It is one of the cleanest, most whole food sources of protein powder you can use in any of your recipes. It’s well-known for being high in amino acids, which makes it a complete protein source, but it’s also fiber-rich, so it can be used in multiple ways and recipes. It is grain-free, nut-free, gluten-free and can be added to vegan diets! Have you guessed what I’ve been describing yet?! Hemp Protein Powder, of course! Read on and find out how this delicious, and healthful protein powder can be added and beneficial to your healthy lifestyle!
1. Complete Amino Acid Profile
Unlike many seeds, hemp protein made from raw hemp seeds contain all 20 essential amino acids, both essential and non-essential. For this reason, hemp is one of the best plant-based protein sources of all kinds. Complete amino acids are necessary for forming protein in the body, which fuels and repairs muscle cells, regulates neurotransmitter function in the brain, and regulates the nervous system function.
2. Lean Source of Protein
Hemp seeds have a fair amount of fat, but hemp protein is actually a very lean source of protein. Hemp protein is made by cold-milling hemp seeds. During the process, some of the fat is removed and the final product is mostly the natural protein found in hemp seeds. Lean sources of protein are beneficial for digestion, metabolism, and for promoting a healthy, lean body mass. Three tablespoons of hemp protein powder contains roughly 90 calories with only 3 grams of fat but 15 grams of protein! Hemp protein is also cholesterol-free and saturated fat-free.
3. Boosts Metabolism
Since hemp protein contains all essential amino acids and is a lean source of protein, it’s a very effective natural metabolism booster. Protein requires more energy to digest than fats or carbohydrates, which means your body burns more calories just by consuming it. Since hemp protein is from a raw source of protein, it’s even better for your body and metabolism.
Hemp is also full of iron, magnesium and zinc. Per three tablespoons, hemp protein has 40% of your daily iron requirements, 60 percent of your daily magnesium requirements, and 25 percent of your daily zinc requirements. These nutrients are critical for optimizing energy on a plant-based diet. It’s much better to get your nutrients from raw foods that your body can absorb than from highly processed protein powders or supplements.
5. High in Fiber
Most plant-based proteins contain a little bit of fiber, but most none of them besides chia seeds compare to the fiber found in hemp protein. Per three tablespoons, hemp protein provides 8-15 grams of fiber depending on the type of hemp protein you choose. That’s more than a bowl of oatmeal or two- three whole bananas! Fiber is important for regulating your blood sugar, protecting your heart, aiding in digestion, and maintaining a healthy weight.
For such a healthy protein source, hemp is very inexpensive. Because it’s only mildly processed and such a sustainable food, it can be purchased at a fair price, even in organic form. You can usually buy a pound of raw, organic hemp protein for around $15.00, which is around the same cost as those highly refined, cheap tubs of hormone-filled whey protein powders sold at chain superstores. Most organic hemp proteins are also non-GMO, cold-milled, and processed without any chemicals whatsoever. This low-cost feature is great if you’re on a budget but looking to eat healthy without sacrificing quality.
Hemp protein is also very tasty, especially in a smoothie! It has a deliciously rich, nutty taste when blended with other ingredients. Some great pairings to use with hemp are: blueberries, acai, raspberries, blackberries, cinnamon, vanilla, coconut milk, almond milk, spinach, chia, banana, and almond butter. You can also use it to bake with in replacement to flour or use it in a homemade dessert or protein bar recipe.
Watching your carbs? You’ll be happy to know that hemp protein is very low in net carbs. Net carbs are the amount of carbs left after you subtract fiber from the total carb count. Since fiber does not impact blood sugar levels or cause weight gain, it’s not considered a net carb like sugar and starch are. A low-carb, plant-based diet may be beneficial for your blood sugar and weight, though healthy complex carbs most certainly have their place in one’s diet too.
9. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Hemp also contains EFA’s, which are essential fatty acids. EFA’s are important for lean body mass, brain function, and protecting the heart. Hemp seeds contains roughly 1245 grams of omega 3 fatty acids in just 1.5 tablespoons!
Hemp protein’s greenish brown color denotes the natural chlorophyll found in hemp seeds. Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants that provides your body with alkaline protection against inflammation. Hemp protein is also rich in potassium, which can help balance your electrolytes and aid in water balance. This can also help prevent joint pain and muscle cramps, which all fitness buffs know is no fun to deal with. Hemp contains roughly 370 milligrams of potassium in just three tablespoons, which is more than twice as much as orangeand more than twice as much as a cup of spinach!
Hemp protein is also one of the easiest proteins to digest. It’s grain-free, nut-free, gluten-free, vegan, and very easy for the body to process. This makes it a perfect option for anyone on a 100 percent plant-based diet or someone just looking to add a cleaner protein to their fitness routine. You can also choose between regular hemp protein, higher fiber hemp protein, or fiber-free hemp protein depending on your health goals.
