No longer is the hemp plant known for just its recreational use. It is being used more and more for incredible things! From hemp clothing to hemp flour, otherwise known as hemp protein powder, the hemp plant is not just a superfood but a super-plant!
However, substituting it can be tricky, mainly because of its unique flavor and properties, but we have found 6 of the best! Feel free to use them on their own or mix them together to boost your bakes!
- Sunflower seed flour
- Flaxseed meal
- Almond meal
- Chia seed flour
- Cricket flour
- Coconut flour
Best All-Around Hemp Flour Substitute: Sunflower Seed Flour
As we go through the substitutes, hemp flour or hemp protein powder is not supposed to be used as a stand-alone baking flour but as an addition to a mix of other flours to boost the nutritional profile. Sunflower seed flour is similar in that regard; it does not perform well as a stand-alone baking flour.
Sunflower seed flour has a similar nutty flavor and baking properties. It is high in healthy fats, like hemp flour, and rich in plant protein. You can replace ¼ of the regular flour in your bake with sunflower seed flour to boost the flavor and nutrition.
Best Budget-Friendly Hemp Flour Substitute: Flaxseed Meal
Flaxseed meal can be added to baked goods to boost fiber, fatty acid and protein content like hemp flour. It is also a slightly cheaper alternative, costing between 45 and 90 cents per ounce, and hemp is $1 to $2 per ounce.
You can also make your own flaxseed meal by grinding up flaxseeds (also known as linseeds) in a blender and then refrigerating the mix. Flax meal should be kept in a cool, dark place so it doesn’t oxidize once ground.
Best Easy-to-Bake-With Hemp Flour Substitute: Almond Meal
Almond meal is similar to almond flour, but it’s made from unblanched/unpeeled almonds and is darker in color and more ‘gritty’. It adds a sweet and nutty aroma to baked goods, and as the skins remain in the meal, it has an increased nutritional profile.
You can substitute ¼ to ½ of your regular flour with almond meal to boost your bake, but you may need to slightly reduce your fat ingredients as almond meal has a higher fat content and can bake a little greasy.
Flour Closest in Flavor to Hemp Flour: Sunflower Seed Flour
Sunflower seed flour also has a deliciously mild, nutty flavor that can really enhance the taste of baked goods. It also has similar baking properties to hemp flour and can be used similarly. The flavor profile of hemp flour is quite similar; I find the main difference with hemp is that it has slight grassy undertones that the sunflower seed flour doesn’t have.
Best Neutral-Flavor Substitute for Hemp Flour: Flaxseed Meal or Chia Seed Flour
Hemp adds a distinctive nutty flavor to bakes, whereas flax meal has a much less distinctive flavor and tastes milder. If you want to take the neutrality even further, try chia seed flour, which is simply ground chia seeds. It is even more neutral than flaxseed meal but may be harder to find in supermarkets.
Be aware that both flours can make your bake a little gummy if you use too much, as when they are exposed to liquid, they form a gel-like consistency. If you’re going to use it, make sure you stick to the recipe proportions or go easy on it if experimenting.
Best Healthy Substitute for Hemp Flour: Cricket Flour
I could pick no specific flour that is more nutritious than hemp seed flour, as it is a pretty great all-rounder! However, a lot of people choose to add hemp flour to their diet for the protein content, so if you are looking to up your protein even more, you could try cricket flour.
Protein from cricket powder is particularly beneficial because it contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs. Replace 10%-30% of your regular baking flour with cricket flour. This works particularly well for brownies, cookies, and breads…unless you are vegan, then it is definitely not the choice for you!
Best High-Fiber Substitute for Hemp Flour: Coconut Flour
Coconut flour can be used up to around 20% of the entire flour source in recipes and is usually blended with other gluten-free flours since coconut flour doesn’t bind well and can yield a crumbly texture.
It is an excellent source of fiber, at 10 grams per ¼ cup. Hemp flour has around the same amount of fiber, but if you want a fiber boost to your bakes and cannot find hemp, then coconut is probably the next best thing.
Aside from the mild nutty taste, though, the base flavor profiles of both flours are different. Coconut flour is on the sweet, nutty side, while hemp is on the earthy, nutty side.
Best Gluten-Free Alternative to Hemp Flour: Sunflower Seed Flour
Any of the flours on our list would be a good gluten-free alternative, as they all are, but sunflower seed flour still has the most similar flavor and baking properties to hemp flour, so it has our pick for the best replacement if you are just looking to swap hemp flour with another gluten-free flour.
Best Lower Calorie Substitute for Hemp Flour: None!
Hemp flour calories vary considerably by brand and how the hemp seeds are processed. Some are defatted, and some undergo secondary processing to eliminate more of the carbohydrate content and concentrate the protein. So, in these cases, we stick to the Bob’s Red Mill values, which have hemp flour at 120 calories per ¼ cup.
Is it low-calorie? Not particularly, but all of the other appropriate substitutes are higher!
Best High Protein Substitute for Hemp Flour: Cricket Flour
Hemp flour is pretty high in protein at 12 grams per ¼ cup, but cricket flour blasts that out of the water at 22 grams per ¼ cup! Eating lean proteins boosts metabolism, benefits digestion, and promotes lean body mass, and the movement towards using insects as protein sources is also super sustainable and great for the environment!
Cricket flour is nutty, like hemp flour, but more intense. It does not taste like what you think crickets might taste like at all and can add an almost chocolatey, nutty coffee flavor to things. I once had a cricket-based high-protein beer, and it was lovely!
Best Keto/Paleo/Whole30 Substitute for Hemp Flour: Sunflower Seed Flour
At only 3 grams of net carbs per serving, high in healthy unsaturated fats, and gluten-free, sunflower seed flour is suitable for the keto, paleo and Whole30 diets. If you cannot find sunflower seed flour, then almond flour, coconut flour, and chia seed flour will also do!
No, hemp flour does not contain CBD. Hemp flour is made from the highly nutritious hemp seed and is high in protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids such as omega-3s and omega-6s. It does not contain any of the psychoactive compounds found in cannabis.
Yes, you can, and you can add it to raw dishes like smoothies for added nutrition.
No, hemp flour should not appear on any drug tests as it contains no psychoactive compounds found in cannabis.
Hemp flour and hemp protein powder are very similar, sometimes the same, but sometimes hemp protein powder has gone through an extra processing step to concentrate the protein and eliminate some of the carbohydrates.
Most hemp powders will say they must be kept in a cool and dry place. However, if you can refrigerate it, I would to preserve the fatty acids and ensure you get the maximum shelf life.