Meatless Monday Inspiration: 5 Ways to Eat Hemp Seeds

I’m on a big seed kick lately. It all started when I (successfully!) recreated my favorite salad in the whole entire world. It’s this carrot and avocado one* from ABC Kitchen here in New York, and despite how unspecial it sounds—carrots are carrots, avocados are avocados—it’s shockingly delicious. One reason: The sesame and sunflower seeds it calls for on top.

Since I like to take liberties with recipes, I decided to stock up on pumpkin and hemp seeds** and include those as well. Of course, whenever you make something at home that calls for a teaspoon of something you wouldn’t otherwise buy, you’re stuck with the “What do I do with the rest?” conundrum. Well, I’ll tell you:

I’ve been putting nuts and seeds on everything. Who knew simple seeds could make such a big difference on your old standbys? Not this guy.

Some basics…

Here’s why hemp seeds are good for you: They’re high in easily digestible protein, which means they don’t make you bloat like some other vegetable protein sources like whey and soy. They also have the 3:1 omega 3 to 6 ratio (that’s food-nerd speak for “good”), a nice amount of fiber, and more essential fatty acids than anything else in nature—including flax seeds, which I could never get into, frankly.

Here’s how to store them: In an airtight container or airtight resealable bag, in the fridge. Airtight is important; otherwise the natural oils can go rancid.

Here’s where to buy them: At any health food store, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc. Go with organic.

And finally, here’s how I like to eat them…

1. Raw in Greek yogurt or a warm breakfast cereal. Do this with some nuts, coconut flakes, dried fruit and any other seed you have handy for a tasty breakfast high in plant-based protein and healthy fats.

2. As part of a nut-and-seed crust for fish or tofu. Dry toast your seeds together in a cast-iron skillet—no oil, medium heat, until they start to pop and crack. Turn off the heat, let them cool and them combine with a little dijon and honey for the most delicious crust ever.

3. In a smoothie. Just toss ’em in there.

4. Dry-toasted with spices then sprinkled on a salad or some kale. Same dry-toasting method as above, but this time with spices you like. This brings out the nuttiness of the seeds and with a little cumin (or whatever), it can completely transform something as simple as steamed kale or salad.

5. Baked into homemade granola bars. I’ll admit that I have not done this yet, but I’m going to try this recipe from My New Roots, the best food blog in the world, for Totally Baked Hemp Protein Granola Bars this week.

Are you into hemp seeds? Some other seeds? How do you eat them?

* The recipe is in the new Jean-Georges cookbook, Jean-Georges Cooks At Home (a few more of his vegetarian recipes here), which I have been tearing through at an incredible clip. I swear I’ve made almost all the salads already—and there are many.

** Can’t get high off of them but yes, they are from the same plant.

Image via my favorite food blog, My New Roots

22 Responses to “Meatless Monday Inspiration: 5 Ways to Eat Hemp Seeds”
  1. danielle says:

    I love Hemp seeds! I buy the Navitas brand at my local Wegmans and sprinkle them on my daily salad. They are also great to snack on right out of the package.

  2. Ally says:

    I love making hemp milk. It makes a yummy homemade chai or latte drink. Mountain Rose Herbs is a fantastic local company (I live in Eugene) and this is one variation of hemp milk that is good.

  3. Erika says:

    Siobhan: Should I be storing my pumpkin and sunflower seeds in the fridge?! Panic!!!

  4. Siobhan says:

    @Erika Yes, little one. Better safe than sorry.

  5. Lately I’ve been crazy for chia seeds – I also put them in yogurt, and I’ve heard they’re a great substitute for butter in baking.

  6. sam says:

    I love the nail polish color :)

  7. Meredith says:

    I’ve been eating hemp seeds on my salads lately and this morning I made a smoothie with hemp seed protein powder. The package had a recipe for mixing almond milk, a ripe banana, and 3 tbsp of hemp powder. It tasted wonderful and kept me full almost to lunchtime (which is no easy feat.) Probably had something to do with the 12g of fiber per serving.

  8. Alexandra says:

    Oooh S, I can’t wait to try seeds on my greek yogurt. That sounds amazing.

  9. Rebecca says:

    I love nuts and seeds, fortunately for me since I’m vegan. I make almond milk and use it every day in smoothies and tea. I eat ground flax seeds and/or chia seeds mixed into smoothies. I also do a chia “pudding” occasionally by letting the chia sit in a juice/almond milk mixture until they soak up the fluid (about 15 min. does the job, stir a few times along the way). I’m a big fan of pumpkin seeds, and also like hemp. I haven’t done this in a while but they both make really nice dips ground in my vitamix with almond milk and I can’t remember what else – I have to find those recipes! The dips also make a nice addition to a veggie wrap.

  10. Ashley says:

    Great post! I love hemp as well. Though exposing the seed to high temps does remove the beneficial fatty acids (you must use the seed in cold recipes only if you want to reap the benefits of the omega 3 fatty acids).
    Also I think you mean 3:1 omega 3 to omega 6 (the omega 3 is higher….)


  11. Siobhan says:

    IM SO BAD WITH NUMBERS. I totally meant what you said and changed it in the post. Thanks! Do you know at what temperature they lose though?

  12. Sarah says:

    Chia seeds are also one of my new obsessions. I also use flax seed meal in baking, granola, musli, and smoothies. Pumpkin seeds are also a favorite.

  13. Antonia says:

    I know that you can’t get high off them, but is there any risk of failing a drug test due to using (legal) hemp products? I just started using Dr. Bronner’s “Naked” Lip Balm which I LOVE, but I’m concerned because Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil is one of the ingredients, and I’m using it several times a day and could be ingesting a significant amount. I have to get drug tested from time to time for my job, and would not want to fail and get fired because of my lip balm! I would imagine that this question might come up for anyone who eats a lot of hemp seeds as well.

  14. Dana says:

    Love this idea! I had the same salad at the Pump Room in Chicago (same chef) and I almost died…so simple, but so delicious!

    Love your Meatless Monday posts!

  15. Ross says:

    Sorry, but whey is most definitely not a vegetable source of protein.

  16. Ross says:

    Oh, and no they are not from the same plant. Hemp seed is from industrial hemp, not marijuana.

  17. I love hemp seeds. I mix 4 teaspoons with 4 melted Hershey kisses.

  18. Juliana says:

    I love love love chia seeds! I put them in my daily smoothies although I haven’t tried them with anything else yet.

  19. Johan Lindén says:

    Thanks for the tip about My New Roots! Or maybe not so much thanks… since I spent 2 hours there now and Evernoted every recipe I read, and I do mean EVERY! Most insane recipes I’ve seen and it’s all VEGAN?!

    Well, thanks anyway…


  20. Chia Seeds says:

    whoa, thanks so much for posting this! It is going to help when I research Chia Seeds online! Crazy!

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