Hemp protein powder is a whole-foods based dietary supplement that’s been gaining popularity as a plant-based protein source. But what is it?
Let’s take a closer look at how it’s made, its many health benefits, and how you can add it to your daily routine to boost your protein intake!
What is hemp protein powder?
Hemp protein powder (also called hemp flour) is a plant-based protein supplement made from raw ground hemp seeds, a part of the cannabis plant. Unlike its psychoactive cousin marijuana, hemp contains only trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less), the compound responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis, so it’s completely safe to eat.
Hemp protein powder is made through a process that involves cold-pressing the seeds to extract the oil, followed by a process known as “milling” to remove the outer shell of the seeds. The remaining “seed cake” is then ground into a fine powder.
High-quality hemp protein powder should be made from organic, non-GMO hemp seeds and should not contain any added sugar.
What’s the difference between hemp protein powder and regular flour?
Hemp protein powder and regular flour are two completely different things. Regular (all-purpose) flour is made from wheat, while hemp protein powder is made from ground hemp seeds.
While flour is used primarily as a baking ingredient, hemp protein powder is more commonly used as a dietary supplement, since it’s rich in protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids. However, hemp protein powder CAN be used in baking, adding a nutty flavor to baked goods, as well as smoothies or protein shakes!
Benefits of hemp protein powder
Hemp protein powder is packed with protein, omega-3s and omega-6 fats, fiber, and iron, making it a highly nutritious supplement for all diets! It’s keto and paleo-friendly and has an incredibly low glycemic index, so it’s a good choice for diabetics.
Hemp protein powder contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source that’s a good option for vegans and vegetarians, or those with dairy allergies, as other types of protein powder (whey) are derived from cow’s milk. As a result, it’s easily digestible and doesn’t cause bloating or stomach discomfort like some other protein supplements. Plus, regularly taking it can help muscle growth and repair after workouts!
Note that Bob’s Red Mill brand states that hemp protein powder is no longer gluten-free (likely from potential cross-contamination), but other varieties of hemp protein powder might be certified as gluten-free depending on the processing methods.
Hemp protein powder nutrition facts
|Flour (¼ cup)||Calories||Carbs||Fiber||Sugar||Fat||Protein||Glycemic Index|
|Hemp protein powder (hemp flour)||120||13 g||11 g||1 g||2 g||12 g||Hemp seeds = 4|
|All-purpose flour||120||24 g||1 g||0 g||0.5 g||4 g||85|
How to bake and cook with hemp protein powder
Hemp protein powder is not a direct replacement for regular flour, as it doesn’t have the same binding properties, but you can use hemp protein powder to replace up to 25% of regular flour in baked goods. I also recommend mixing it with other flours when baking like almond or coconut flour to create a more balanced texture.
One of the easiest ways to incorporate hemp protein powder into your diet is by adding a scoop to a smoothie or shake for breakfast, or as a post-workout protein boost. Try adding it to oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, muffins, granola bars, or chia seed pudding. If you’re going savory, hemp protein can also be added to soups, salads, or burgers!
Popular hemp protein powder baked goods and dishes
Here are some popular ways to incorporate hemp protein powder into your recipes:
- Protein smoothies and shakes
- Energy balls and bars
- Pancakes and waffles
- Muffins and quick breads
- Cookies and brownies
- Granola and granola bars
- Vegan burgers and meatballs
- Gluten-free bread and pizza crusts
- Soups and stews
- Salad dressings and dips
How to make hemp protein powder at home
All you need to make homemade hemp protein powder is raw, shelled hemp seeds (hemp hearts) and a blender or food processor!
- Grind hemp seeds in a blender, food processor, or coffee or spice grinder.
- Pulse until they are ground into a fine powder. Be careful not to over grind.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dry, dark, place.
It’s important to note that homemade hemp protein powder may not be as finely ground as commercially produced powder, so it may have a slightly gritty texture. With store-bought hemp protein, the seeds are also processed to remove the oil, so your homemade hemp protein powder may not last as long as store-bought.
How to store hemp protein powder
Hemp protein can last a long time if stored properly. Store-bought hemp protein powder should be stored in a cool, dry place, preferably in an airtight container. Some brands may also recommend refrigerating the powder after opening. Most have a shelf-life of about 1-2 years.
Homemade hemp protein powder should also be stored in a cool, dry place, in an airtight container. It’s best to make small batches and use them up quickly, as the natural oils make homemade hemp protein more prone to spoilage.
What are the best substitutes for hemp protein powder?
Sunflower seed flour is the best substitute for hemp protein powder because it has a similar nutty flavor and baking properties.
But if you’re looking for a baking replacement, I would go with almond meal or flaxseed meal. Check out our full flour guide.
If you want a good match for protein that you can add to things like smoothies, cricket flour is an excellent healthy, sustainable option.
Hemp protein powder is a nutritious wholesome food that offers a range of health benefits, including being a complete protein source, easy to digest, rich in fatty acids, supporting muscle growth and repair, and having anti-inflammatory properties.
It depends on personal preference and dietary restrictions, as both hemp protein and whey protein have their own unique benefits. Hemp protein is a good option for vegans or those with dairy allergies, while whey protein is a popular choice for athletes and bodybuilders due to its high concentration of branched-chain amino acids.
No, hemp protein powder is not CBD. Hemp protein powder is made by grinding the seeds of the hemp plant, while CBD is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stems of the plant. Although hemp plants contain low levels of THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, hemp protein powder does not contain THC or CBD.