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Hemp Hearts Substitutes

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Hemp hearts, the edible interiors of the hemp seed, may be familiar to anyone who visit the bulk nuts and seeds section of the supermarket. For those who haven’t tried hemp hearts yet, their appeal originates from the heartiness they provide to a variety of dishes, as well as the increased protein intake they deliver.

These seeds, which are related to the famous marijuana plant, provide several health advantages to their consumers. However, they may not be popular in certain areas and, as a result, may not be accessible for purchase in such areas. As a result, if your recipe asks for hemp hearts, you should consider utilizing alternative substitutions.

Our proposed hemp heart substitutes range significantly, yet they all include distinct nutrients to their favor. They may also be used in place of hemp hearts in a variety of recipes. Continue reading to learn what makes these alternatives to hemp hearts acceptable.

What are Hemp Hearts?

Hemp Hearts Substitutes

The hemp plant, from which hemp heart seeds are formed, is a member of the same plant species as marijuana, Cannabis Sativa L. In comparison to marijuana plants, hemp has nearly undetectable quantities of THC, with hemp hearts containing less than 0.3 percent, but normal marijuana plants may contain up to 30 percent.

Hemp hearts provide several health benefits, including being a good source of fiber. They are abundant in calcium and iron and include a lot of vitamins. According to the USDA, hemp hearts include 25 percent protein and more than 20 percent fiber, as well as all nine essential amino acids.

Hemp hearts are a fast and simple way to add flavor and nutrition to a variety of dishes. Hemp hearts, for example, may be sprinkled over salads, oats, cereal, or popcorn; mashed into a veggie burger; or blended into smoothies as a nutty garnish for some of your favorite meals.

Uses of Hemp Hearts in Recipes

Hemp Hearts Substitutes

Hemp hearts are well-known for their many health benefits, including high levels of essential fatty acids and healthy fats. They are also strong in vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, and zinc, and are a superb vegetarian protein source.

Hemp hearts may be used in a variety of dishes, including salads, cereals, and oatmeals, as well as smoothies for a nutty protein boost. The following are some popular recipes in which hemp hearts are regularly used:

  • Herby hemp sauce
  • Vegan hemp seed alfredo sauce
  • Creamy hemp alfredo pasta
  • Avocado pesto pasta with hemp seeds
  • Hemp heart oatmeal
  • Hemp seeds cookies
  • Peanut butter hemp cookies
  • Chia pudding
  • Strawberry hemp seed smoothie
  • Paleo hemp bread
  • Hemp banana bread
  • Banana hemp heart muffins
  • Mushroom wild rice pilaf
  • Blueberry hemp hearts protein pancakes
  • Protein-packed hemp crepes

Substitutes for Hemp Hearts

Hemp hearts are frequently referred to be a superfood since they are low in carbs and provide a comprehensive source of plant-based protein. They are also high in iron, magnesium, healthy fat, and a variety of other nutrients.

However, despite their very high nutritional content, hemp hearts are rather expensive and may not be suitable for everyone. They may possibly be unavailable in your area. As a result, we must examine the usage of alternatives, some of which are outlined below:


Flaxseed is a plant food high in fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. A functional food is one that can be consumed to enhance one’s health. Flax was initially farmed in ancient Egypt and China, and it has been used in Ayurvedic medicine across Asia for thousands of years.

Flaxseeds are somewhat bigger than sunflower seeds, but unlike hemp seeds, they lack crucial amino acids. Regardless, flaxseeds may be the most effective hemp heart alternative.

Because flaxseeds lack the amino acid lysine, they must be supplemented with other lysine-rich foods if used as a protein source. Flax seeds have considerably more fiber and omega-3 fatty acids than other seeds, which is a big advantage.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are the small black or white seeds of the Salvia hispanica L. plant. Historically, the seeds were utilized in the Aztec and Mayan civilizations’ meals, as well as for medical reasons, ceremonial ceremonies, and cosmetics. People all across the globe consume Chia seeds, which are said to come from Central America.

Chia seeds are also a full protein source. They only contain a fraction of the protein content of hemp hearts, so you’d have to eat a boatload of chia seeds to get the same amount of protein. It may not be a smart idea, though, since chia seeds have a lot more fiber.

