Hemp Hearts vs. Hemp Protein Powder: Uses and Comparisons
What is the difference between hemp hearts vs. hemp protein powder?
Hemp hearts are hemp seeds that have been shelled, or “hulled.” Hemp protein powder is a powdered form of the hemp seeds. The difference is a slightly more complex production process than just putting them into a food chopper.
The benefits of adding either (or both!) of these foods into your diet are incredible. Imagine, adding an abundant source of protein to your diet. Protein which helps aid weight loss and builds muscles.
It’s well worth adding these foods to your pantry staple items!
But when should you use the hearts versus the protein powder? Are they interchangeable in recipes? Is there an advantage to using one product over the other?
Below we’ll cover everything you need to know about a couple of hemp products: hemp hearts and hemp protein powder. You’ll get a solid picture of their benefits and uses, plus where to find them.
What are hemp hearts?
Hemp hearts come from the seeds of the hemp plants (known as Cannabis sativa). The seeds have a tough shell (called a hull) on the outside of them. Once this hull is removed, you’re left with just the raw “meat” of the seeds, which are called raw hemp hearts.
Hemp hearts are incredibly good for your health. They can help fight inflammation, lower blood pressure, and generally improve the health of the cells of your body.
Hemp hearts are edible either raw or cooked. Hemp hearts provide considerable health benefits either way. Some benefits they provide are:
- Extra protein (10g per serving)
- Decreased inflammation
- May relieve PMS symptoms
- High in amino acids and essential vitamins and minerals
- May help relieve anxiety and boost energy levels
There are tons of nutritional benefits for hemp hearts.
Hemp hearts are also a great, easy-to-add snack for you to help boost your immune system naturally. Imagine being healthier and sick less often. Simply boost immunity by adding a handful of hemp hearts to your daily snack!
Are hemp seeds and hemp hearts the same thing?
Not quite, Hemp seeds and hemp hearts are derived from the same part of the plant, but they are not the same thing. Hemp seeds are the hard, crunchy seed of the plant. Hemp hearts are the hulled seeds, the same item but without the crunchy outer layer.
Both hemp seeds and hemp hearts make a great snack. Which you choose depends on whether you like a crunchy snack or a softer, chewier snack.
The benefits of hemp are the same in both of these products. Therefore, it’s entirely up to you which version you prefer to enjoy!
The main differences between hemp seeds versus hemp hearts come down to how you use them in your recipes. Most of the time, you’ll need an extra processing step to turn the seeds into the hearts. But you can find plenty of ways to use the hemp seeds without any processing.
Don’t worry, there’s actually no need to process hemp seeds at home. You can buy hemp hearts right from our Amazon store!
How is hemp protein powder made?
Hemp protein powder is made from finely ground hemp seeds. Through a multi-step process, hemp seeds are turned into hemp protein powder. Hemp oil is removed (i.e. drying out the seeds) followed by milling the dry leftover into a superfine powder.
That said, it is important to note that hemp protein and hemp seeds are two fairly different products. The main difference between hemp seeds and hemp protein nutritionally is essentially a fat content and protein content difference.
Hemp seeds are higher in fat. The protein powder is the most processed and concentrated protein from the hemp seeds.
Can you make hemp protein powder from hemp hearts?
While commercially hemp protein is made from hemp hearts, making it at home is not quite as easy.
The process to make hemp protein powder roughly entails:
- Press the hemp seeds into a “seed cake” removing the oils (a fat source)
- Mill the seed cake to a powder, sift to make hemp flour
- Sift again to get the protein powder isolated
Due to the superfine texture of the protein powder that results, you’d be hard-pressed to get much past the “hemp flour” stage. Even more difficult, is getting all the oils extracted properly!
You are unlikely to be able to make hemp protein powder properly at home. Making hemp protein powder requires special equipment, but there’s no need to worry! You can easily get pre-made high-quality hemp protein powder, delivered right to your door, to save the hassle (and the mess)!
Is hemp flour the same as hemp protein powder?
No, hemp flour is not the same as hemp protein powder, but it’s close.
As mentioned above, hemp flour is essentially a pre-product during hemp protein powder production.
The nutritional composition of hemp flour and hemp protein are going to differ somewhat. This is due to the fact that the hemp flour will typically be further processed to make a high-protein product. It is also a very heavy flour, whereas hemp protein powder is a lighter weight product.
Partly due to consistency and party from nutritional makeup, they are not interchangeable products.
Is hemp a good source of protein?
Hemp is an incredible, excellent, nearly perfect source of protein!
Here’s a fun fact about hemp: per ounce, hemp hearts contain more protein than chicken!
Hemp products also contain all 9 of the essential amino acids that our bodies need to create EVERYTHING our cells need.
It’s basically a complete food all on its own, especially in hemp heart form where it still contains fats. What this means in terms of protein value is that you’re getting just about the best, most complete protein on the planet!
One of the best reasons hemp is such a great source of protein is the low carb content. This means that you don’t need to sacrifice any keto or low-carb dietary needs to still get a great protein source.
Hemp protein powder is such a great source of complete protein that it’s even recommended for use in bodybuilding. If that doesn’t explain what a great protein product this is, nothing does!
Are hemp products a superfood?
Hemp seeds are considered a superfood, so all hemp products made from the seeds are also generally considered superfoods as a result.
