Hemp seeds have to be the one thing I have wanted to try for the LONGEST time but I never have due to my unawareness of what on earth they were and my unwillingness to add another expensive type of “superfood” seed into my pantry. Well, I finally succumbed to buying it, still not knowing what I was actually purchasing and going to be putting into my body but I was excited to learn and see what all of the hype was about!
One thing you guys should know is that I’ve been vegan/vegetarian for about a month now and as much as I’m enjoying it, sometimes I do feel like I need an extra protein kick to help keep me satiated. I’ve tried a bunch of protein powders and I’m not really fond of any of them or want to use them in my smoothies as they over powder the flavour profile that I am wanting initially. You can’t put a chocolate protein powder in your smoothie if all you have is mango and berries and you want the smoothie to actually taste like a mango and berry smoothie! The proteins used also haven’t agreed with my stomach including whey and pea protein, so I’ve basically just given up on protein powders all together. I’m not looking to be a body builder or gain heaps of muscle so I think I’m good without them. But, what I do what is to make sure I am getting a source of protein in my meals as I enjoy a balanced meal that isn’t “high carb” because I like variety and I get bored easily!
Here comes the beauty of hemp seeds. The most versatile, tasty, texturally pleasant and nutritionally beneficial seed (for what I want) that I have found! The protein content is insane! As much as 25% of their total calories are comprised of a high quality protein which is much more than the protein content in chia seeds and flaxseeds. The problem with chia seeds and flaxseeds is that chia seeds begin to coagulate as they absorb moisture and so when I sprinkle them on a salad, the texture they create as they absorb any moisture and become gel like, is sort of off putting. Flaxseeds also need to be ground prior to using in order to obtain the full nutritional value otherwise they sort of go straight threw you and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want powder on my meals. Hemp seeds can be sprinkled on anything whole, and have a deliciously mild nutty taste and a softer consistency that makes any meal a joy to eat! I love adding a tablespoon to my steamed vegetables and salad bowls as they add a slight crunch, great flavour and obviously the protein and other macronutrients that you want in your meal. Hemp seeds are also totally allergy free and the protein is said to be much more easily digestible than sources of animal protein like meat, eggs and dairy and doesn’t contain the phytic acid (prevents mineral absorption) which soy has high amounts of! Therefore, for me and for many others, this seed doesn’t cause that gas and bloating that I would get from using whey, soy and pea proteins. Hemp seeds contain all essential amino acids, meaning they are a complete protein source so they’re so beneficial to consume as they help in strengthening the immune system and fighting off toxins.
Aside from the protein content, hemp seeds have an amazing amount of essential fats including omega-3 and omega-6 meaning your cardiovascular health will be in tip top condition! From what I’ve noticed as well is the large about of continuous energy I have throughout the day and initially after consuming, which is a result of the 30% fat content they contain. The fats are also fantastic for you skin so try it out if you suffer from dry and irritated skin. Lastly I want to mention the carbohydrate content. They contain about 34% carbohydrate but this is mostly in the form of fibre, which assists in remaining regular and cleansing the colon. However, shelled hemp seeds (hemp hearts) contain minimal fibre as the outer shell is removed, which contains the majority of it’s fibre.
Hemp Seed Green Smoothie
1.5 frozen bananas
1/2 cup almond milk (or enough to blend)
1-2 tbsp hemp seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
large handful of spinach
Blend all ingredients together, making sure the liquid and spinach are closest to the blade. Top with your favourite toppings! I used shredded coconut, chia seeds and more hemp seeds… for good measure 😛
The texture that the hemp seeds gave this smoothie was like no other! It was so thick and even more creamy than the result I would achieve with frozen bananas.
Give hemp seeds a go! Whether it’s in your smoothies, baked in some goodies or sprinkled on your lunch and dinner bowls, it is a great super food to incorporate into your diet.