These are just sample starters for some delicious treats!
Hemp is one of the best substitutes for flour you can use in a recipe because it will bulk up the dish due to the fiber hemp contains. Hemp is also a dense protein and has a really rich, nutty flavor. Though hemp seeds tend to taste a bit earthy, the protein powder has a much different flavor that can easily be blended with other ingredients for a delicious dessert such as brownies. All you’ll need to do is replace the regular flour in your brownie recipe with hemp protein and cocoa powder (use equal amounts of both). Use whatever other ingredients you normally use in your brownies, such as your choice of sweetener and egg alternatives. This is one of the best 10 Vegan Hacks to Make Your Sweet Treats Healthier, so definitely try it out when you can.
You can also make raw brownies with hemp protein powder instead of cooked brownies, following the same suit. It’s very easy to do with only three or four ingredients. Blend hemp protein with some dried fruit, such as soaked dates or figs, some coconut or nut butter of your choice, cocoa or cacao powder, and a little vanilla extract. Shape into brownies, freeze for 10 minutes and remove to serve for a delicious, raw dessert! For more brownie recipes,check out our amazing brownie recipe list and try using hemp in your next batch!
2. Grain-Free Cereal
One of my favorite things to do with hemp protein powder is to eat it for breakfast in a grain-free cereal recipe. I enjoy that it’s easy to digest, very filling, and doesn’t leave me with a stomachache the rest of the morning like some cereals do. All you need to do is stir one scoop of hemp protein powder (about 3 tablespoons) with a little coconut flour (which is high in protein and fiber, and adds a thickening power), some sweetener of your choosing, non-dairy milk, and any spices you like such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, etc. You can also add chia and flax for more omega 3′s if you like. Stir to make a thick, pudding-like cereal and enjoy the filling benefits of this amazing breakfast!
There’s just nothing that says breakfast the way a delicious, homemade vegan muffin does. Those sugary muffins you buy at the store may taste good but they’re just going to send your blood sugar crashing later, and possibly leave you more hungry. No good! Opt for a protein-rich option instead. Bake your own muffins using hemp protein powder and some coconut, oats, or almond flour to replace the refined white or wheat flour called for in a recipe. The healthy fats from hemp, coconut, and almond will help keep you fuller much longer than refined and wheat-based flours will. Hemp is also richer in fiber than white or wheat flours are. Just be sure to add a little baking soda to your muffins (about a teaspoon) so they’ll be sure to rise nice and pretty like regular vegan muffins. Not sure how to convert a regular muffin recipe to a vegan version? Check out these simple tips for How to Bake Healthy Muffins, Vegan Style.
4. Raw Energy Bites
Hemp seeds are a common ingredient in raw energy bites, and hemp protein is also another great choice, yet with one extra benefit: it’s a better binder than plain hemp seeds are themselves due to the flour-like consistency of hemp protein powder. You can easily mix it with some non-dairy milk or water, some sweetener of your choice, a little almond or cashew butter, some raw coconut shreds, perhaps some cacao, and whatever spices you enjoy. Then, just stir it all up, roll into small bite-sized balls with your hands and there you go- easy protein-filled energy bites without the need for dried fruit as a binder (though you can use that if you like.) You could also use hemp protein powder in place of hemp seeds in these Raw Hemp Chia Bars if you like.
5. Protein Porridge
This is a bit different than the grain-free cereal mentioned above, though both will make an awesome breakfast. You can mix hemp protein in with your normal grains (such as oats or seed-like grains such as millet or quinoa), or you can opt for a grain-free porridge instead. Warm a half cup of almond milk (or whatever other non-dairy milk you enjoy) on the stove on medium heat, just until it’s warm to the touch. Then pour into your favorite cereal bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of coconut flour, 3 tablespoons of hemp protein powder, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla, and some shredded coconut. Keep stirring until you get a thick porridge consistency and top with your favorite fruit or some sunflower or pumpkin seeds. This makes a delightful warm, grain-free porridge in the winter. You can also use oats if you’re an oatmeal lover, as it will turn out just as nice. Using coconut flour in your oatmeal, along with hemp protein, is also one of the best ways to make it super thick and creamy!
Helpful Hemp Notes:
Hemp protein may turn your recipes slightly green in color, but don’t be alarmed. That doesn’t negate from the delicious taste your goodies will have, nor does it make your breakfast too “green” to enjoy. Hemp protein’s green color comes from it’s natural chlorophyll content. Hemp protein is also cholesterol-free, rich in magnesium, which will gives you energy for the day, assist in healthy nervous system function, and even keep you regular. Can’t argue with those benefits now can we? Check out more hemp protein inspiration, along with all of our hemp recipes.