Like Columbus claiming to discover the Americas when thousands of people who lived here knew of its existence as did the Vikings who quietly arrived and left centuries before, it seems I am late to the discovery of hemp hearts.
Last week, I ran across hemp hearts as the final ingredient in a chopped salad recipe. Having never heard of it, I called my health food store and yes, of course they carry it. So off I went to pick up this new-to-me ingredient. I happened to buy the brand Manitoba Harvest.
With the intriguing name of hemp hearts, they are actually raw shelled hemp seed, with a moist nutty appearance, adding flavor and texture to the salad, but not overwhelming other ingredients.
While adding the texture and flavor, the hemp hearts also added a nutritional component: protein. For someone who eats many meatless meals, this was a great find. Two tablespoons of these little nuggets gets me 7 grams of protein. It also gets me lots of good fats.
Hemp hearts to my diet have become something like those surprise words that pop up. You run across that word the first time in reading not having been familiar with it, and then suddenly that word appears, looking back at you from many other sources.
So now, having made my ‘discovery’ of hemp hearts, they pop out at me here and there. Within a day of trying that salad recipe, I noticed pro triathlete Sarah Kim Bonner includes hemp hearts in her blog’s muffin recipe.
Then on a recent trip to the pharmacy, I spot hemp hearts right there in the aisle near the energy bars and sunflower seeds. Clearly, I am among the last to add this wonderful food to just about everything – including a tablespoon or so on my morning cereal.
So, fess up readers. Am I the last to discover hemp hearts?