Hemp hearts, or shelled hemp seeds, deliver more anti-inflammatory omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and fewer carbs per serving (a plus if you eat paleo) than either flax or chia. They also have two times the protein: A 30-gram serving (or 3 tablespoons) of hemp hearts packs an impressive 10 grams. So a small sprinkling of these in your smoothie or atop a salad is a simple way to add major nutritional value. (Here are more genius salad toppers you haven’t tried before.)
That’s not all you can do with hemp seeds, though. Their light flavor and soft texture makes them perfect for blending into creamy sauces and spreads. Here, 6 bloggers show you how it’s done.
Add to hummus.
The Healthy Maven toasts hemp hearts before tossing them in the food processor with lemony homemade hummus. She seasons the mix with cumin, salt, and pepper, then digs right in with sliced veggies. Between the chickpeas and the hemp seeds, this is one fiber-rich dip. (Leftover chickpeas? Try these 7 surprising ways to get your sweet fix with chickpeas.)
Make dairy-free tzatziki.
Prep a healthier alfredo.
Who knew you could make amazing sauce out of hemp hearts, raw cashews, and almond milk? Blissful Basil did, and she flavors the silky mixture with nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, and pinches of nutmeg and salt and pepper. Try this alfredo over zucchini pasta, or the noodles of your choosing. (Try these 3 easy ways to make veggie noodles without a spiralizer.) Either way it’s bliss.
Sprinkle on chocolate bark.
Hey, chocolate is good for you. Follow The Full Helping’s lead and stir together melted cocoa butter, raw cacao powder, vanilla, salt, and sweetener (like agave or coconut nectar), then pour into a lined tray and decorate with hemp seeds and dried cranberries on top. Now just pop into the freezer and be patient (we know, it’s hard).
Whip up a sweet spread.
Forget almond butter. Don’t Waste The Crumbs blends hemp hearts, coconut oil, and cocoa powder with honey, cinnamon, and salt to create a chocolaty spread that gives Nutella a run for its money. This recipe is a great alternative for those with nut allergies—or, let’s be honest, anyone with a sweet tooth.