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Cannabis has been a staple crop for human civilization since the very beginning — not just because of its durable, lightweight fibers but because of its nutrient-dense seeds. Sometimes called hemp hearts, hemp seeds contain only trace amounts of the cannabinoids present in trimmed bud and concentrates, but they are jam-packed full of important macro- and micro-nutrients, from protein and healthy fats to vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.
If you aren’t familiar with hemp seeds, you might not know how to integrate them into your diet. The good news is, there are countless ways! Here are 30 of our favorite ways to eat hemp hearts, which you might adopt in your own home:
1. As a Salad Dressing
If you make your own salad dressing, you can stir in some hemp seeds for a little extra flavor and texture. If you use pre-made dressings, you might toss some hemp seeds on top of your salad, like you would croutons or sesame seeds.
2. Mixed in Smoothies
If you add hemp hearts to the blender as you are making your smoothie, most of the seeds will get ground up into the mixture and you won’t taste or feel them — but they will add a useful protein boost. Then again, you might sprinkle them on top of a finished smoothie or smoothie bowl for a delectable crunch.
3. Pressed Into Milk
Hemp milk is a non-dairy milk that has fewer calories and carbs but more protein and healthy fats than most other milks on the market. Here’s a helpful guide for making your own hemp milk at home.
4. Cooked in Pasta Sauce
Hemp seeds add a nutty flavor that complements the acidity of tomatoes extremely well. You can add them as you are cooking down the tomatoes, or you can add them after cooking if you prefer their crunch.
5. Topping Yogurt
Some people like the silky texture of yogurt on its own, but if you enjoy mix-ins, you might try adding some crunch with hemp hearts.
6. With Chia Seed Pudding
Like hemp seeds, chia seeds are high in protein and good fats, and they make a delicious and nutritious pudding for breakfast or dessert. You can top your pudding with hemp for an extra boost of good nutrients and a nutty crunch.
7. Sprinkled on Toast
Toast is one of the simplest and yet most enjoyable foods you can make at home — and hemp seeds go wonderfully on almost all varieties: peanut butter toast, avocado toast, banana toast, tomato toast, etc.
8. As an Element of Acai Bowls
Acai is a super food that contains an incredible amount of antioxidants, and it is delicious as a smoothie bowl, to boot. The smooth tartness of acai is balanced well with honey and something crunchy, like hemp seeds and granola.
9. Added to Pizza
While you are sprinkling extra parm and red pepper flakes on your slice, you might also add some hemp hearts on top. These go especially well with veggie toppings, making the best food healthy and nutritious.
10. Topping Ice Cream
Making your own ice cream is easy, even if you don’t have an ice cream machine. You can add different flavorings and mix-ins to produce a one-of-a-kind ice cream experience. Once the ice cream is ready, you can sprinkle hemp hearts on top for a satisfying crunch.
11. Whipped Into Vegan Ice Cream
You can even make nice cream, or vegan ice cream, with nothing more than frozen bananas. For nice cream, you might mix hemp hearts in from the jump, or you can add them as a topping before you dig in.
12. Mixed Into Hash
Breakfast hash is incredibly underrated in terms of deliciousness, but it isn’t always the healthiest way to start the day. Mixing in some hemp seeds is a smart way to boost good fats and protein without totally skipping the greasy goodness.
13. As a Replacement on Sushi
Usually, sesame seeds are sprinkled on top of sushi — but sesame isn’t nearly as nutritious as hemp hearts. Because their flavor is not dissimilar, you can easily substitute one for the other, and no one will be the wiser.
14. Topping a Baked Potato
While you are loading your potato with all manner of unhealthy things, you should consider dropping some hemp seeds on top. It won’t cancel out the cheese, sour cream and bacon, but it will add a delightful nutty flavor.
15. Baked Into Hemp Bread
You can make hemp bread from absolute scratch by grinding your hemp seeds into flour, or you can just buy hemp flour and mix some whole hemp seeds in for extra texture.
There are so many other creative ways to use hemp seeds and add more hemp to your diet. Every time you make a dish, consider whether you want an extra crunch — and don’t be afraid of over-indulging in this nutritious snack.