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How to Use Hemp Seeds in Food

Updated on July 22, 2013

The Best Ways to Use Hemp in Food

Hemp seed is arguably the most nutritious single food that people can add to their diets, and for this reason, it is best to include it as much as possible in your recipes. Thankfully, the seed is remarkably easy to include in nearly any recipe, so you shouldn't have any problem consuming more of it.

The Benefits of Hemp Seed

To really inspire you to add more hemp seed into your diet, it's important for you to know why it's so good. There are so many special benefits to this small seed, you will never want to go a day without it again.


Protein is the most relevant of hemp seed's benefits to vegetarians, but even for those who consume meat, this powerful source of amino acids is always welcome. Hemp's protein is 100% complete, so it contains all the essential amino acids. Furthermore, it is 66% globulin edestin, the most bioavailable protein known. This means you get all the amino acids you need in the most bioavailable form, for maximum assimilation. You can't get better than that!

Essential fatty acids

Everybody has been hearing about how Omega-3 is so important for all kinds of health reasons, including brain, cardiovascular, and immune health. Research has shown that proper Omega-3 consumption greatly decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, the two leading causes of death for Americans. Hemp seed is very rich in Omega-3, as well as Super Omega-3, which helps the regular stuff work even more efficiently. Very few foods contain the Super form of Omega-3, so this gives hemp seed an additional edge over other Omega-3 sources.


Hemp has both insoluble and soluble fiber, primarily the former type. Both types cannot be digested and are important for helping move other nutrients through the digestive system. Hemp's fiber is of high quality and helps with the absorption of other nutrients present.


Many minerals are naturally present in hemp, including zinc, iron, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and trace elements. These minerals either act as antioxidants or assist with thousands of chemical reactions within the body.

Cooking with Hemp Seeds

The main thing you need to keep in mind when cooking with hemp seed is that some of its nutrients are delicate. The essential fatty acids can only maintain their structure up to a certain temperature. You don't need to worry about damaging the protein, as that is much more resilient, and minerals can survive absolutely any temperature. To preserve the maximum amount of hemp nutrients, never heat the seeds above 365 degrees. To be safe, you should use an even lower temperature for as little as possible.

Really, the optimum method of consumption is raw, but many people love the taste of light, pan-toasted seeds. If you are going to use hemp seeds with cooked foods, and want the seeds themselves to have a cooked taste, toast for 20 minutes at 325. You can go as high as 350 for 25 minutes - it's up to you to determine how well you like the seeds cooked.

Hemp Food Products

Here are a few of my favorite hemp ingredients and foods. They're all as delicious as they are nutritious!

 Nutiva Organic Cold-Pressed Unrefined Hemp Oil, 24 Ounce
Nutiva Organic Cold-Pressed Unrefined Hemp Oil, 24 Ounce

Hemp seed oil tastes great on salads and is the richest source of essential fatty acids. I even like taking squirts straight from the bottle, which although many people find unusual, I think is the fastest way to get some quick EFAs.

Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein – 16 oz. Sustainably Grown Canadian Hempseed, –Cold-Processed Seed from Non GMO (50% Protein). Organic Hemp Protein
Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein – 16 oz. Sustainably Grown Canadian Hempseed, –Cold-Processed Seed from Non GMO (50% Protein). Organic Hemp Protein

I add this protein to my post-workout drinks. As the main ingredient, it gets a lot of nutritional work done. I used to eat this straight too, but now I find that blending it, as intended, really does work better.

Nutiva Organic, Raw, Shelled Hempseed from non-GMO, Sustainably Farmed Canadian Hemp, 3-Pound
Nutiva Organic, Raw, Shelled Hempseed from non-GMO, Sustainably Farmed Canadian Hemp, 3-Pound

To save money, pick up a 3 pound bag of this organic hemp seed. You're going to use it all anyway, so might as well get the big stuff!

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Oil, 60 Softgel Capsules (Pack of 3)
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Oil, 60 Softgel Capsules (Pack of 3)

If you'd like to supplement your nutrition with some hemp seed oil gels, go ahead. The most convenient way to get extra Omega-3 and Super Omega-3 on the go.


Hemp Seed Dressing

This is a truly unique recipe! Not many people would think of incorporating hemp seed into salad dressing, but here it is!

The Best Foods to Mix Hemp Seed With

Some things just go really well with hemp seed. Adding the seed to these products greatly increases their ability to fill you up, and substantially enhances nutritional value.


You can add three to five tablespoons of hemp seed to a bowl of oatmeal. Each bite becomes far richer and chewier when hemp seed is present, and if you add an unrefined sweetener like raw honey or stevia, the meal acquire's a deep sweetness which permeates every taste.


Yogurt tastes great alone, but if it's completely plain, then something it can be a little bland. Hemp seed is the ideal way to give yogurt that additional texture, flavor, and nutrition which really makes it the perfect food. Plus, the probiotic cultures in yogurt help with absorption of hemp nutrients. Just make sure to get a yogurt that is minimally processed and has at least three billion added live cultures.


You can add hemp seed to any cereal and it blends in very well. Putting the seed into your breakfast bowl is an amazing method of getting early-morning Omega-3s that can optimize your working ability throughout the day. You can even combine the hemp seed with chia seeds and buckwheat groats to make your own homemade cereal.


Combined with jam, peanut butter, and/or coconut oil, hemp seed on toast is remarkably delicious. I prefer gluten-free rice cakes with organic peanut butter, organic superfruit jam, coconut oil, hemp seed and chia seed. Such a meal has literally everything you need to live a super healthy life.

Hemp Poll

What is your favorite thing to add hemp seed to?

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