What Can I Use Instead of Hemp Seeds – What Are the Best Alternatives in 2023
Small but packed with protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and healthy fatty acids, these seeds are also known as ‘superfood’ due to their nutritional properties and health benefits.
Hemp seeds are used as toppings on cereal, yogurt, smoothies, and salads; and key ingredients in baked goods such as cookies, tarts, and muffins. You can find them in some supermarkets, health and nutritional food stores, and online shops. However, they can be quite expensive and run out of stock fast.
You can still achieve the results you want for your recipe by substituting hemp seeds with flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almond meal, and desiccated coconut.
7 Hemp Seeds Substitutes
When you want to stock your kitchen with some hemp seed supply or you’re looking to use it for your next dish but your local stores don’t have any available, you can refer to this article to find out the best alternative.
Get more information by reading the list below:
Also known as linseeds, these seeds have a toasted nutty flavor and mild crunchy texture. They also have a similar nutritional profile with hemp seeds so you’ll be definitely getting those healthy benefits.
Boost your recipe by swirling flax seeds in your smoothies, adding them to granola, using them as breading, pouring onto salad dressings, spreading on baked goods, and basically sprinkling them onto any dish.
Flax seeds come in two types: brown and golden. Brown flax seeds are more widely available with a strong, nuttier taste while golden flax seeds have a milder and buttery flavor profile. Make sure you know what flavor you’re going for before choosing which type!
You probably heard this from popular health gurus or yogis as a key ingredient in their diets. Chia seeds are excellent substitutes for when you want some of that crunchy nuttiness on your smoothies, salads, oatmeals, pilafs, crisps, and cereals.
Chia seeds are smaller in size than hemp seeds but can still provide nutritional benefits. Make sure to use twice the normal amount you use in hemp seeds.
You can level them up by oven toasting them for about 3 to 5 minutes until fragrant or soaking them in milk or water overnight to achieve a tapioca pudding-like consistency.
Roasting pumpkin seeds is considered a yearly tradition for some families, making it perfect for a cozy and comforting autumn affair.
Pumpkin seeds have a slightly stronger flavor and chewy texture than hemp seeds. If you want to attain a similar texture, finely chop those pumpkin seeds or throw them into a food processor. You can also mix them with olive oil, coconut oil, or any nut oil for some additional flavor.
Also known as pepitas, pumpkin seeds can be used as crust for meat and fish recipes, garnishes for soups, ingredients in cookies and muffins, blended into sauces and guacamoles, and toppings for salads and oatmeals.
Similar to hemp seeds in appearance (without the green flecks), flavor, and texture, sesame seeds are great as toppings for stir-fries, soups, oatmeals, and salads. It is also used in making baked goods, and both sweet and savory dishes.
Sesame seeds are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals which can help you achieve your daily necessary nutrient intake. When they’re baked, they come with a strong almond-like taste and aroma.
When using them as hemp seed substitutes, use the typical amount of hemp seeds you use in a recipe.
Flavor- and texture-wise, sunflower seeds are also excellent substitutes. An added bonus is that it is more readily available anywhere and at affordable prices. So, when you’re in a tight pinch, this is the best choice for you.
Best used for breading on meat, chicken, or fish dishes, toppings on your favorite salad and slaw recipes, and key ingredients in your granola, you can use sunflower seeds at the same amount you typically use for hemp seeds.
Sunflower seeds can be obtained raw or roasted depending on the flavor profile you’re going for. However, roasting sunflower seeds bring the most out of their nutty texture and succulent texture.
When you’re in the mood for baked goods, desserts, and sweet treats, almond meal is the best substitute for you. They are made by grinding some whole, unpeeled almonds. Don’t confuse them for almond flour, as those are made from blanched, skinless almonds.
Almond meal is best for a variety of your favorite snacks such as scones, biscuits, pancakes, gluten-free cookies, almond cakes, macarons, pudding, and brownies. You can also use them as breading, in meatballs, and as star ingredients in your keto or paleo diet.
Steer clear from almond meal if you have nut allergies. Also, remember to use them in moderation since it is calorie-rich.
If you want to experiment and get a little creative in the kitchen, you might want to try desiccated coconut as hemp substitutes. They have a fresh, pleasant taste that is quite different from hemp seeds but with a similar texture.
Desiccated coconut is excellent for sweet and savory recipes such as fritters as well as baked treats such as macaroons since they can work both as a topping or coating. They are also commonly used in Indian cuisines such as pattice, chutney, and pakodas.
You can use this substitute as a last resort or a surprise element for your recipes — it’s all up to you to decide. You can moisten it with a little bit of coconut oil.
Difference Between Hemp Seeds & Marijuana
Both come from the Cannabis sativa family but with different tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. Hemp seeds have about 0.3% and do not give any psychoactive effects. They are grown for agricultural purposes such as for seeds, oils, and textiles. On the other hand, marijuana has 15% to 20% THC.
Why Are Hemp Seeds Expensive?
Some regions might require the production of hemp seeds to be strictly regulated to prevent cross contaminations of added THC content from the cannabis plant. In the US, it is illegal for people to grow hemp seeds with THC concentrations of more than 0.3%.