Have you ever wondered what makes a food a ‘superfood’? It’s a term that’s thrown around rather loosely these days! According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Definition of superfood. plural superfoods. : a food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health.
I had the opportunity to partner with Manitoba Harvest  this month to host another GIVEAWAY and develop a couple of recipes showcasing this ‘superfood’, which begs the question: do Hemp Hearts qualify as a superfood? And my answer is YES!
Hemp Hearts  (shelled hemp seeds) may look little but they sure do pack a big nutritional punch! Each 3 tablespoons or 30-gram serving contains 10 grams of plant-based protein (twice the amount in a comparable serving of flax or chia seeds and are lower in carbohydrates) and require no grinding in order for your body to access the nutrients inside unlike flax seeds (which are also extremely nutritious, like chia seeds, for the record!). Hemp Hearts are also a source of anti-inflammatory plant omega-3 fats (2.5 grams per 30-gram serving) and contain a special type of omega-6 fat called GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid)  that appears to fight inflammation unlike some other omega-6 fats.
Plus if that wasn’t enough, hemp foods also contain magnesium, fibre, iron, zinc, and phosphorous. I realize that some people hold some misconceptions about hemp foods (I admittedly did the first time I heard of them!). Fear not, hemp is not the same as marijuana and won’t cause psychoactive effects!
Hemp Hearts  taste great, are easy to use, and nutritious too: talk about the full package! There’s no need to grind or cook Hemp Hearts , they’re ready to eat straight from the bag and are simple to incorporate into your diet. The only limit is your imagination, here are some ideas:
- as a salad topper
- on top of pasta
- in energy balls (check out this Gingerbread Energy Bite Recipe )
- on top of hot or cold cereal
- yogurt topper
- sprinkle on roasted veggies
- mix into granola
- stir into muffin batter (see my recipe below)
- blend into a smoothie (see my recipe below)
- sprinkle on avocado toast (see my recipe below)
- as a topper for a stir fry
Orange Hemp Heart Muffins
These muffins are packed with goodness and healthy fats thanks to the Hemp Hearts  and olive oil and are lightly sweetened with honey! The kids loved them!
Makes 12 muffins
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/3 c. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts 
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2/3 c. honey
- 1 c. vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 Tbsp. orange zest
- 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 c. orange juice
- extra Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts  for garnish
- thin sliced orange segments for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours, hemp hearts, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk until combined.
- In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix together until smooth. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk and/or rubber spatula until fully combined (don’t over-mix the batter).
- Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tins. Sprinkle each muffin with the extra hemp hearts and a thin slice of quartered orange segment if desired, and bake until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool before serving.
Double Hemp Green Smoothie
- 2 large frozen bananas
- 2 c. chopped fresh pineapple
- 6 ice cubes
- 1 c. plain unsweetened almond milk
- 3 c. lightly packed spinach leaves
- ¼ c. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts , plus extra for sprinkling on top
- ½ c. pineapple or mango juice
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
- ½ ripe avocado
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into 4 glasses and sprinkle the additional hemp seeds before serving.
My FAVOURITE Egg & Avocado Toast!
You can sprinkle Hemp Hearts on so many things, and avocado toast is one of my favourites! This one is complete with avocado, tomatoes and a poached egg and a little sprinkle of Hemp Hearts to give it that extra nutrition boost! This makes a great breakfast but it can also double as a healthy lunch or a quick dinner.
- 1 slice of whole grain bread, toasted
- 1/4 large ripe avocado, sliced
- squeeze of lime juice
- 2 slices tomato
- 1 poached egg
- sea salt and pepper
- 2 tsp. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts 
- Place the sliced avocado on the toast, squeeze the lime juice on the avocado (just a bit), and top with the tomato slices.
- Top with the poached egg and season with the salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the Hemp Hearts on top and eat!
Roasted Carrots with Hemp Hearts
These carrots are a healthy and super simple side dish that you can serve all year long!
Makes 4 side dish servings
- 2 large bunches of carrots, cut in half length-ways if large
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the carrots on the paper, drizzle them with the olive oil, sprinkle with the sea salt and pepper and roast until they are golden brown and caramelized, for approximately 45 minutes.
- Remove the carrots from the oven, sprinkle with the Hemp Hearts and parsley and serve!
TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY…just comment in the section below on your favourite way to use Hemp Hearts! The winner will be drawn and announced here on Friday December 8th. The following will be given away to one lucky winner:
- 2 bags of Hemp Hearts 
- 4 bags of Hemp Heart Toppers 
- 2 bags of Toasted Hemp Seeds 
- Grocery bag
- Shaker cup
Retail value = $85
CONGRATULATIONS EMILY SIMPSON FOR WINNING THIS PRIZE!!! And thank you every one who entered and gave all of your suggestions below I LOVED them! You’re all brilliant!
Thank you Manitoba Harvest for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own and are not reflective of the opinions of Manitoba Harvest!