Hemp Seed – What You Should Know and Tips for Baking With It

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Hemp seed is misunderstood. While hemp has been accepted for use as a fabric, hemp products – like hemp seed – have yet to become mainstream in our kitchens.

Certain assumptions are made about hemp seed simply because it comes from the cannabis plant. The most frequent question that I received when I mentioned my hemp seed cupcakes was, “Are those like pot brownies?” The question was typically followed by a devilish-looking smirk.

Let’s clear one thing up about hemp seed right away: Hemp seed is produced from a different variety of cannabis than marijuana, one that won’t chill you out and give you the munchies. If you were expecting a recipe for getting high – sorry.

What Does Hemp Seed Taste Like?

Hemp seed tastes like a cross between a pine nut and a walnut, with maybe a dash of quinoa.

Why Eat Hemp Seed?

Why not? If you enjoy other nuts and seeds, there is no reason not to add hemp seeds into the mix. For more specifics on the health value of hemp seeds, check out the well-researched article on hemp seeds at The Nourishing Gourmet. Here’s a quote from the article:

Hemp is a high protein seed containing all nine of the essential amino acids (like flax). It also has high amounts of fatty acids and fiber as well as containing vitamin E and trace minerals. It has a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats at around a three to one ratio. This won’t help correct your omega balance if it’s off, but it gives you the right balance to start with.

Don’t give me a quiz about that quote, because I would fail. When I read something like that, I just process it in my head as, “Hmm… this stuff is healthier for me than cupcakes!”

How to Use Hemp Seeds in Baking

Hemp seeds can be used in baking in any recipe that calls for chopped walnuts or pine nuts and could possibly be used in recipes that call for other varieties of nut. To enhance the nutty, hempy flavor of your dessert, replace the recipe’s milk with hemp milk [paid link] and consider using hemp oil [paid link] as the recipe’s fat.

Where To Buy Hemp Seed


Hemp seeds are sold as a health food product. You can find them at health food stores or in the health food section of your grocery store. I found my hemp seeds at Whole Foods in the bag shown above near the vitamin supplements. You can also buy hemp seed online [paid link].

My Dream for Hemp

Selling hemp seeds only in health food stores in medicinal looking bags (looking at the tub of hemp seed on Amazon [paid link], doesn’t it seem as though it would taste like a pill?) gives hemp seed about as much of a chance at popularity as a child’s toy sold on a top shelf in a black box with no photo. If hemp seed were sold in serve-yourself bins like sesame seeds and nuts, it would at least have a fair shot of going mainstream.

Have you baked with hemp?