Hemp hearts are white and green kernels found inside hemp seeds. These seeds are cultivated from hemp plants and share the same species as the marijuana plants known as the Cannabis Sativa L. However, unlike marijuana, hemp hearts won’t give you a high since the amount of THC chemical inside the hearts is almost undetectable.
Technically from the nut family, hemp hearts are rich in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and high in gamma linolenic acid (GLA) – all essential nutrients for cardiovascular health and reducing inflammation. They also contain all nine essential amino acids, making them a high-quality plant-protein source almost (not quite) equal to meat (and other types of animal foods).
As mentioned by healthline, two to three tablespoons of hemp hearts provide 11 grams of protein. They also contain high amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
To get more hemp in my diet, this week, I added the hearts to my post workout smoothies and morning granola. The recipe for the granola, as outlined below, is simple (even my husband can make it!!) and the outcome is a healthy, crunchy and clustery granola that is not overly sweet. You can enjoy it at breakfast with dairy or plant milk or yoghurt and topped with fresh fruit.
I’m into weight training these days and will soon be posting my post workout hemp smoothie.
Hemp Heart Granola (easy)
1 large baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Oven: 160C°/ 320F°
- 2 cups natural rolled oats, no sugar or salt added
- 1 cup raw almonds, coursely chopped or almond slivers (can sub. with pecans or hazelnuts or pistachios or walnuts)
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds *(see note)
- ½ cup hemp hearts
- 1 teaspoon (tsp) powdered cinnamon
- 1 tsp powdered vanilla
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup apple sauce, unsweetened & smooth kind *(see note)
- ¼ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar cane or brown sugar
*Note: For extra crunch and nutrition, I sometimes add to the ingredients two handfuls of pumpkin seeds or pepitas. For the apple sauce, I use one 100 gram container of Andros unsweetened apple sauce.
In a medium-size bowl, hand mix the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet. Pour the wet into the dry and handmix until combined.
Spread the mixture evenly and pat it down on the parchment-lined baking sheet to make one large thin rectangular mass.
Bake on middle rack in preheated oven for a total time of 25 minutes, or a few minutes more, until golden and edges are brown and crispy. Don’t mix or stir the granola while baking. Half way through, at around 13 minutes, remove and turn the baking sheet around so that the front is in the back. Watch it closely so that it doesn’t burn.
When baking time is done, for extra crispiness, which I prefer, turn off your oven heat and leave the granola in the oven with the door shut for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Take out and let the mixture cool completely in the sheet. It will continue to bake in the pan.
When cooled, break up the mixture with your fingers into crumbs and/or various-size clusters (as desired). Transfer the granola to a glass container with a lid.
The granola keeps in a sealed glass container in cupboard for about 2 weeks. You can also freeze portions in containers for up to one month.