The reasons hemp is considered superfoods include:
- Contains all 9 of the essential amino acids our bodies need to build every single thing it needs (proteins, molecules, etc).
- Have a high number of vitamins and minerals our bodies need.
- They have a near-perfect balance of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids (when out of balance in your diet this can contribute to chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer).
- They retain their beautiful nutritional values fairly consistently across all products made from the hemp seeds!
- Hemp products are generally easier to digest than animal proteins. This means more protein is absorbed per meal than from animal meat (there’s less risk of wasted proteins during digestion).
The value of adding a superfood to your diet is immeasurable, but the benefits of hemp as a superfood are insane! Adding this one little food to your daily diet can help with everything from heart health to weight loss to a better immune system to even having better skin and hair!
When you consider all of the benefits of adding this to your diet, it’s pretty convincing.
But what’s the best way to add this superfood to your diet?
How are hemp hearts and hemp protein powder used?
Hemp hearts and protein powders are going to be used differently depending on your dietary needs, fitness goals, and taste preferences.
If you’re looking to add hemp protein in a fairly discrete way, adding some hemp protein powder in your coffee is a great way to sneak it in with little difference in the finished taste. This is obviously a situation where hemp hearts would definitely not be a suitable addition!
If you want a little more noticeable texture and flavor change to your recipes, hemp hearts can be a great way to go! Try this healthy hemp protein pumpkin bread recipe, which uses the hemp hearts as a nice topping. It also has the hemp protein powder in the batter recipe, but you won’t notice that near as much as the hemp hearts on top.
Here are some other great ways to use hemp hearts and hemp protein powder in your diet:
- Hemp Heart Energy Protein Balls
- Healthy Hemp Heart Recipes (including granola and “banana sushi”)
- Superfood Vegan Donuts
- Salads and Soups
- Dinner Recipes
- Delicious Hemp Heart Snacks
- Healthy Hemp Smoothies
Hemp protein powder:
- Add hemp protein powder to dessert recipes for a protein boost
- Smoothies and Desserts
- Add to pancake or waffle batter
Don’t let this list be exhaustive. Get creative with the different places where you could add some hemp protein into your foods and your day!
(Psst — a super-easy way to add hemp protein to your day, even on the go, is with our premade hummingbar snack bars!)
How do you decide if you should add hemp hearts or hemp protein powder to your recipe?
The best way to decide which type of hemp product you should add to your recipe is to decide what the finished texture should be to suit your tastes.
Do you enjoy a little texture? Go for the hemp hearts.
Do chunks in your coffee or your smoothie sound unpleasant? Then opt for the hemp protein powder instead.
Here’s another great example: Chocolate-covered strawberries dipped in hemp hearts.
Dipped in the hemp hearts as instructed would be a quick and easy way to boost their healthiness. Try mixing hemp protein powder into the chocolate for a smoother dessert.
When there’s a very specific recipe instruction to use one or the other, you should follow it to ensure your finished product comes out just right. Otherwise, go ahead and experiment to find your favorite flavors and textures!
You should also take dietary needs into consideration. Hemp hearts and hemp protein powder do differ slightly in their nutrition value content. Earlier, we discussed how hemp hearts have a higher fat content but hemp protein powder has lower fat but higher protein per serving.
Here are some dietary considerations you might want to consider before choosing one over the other, if it’s a matter of preference:
- Hemp protein is compatible with a low FODMAP diet.
- You can use hemp protein powder when bodybuilding for a high protein boost.
- Hemp products can help calm Ulcerative Colitis.
- Cave-man approved, hemp products are paleo-friendly.
- Hemp products are Whole30-approved!
- Despite being in the nut/seed family, hemp allergies are rare and make a great nut product replacement.
- Hemp is safe during pregnancy.
- Using hemp can improve arthritis.
- Hemp may help reduce cholesterol and inflammation, which means hemp is great for a heart-healthy diet.
The Bottom Line: Hemp Hearts vs. Hemp Protein Powder
If you honestly thought we’d get to the end of this article and tell you which one is better, you’re just nutty!
Kidding, but only about you being nutty. THESE nutty-flavored products are both excellent for your overall health. It’s easy to incorporate hemp into recipes that are both your old favorites and new to your kitchen. Both hearts and protein powder are comparable in nutrition.
Choosing boils down to texture preference and the recipe you’re making. After that, it’s up to you to decide if you need to take the fats vs protein content into consideration.
(Remember, hemp seeds have higher fat/oil content. Hemp protein powder is lower fat but much higher in protein.)
If you’re just looking to add one product to your pantry that’s super versatile and good for all meals of the day, try hemp hearts. They’re good when mixed into oatmeal or cereal or as a smoothie topper for breakfast. You can grab a handful for a midday snack, and you can top a salad or creamy pasta dish with them and be in for a pleasant protein-filled surprise.
If you’re trying to add more protein to your day, either for dietary or physical reasons, you might find protein powder is the better product for your pantry. You can mix the powder into coffee, smoothies, or oatmeal at breakfast or lunch, and you could mix it into energy snack bites for a great protein-boosting mouthful!
No matter which product you prefer, make sure you’re getting a high-quality hemp product for your family. You can buy our hemp hearts and hemp protein powder right here in our Amazon store, or you can use our store locator to find them in a grocery store near you.
Whichever product you choose, keep healthy and keep humming!