best is just consuming them raw as they are.
I’m not lying about them being nutritional powerhouses. They are incredibly rich in protein and contain all 10 essential amino acids. A 30 gram serving contains 10 grams of omega 3s and omega 6 (that’s twice the amount of protein compared to chia and flax!). So just a tablespoon of these guys a day can do wonders!
Hemp hearts have close to no taste, just a slight nutty flavour, so they will not change the taste of your food. No need to block your nose and gulp down some slimy green algae here!
Luckily hemp hearts have become incredibly easy to find and buy. Manitoba Harvest is the largest manufacturer of hemp hearts in Canada and you can find their products in most places you would regularly buy your groceries from - from small independents to the mainstream grocery stores.
1 cup almonds
1 cup dried apple
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1 cup medjool dates
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 tbsp almond butter
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
In a food processor, pulse your almonds until fine - but leave some small chunks for some crunchy texture.
Cut up your dried apple into very small pieces and add this, with the rest of the ingredients into the food processor.
Blend until well combined and a sticky dough like consistency is formed.
Simply roll the mixture into little balls - about 2 bites big.
You can roll your balls in extra hemp hearts, sprinkle with cinnamon or dip in melted chocolate for a delicious coating
or a punch of extra nutrition.
Keep in the fridge (or freezer) for perfect on the go snacks!
Little Tucker Notes:
Your energy balls may be a little sticky or soft, but after a few hours in the fridge they will firm up.
To make this school lunch-box friendly, just swap the almonds for sunflower seeds and the almond butter for sunflower butter.