Chia seeds, on the other hand, may be used in small quantities to substitute hemp hearts in recipes to provide crunch or visual appeal.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are the tasty, flat, oval-shaped seeds located in the middle of the pumpkin fruit. They may be cleaned and roasted after being removed from the flesh to form a delightful, crispy snack, either simply or with various tastes like as herbs and spices.

Pumpkin seeds aren’t a complete protein source, but they do supply a similar amount of total protein as hemp hearts, so they’re not a bad alternative. Pumpkin seeds have a somewhat deeper, nuttier, and slightly pumpkin taste than other seeds, which may be beneficial depending on your recipe.

Finely slice your pumpkin seeds or pulse them in a food processor to get a closer textural match to the texture profile of hemp hearts. When used in place of hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds work well in a variety of recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do hemp hearts do in baking?

Baked goods may benefit from hemp hearts. When cooked, hemp hearts provide a delightful chewy, nutty taste and texture to baked goods. Simmering them on low heat adds flavor while retaining all of the fat.

Can you substitute hemp hearts for oatmeal?

For people who are sensitive to grains, hemp seeds might be a great replacement for oats. Hemp seeds have a similar feel to oats, yet they are high in nutrients.

Is hemp seed and flaxseed the same thing?

Because they are both complete proteins, they include all nine necessary amino acids that the body cannot create on its own. Hemp seed, on the other hand, is a superior plant source of essential fatty acids and has double the protein level of flaxseed.


Hemp hearts are an excellent way to get a lot of protein into your diet, particularly if you’re a vegetarian. They also have an astounding quantity of other nutrients and are a nutritious item to use in dishes.

However, since hemp hearts may be expensive, you may need some substitution ideas to replace them in your recipes. We’ve done the legwork for you, presenting some of the finest hemp heart alternatives. Examine our recommended alternatives to find the perfect match for your recipes.


Can I substitute chia seeds for hemp hearts?

Chia and hemp seed applications

Chia and hemp seeds both have a mild, nutty taste and may be used interchangeably in a variety of cuisines. For example, both may be added to smoothies, oats, yogurt, or salads to increase the taste as well as the fat and fiber content.

Can I substitute hemp hearts for flaxseed?

Because of its mild taste profile, flax is often substituted for hemp hearts in recipes to provide texture, nutrients, and flavor. To replace flax and get the nutritious advantages of hemp hearts, retain the ratio of three parts flax to one part hemp when substituting them in your favorite recipes.

Can I use hemp seeds instead of hemp hearts?

Hemp Hearts: Applications. While the terms are often used interchangeably, hemp hearts are more commonly utilized in cooking. While some people like the extra crunch that the shell of a hemp seed offers, it does not necessarily improve the texture of a meal.

Which is better for you flaxseed or hemp hearts?

Hemp hearts have the highest protein, but less fiber than chia or flaxseeds. Hemp seeds are also high in potassium, magnesium, and iron.

What do hemp hearts do for a recipe?

Add Hemp Hearts to soups, dips, casseroles, spaghetti sauce, pesto, and other dishes to add additional nutrients! They improve the flavor in a fun and healthful manner that matches the texture–bonus: once mixed in, you won’t even know they’re there!

Is hemp seed the same as flaxseed?

Hemp seed has twice as much protein as flaxseed. Ground flax seed is higher in fiber than dehulled hemp seed. To summarize, both flax and hemp seed are nutritional powerhouses.

Which is better hemp hearts or chia seeds?

Given the differences between hemp seeds and chia seeds, eating one for the sake of eating the other may not deliver the same nutritional benefit. Choose hemp seeds for a high-protein lunch and chia seeds for their high fiber content.

Are hemp hearts like quinoa?

A simple rundown of the differences between Quinoa and Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds and quinoa are both rich in fiber and calories. Hemp has 59% less carbs than Quinoa. Hemp seed has higher saturated fat than Quinoa. Niacin, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folate, and Vitamin B6 levels are greater in hemp.

Do hemp seeds mimic estrogen?

No, hemp protein contains no estrogen. Because hemp meals contain no phytoestrogens, hemp products have no effect on estrogen levels in any manner.

Who should not eat hemp hearts?

The shells of entire hemp seed contain trace quantities of THC that are less than 0.3%. prevent eating whole hemp seeds if you are recovering from cannabis addiction or just wish to prevent any exposure to THC.

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