Welcome to our new *virtual* Keto Pantry! Each post will feature a healthy, ketogenic diet therapy friendly ingredient. We want to encourage you to include these ingredients in your diet to help promote overall health and well-being. Please let us know how you like this new feature and what we can add to make it as effective and helpful as possible. Proudly brought to you by:
What are they?
Commercial hemp seeds, often called “hemp hearts” are the inner (shelled) part of the seed from hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Although the seeds come form the same species of plant that includes marijuana, hemp seeds contain only trace to non-detectable amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive substance in marijuana that produces a “high”. Most of the THC is found in the shell of the seed which is removed before packaging. They are safe to eat!
Photo: whole hemp seeds with outer shell
Nutrition (Derived from the USDA Food Database)
Hemp seeds are mostly protein and fat with very little carbohydrate. They are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. They have about a 3:1 ratio (unsaturated to saturated fat) of linoleic acid (omega-6) to alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) which is consider to be an idea balance. Since they contain these fatty acids, they keep best stored in the refrigerator and should not be used for high heat cooking.
3 tablespoons of hemp seeds provides over 9 grams of plant based protein. They are considered a complete protein source, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids.
Hemp seeds are also high in iron, vitamin E and magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, as well as blood pressure.
What do they taste like?
Shelled hemp seeds have a very mild flavor similar to pine nuts. They are soft and easy to chew with a creamy texture when blended or pureed.
Photo: Shelled hemp seeds
How to use them:
The easiest way to include hemp seeds in your diet is to simply sprinkle them on a salad or in yogurt. However, since they are a great plant based protein, you can use them as an “all natural” protein powder replacement. Simply add them to your smoothie in place of your current protein powder and blend away.
Think of them in applications where grains, nuts or beans would be used. Use in place of chickpeas for a low carb hummus or a replacement for beans in a veggie burger. Try them in pesto instead of pine nuts. Puree them and use along with or instead of macadamia nuts in keto pancakes, waffles and other baked goods.
Click the recipes below for a few Charlie Foundation created recipes to try!