What Are Hemp Seeds? (+ how to use them)

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You only need four ingredients to make these Easy Hemp Seed Energy Bites that offer protein, fiber, and tasty popabilities :) They are the perfect recipe for those who are new to hemp seeds. Learn more from our team member Kiran in this post.
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photo of Nutiva organic hemp seeds

Hemp is a hot topic these days. Actually, anything related to the cannabis plant is. Marijuana (medical and recreational), legalization, CBD, and hemp are in the news daily. And while they are technically all related, they also differ dramatically.

So today we’re taking a closer look at hemp seeds (which are not a drug), sponsored by Nutiva, one of our longtime partners. But truth be told, I’ve been a longtime fan of hemp seeds myself and use them frequently. Let’s take a look…plus be sure to print the recipe below!

What are hemp seeds?

Let’s start out with the million dollar question. Will hemp seeds get you high? No. Unlike marijuana, hemp foods contain only trace levels of THC and will not cause a psychoactive effect. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about parts of the plant.

Both marijuana and hemp come from the plant species Cannabis Sativa L. Years of breeding resulted in two plants: marijuana and hemp. The flowers and leaves of a marijuana plant contain the psychoactive elements, often referred to as THC.

Hemp foods are not a source of THC or CBD. At the end of the day, marijuana is a crop grown for its THC content, while hemp is an agricultural crop grown for seed and fiber.

The hemp plant has been in cultivation for thousands of years throughout Asia and the Middle East before finally making its way across Europe and to the Americas. It has been referred to as one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, since it is rich in protein and minerals, with the ideal 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3.

Omega fatty acids are essential because human bodies cannot make them on their own, which means we need to get these good fats from our diet – enter hemp seeds. In addition, it’s loaded with all 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential.

How to use hemp seeds?

Personally speaking, the first thing to do is to get yourself a bag of Nutiva USA-Grown Organic Hempseed! After that, you’ll quickly realize that the options are endless! They’ve got a subtle, nutty taste that I really do enjoy, and here are some of my favorite ways to use them…

  • Add them to smoothies
  • Sprinkle on salads
  • Add them to oatmeal
  • Add-in to soups
  • On top of avocado toast
  • Mixed into a pasta dish

I was a pescatarian for 5 years and really wanted (and needed) that extra protein. Hemp seeds provided just that, quickly and easily. I kept a bag handy (sometimes even in my handbag) and could quickly sprinkle them onto foods even if I was not home. As a side note, the protein found in hemp seed is very digestible, making it a great choice for sensitive diets. Bonus!

Why Nutiva hemp seeds?

Hemp was an integral part of the early American economy but was banned in 1958. Through legal battles, extensive research, and boosting public awareness, Nutiva helped make its comeback. They’ve been advocates from the very start—in fact, hemp actually inspired their name, Nutiva: NUT of (Cannabis) saTIVA.

Today, they continue to fight for your right to nutrient-dense, organic foods made without chemicals or GMOs (and have a full line of other offerings consistent with that mission—chia seeds, coconut flour and oil, and more).

Nutiva hemp seeds are all USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified and raw. This is a big one for us because as we all know, we want to reap the benefits that are offered by the plant without the addition of conventional chemicals. Nutiva is also the first national organic brand to sell USA-grown organic hempseed. We love supporting local farmers, and by buying and using the Nutiva hemp seeds, we’re doing just that. YES!

Nutiva believes in giving back and donates 1% of sales to regenerative agriculture and healthy communities. To date, they’ve donated $4 MM to organizations that support hemp agriculture, including Rodale Institute and Vote Hemp. We like this about them, too. :)

Here’s an easy hemp seed recipe to help get you started:

photo of hemp seed energy bites

Have you tried hemp seeds? And if so, how do you like to use them?

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6 thoughts on “What Are Hemp Seeds? (+ how to use them)”

  1. Unique and Informative article! Excellent explanation of hemp seeds. Thanks for sharing such an useful and valuable tips,

  2. My mom has tons of food allergies, so she makes her own hemp milk regularly in her Blendtec blender. Easy, with no soaking or straining required like with almond milk!

    1. Kiran Dodeja Smith

      That’s great! I haven’t tried making my own hemp milk yet, but this gives me inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

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