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Although hemp seeds are rich in nutrients, they are very expensive compared to many other seeds. If you are preparing a recipe that calls for hemp seeds, it’s good to know which substitutes work well in replacing these pricey seeds.
We found quite a few alternatives that should serve you well in the kitchen. Not only do they work well as replacements, but they will save you money in the process. Regardless of your needs, we believe we’ve found substitutes that will allow you to get many of the same effects found in hemp seeds.
What Are Hemp Seeds?
Hemp seeds are derived from hemp plants. A common misconception is that hemp seeds are the same as marijuana and get therefore produce mind-altering effects. The truth, however, is that these seeds don’t contain any psychoactive chemicals that you find in cannabis.
On the contrary, hemp seeds are prized for being a “superfood” due to being low in carbohydrates and packing lots of plant-based proteins. What’s more, help seeds are an excellent source of magnesium and iron, as well.
They are usually sold in shells and have a white appearance with green spots. They have a mild taste with a hint of nuttiness. That’s because hemp seeds are actually a nut, not a seed. Their nutritional value is such that hemp seeds can help lower your risk of developing heart disease.
This is thanks to hemp seeds containing large amounts of arginine, an amino acid that makes nitric oxide for your body to use in combatting heart problems. Hemp seeds can actually lower your blood pressure to ensure a healthy heart.
If you suffer from skin conditions such as acne, hemp is believed to help clear up blemishes for healthy, smooth skin. Patients with eczema also showed improvement in studies. Dry skin conditions can improve with hemp seeds, as well, reducing itchiness and helping you avoid having to take medications.
Hemp seeds are also rich in protein from plants. When compared to lamb and beef, hemp seeds are shown to have nearly the same amount of protein by weight. Approximately two to three tablespoons of hemp seeds provide 11 grams of plant protein.
This is ideal for vegans and vegetarians who need to get plenty of protein in their diets. Since they can’t eat meat — one of the most common sources of protein — hemp seeds act as a bridge that allows vegans to get the nutrients their bodies need without compromising their lifestyle.
Hemp seeds are very easy on the body’s digestive system, so you will have no trouble digesting hemp seeds and the protein they provide.
What’s more, hemp seeds are shown to help reduce the symptoms of menopause and PMS. And when combined with hemp seeds’ ability to improve digestion, sufferers are more likely avoid the pain and discomfort that comes from menopause and PMS.
As you can see, hemp seeds have a lot to offer. But due to pricing and availability, not everyone can get their hands on hemp seeds. As such, we looked for the most suitable replacements and discovered some really good choices that will serve you well.
Among our findings are actually some very good substitutes that do a fine job of replacing hemp seeds. Let’s take a look at what we found so you can decide which one is right for your needs.
The number one substitute that we discovered is flaxseed. Also referred to as linseeds, flaxseed is slightly larger than hemp seeds. Also different is that flaxseeds don’t have the high protein found in hemp seeds.
Furthermore, flaxseeds don’t contain lysine, an amino acid. Therefore, if you need a good protein source in your diet, you’ll need to find foods that contain lysine. Flaxseed does have the benefit of containing significantly higher amounts of omega-3 and fiber, though.
Not a complete protein source, but pumpkin seeds do contain total protein that is similar to hemp seeds. So they aren’t a bad choice at all. If you want the texture to be closer, just chop the pumpkin seeds with a food processor. The flavor of pumpkin seeds is slightly stronger, and the nutty flavor is slightly pumpkin.
It looks similar to a cannabis seed without green spots. Although nutritionally speaking, sesame seeds contain about only half of the protein; they serve as a good match in terms of flavor and texture.
These seeds are a complete protein source. However, they only contain a small amount of protein, and you would therefore need to eat tons of chia seeds to get the protein you need. Given the significantly higher fiber content of chia seeds, it’s probably best to avoid consuming too many of them in a single sitting. However, chia seeds work well to add visual appeal to dishes and plenty of crunch.
If you are searching for a replacement for hemp seeds to use in baking and cooking, almond meal works well. The disadvantage is that, like most alternatives, the almond meal does not have a whole lot of protein. And if you’re allergic to nuts, you will definitely want to steer clear from using almond flour.
Coconuts present a much different taste and do not have any protein. However, it has a fine texture and can be used in baked goods like hemp seeds. It’s important to keep in mind the taste difference that using coconuts will cause.
Some recipes that call for hemp seeds will not taste right if you use coconut in their place. That’s why coconuts are the last substitute on our list. They have limited use as a viable alternative to hemp seeds, so you’ll need to use them as a last resort in some cases, although in others, coconut will work just fine.
Cook Gem Is Your Source for Substitutes and More
We have many more wonderful food substitutes that are sure to come in handy in your cooking ventures. We also regularly discuss vegan-friendly ingredients and food options to help you maintain your vegan diet.