Owen and I decided to go plant-based in October of 2020 and since then I’ve been exploring the world of vegan protein sources. I need protein. Well everyone does but for me– I find it especially helps me manage by blood sugar better and I just feel better when I eat good amount of it. I couldn’t be vegan and not be really conscious of my protein intake…I will feel it! Whether you are plant-based and looking for vegan protein sources, or just like to add more seeds and such into your diet, I encourage you to grab a bag!
What are Hulled Hemp Hearts?
Hulled Hemp Hearts are seeds from the sativa hemp plant that have been hulled from their shells so they are ready to eat in all their chewy nutty goodness, with no crunch from a shell. And good thing too because they are quite small and ain’t no one got time to shell those little guys one by one. Like most seeds, they are filled with carbs, fats, and proteins. But the ratio for this seed is very Keto-friendly. 🙂
Why Hulled Hemp Hearts are Awesome!
For one serving (3 Tablespoons) you get 15 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein, and 1 carb so you get a real good fat and protein punch with these seeds and the versatility in which you can use these to add fats and proteins to your recipes are suprising and delcious!
Not only do these pack some awesome macros to your meals, they are also great sources of micronutrients like your b-vitamins like folate, riboflavin, and B6 but also minerals like magnesium, potassium, and iron as well as critical balance of fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 (heavier on the omega 3’s which is good).
They also are very good for your gut microbiome because of the fiber. When this particular fiber sits in your gut, it produces what’s called SCFAs, which include acetate, butyrate, and propionate. These control intestinal inflammation, strengthen colon cells, and kill cancer cells. The reduced inflammation in your gut from the SCFA’s can also reduce your risk of cardiovascular events. My husband, Owen is especially sensitive to cancer and cardiovascular health issues so I love knowing I am helping him fight with this fiber.
Hulled Hemp Hearts taste good too. They have a very mild, nutty taste to them and so can easily replace any nut you usually include in recipes or just add to the repoirtoir for variety.
How I use Hulled Hemp Hearts
Sprinkled over Salads- I make sure to add 3 tablespoons to each serving of salad to make sure I’m getting the protein I need, especially if the salad is a meal instead of a side dish.
Here’s one of my favorite salads- Baby spring mix with diced celery, cilantro, sliced and skinned cucumber, with diced spring green onions. Top with hulled hemp hearts and a few sunflower seeds as well.
For dressing I use a recipe I’ve been making for years that I took from my Italian step-dad’s family– extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with the mother ( I prefer a 3:1 ratio of oil to acid), with garlic salt and pepper to taste. It is so so good.
Blend into smoothies– Mmmmm imagine this in the morning or warm afternoon: unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a handful of your favorite berry, a splash of MCT oil, 3 tablespoons of hulled hemp hearts, some ice and a few drops of stevia. Blend on high for 30 seconds. Pour. Sip. Sigh.
Blended into Homemade Dressings and Dips-I have a dressing I created that still needs a name. It is sort of a cross of a ranch dressing and a Mexican Cesar dressing like the one you get at El Torito. Maybe I can call it Happy Hippy Dressing? But I love it because I can use it as a dip for raw veggies or use it as a salad dressing and again– know that I’m still getting some healthy protein in my body with the snack.
Ranch version– 1 cup of Hulled Hemp Hearts, 1 Cup of Veganaise, 1 Cup of unsweetened plain almond or coconut milk, Tablespoon of red wine vinegar, Tablespoon of fresh dill, Tablespoon of fresh parsley, a heaping teaspoon of minced garlic, a teaspoon of onion powder. Blend on high until completely smooth.
Mexican Cesar Version–1 cup of Hulled Hemp Hearts, 1 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar, 1 whole bunch of cilantro springs, 1 heaping teaspoon of minced garlic, 1-2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon of iodized sea salt. Blend on high until completely smooth.
Sneak it into Soups- every have a good barley in your soup? This will add a similar vibe. I’ll add it to cauliflower leek soup, a hearty veggie soup, or even sneak it into a taco soup. Blend to make creamy or leave whole to add heartiness. 🙂
Use in Noatmeal (No-Oat Oatmeal)- You got it- this is a delicious, high-protein alternative to oats that is great if you are looking to go low-grain or gluten free in your lifestyle. I like to blend it with flax, chia, some almond flour, and monk-fruit for a delicious “noatmeal”that tastes very similar to that hot breakfast cereal many of us had in the 80’s called Farina- especially if you add a vegan creamer to it like Nutpods or coconut milk. 🙂 Simply pour hot water from the tea-kettle over the seeds and flour and let it sit for a couple of minutes until it puffs up and absorbs all the water. Then add the milk, mix, and eat.
Where to Get Hulled Hemp Hearts
Hulled Hemp Hearts are easy to find and natural grocery stores like Sprouts or Whole Foods. But you can find it for a better price on Amazon or Thrive. I buy a big bag because I use it in so much.
Here’s the brand I personally buy. They have a small bag, medium bag, and you can even get a hefty 5 lb bag if you know you will use it a ton.