I learned years ago that in order to make a meal nutritionally balanced, we need to include a source of quality protein, healthy fat, and fibre. This combination also benefits us when snacking as well. The use of the three essential nutrients together helps keep us feeling full longer, regulates our blood sugar levels, and supports optimal brain function. We see less crash and burns and less need for those sugar and/or caffeine fixes mid-afternoon.
Ever since learning of this magical formula, I have made an effort to always try and include the three together whenever I eat, and with whatever I eat. It is easier than it sounds and once we get to practicing, pro-status is quickly achieved-I promise. Of the three essential nutrients, a quality protein seems to be the hardest for most people to include and especially in the snacks. I had the same struggle until I came across Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts and now my eating habits have forever changed.
What’s the deal with hemp hearts anyway? Are they actually as fabulous as everyone makes them out to be? The answer is yes. Here’s why hemp hearts are the superfood of all superfoods. The super plant is packed with the highest quality sources of both protein and healthy fats (both omega-3 and omega-6). The plant-based protein content is higher than that of chia or flax seeds. Hemp hearts also have all 10 of the essential amino acids to help support our wellbeing with just a sprinkle. Above all of this, the fact that they are literally so incredibly easy to use makes it impossible not to. This super plant is so versatile. The taste is subtle but holds a slight nutty flavour and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. They can be blended in smoothies, soups, dips, and spreads. They can be used in baked goods. They can be sprinkled on oatmeal bowls, salads, soups, and anything else you can dream of.
Their versatility is why I personally tend to use them more than once in a day. Like I said earlier, it’s too easy not to. I also have a hungry toddler who requires a thousand snacks a day so hemp hearts come into play more than they ever have before. I’d love to showcase how simple it is to incorporate these nutrient packed hearts in everyday life. It can literally be as simple as a sprinkle but there’s always room for creativity as well…if that’s your thing.
Coconut Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s our opportunity to break the fast in the most energizing of ways. And although quinoa itself packs a powerful protein punch, I added some hemp hearts to my bowl as well for the healthy fats and all the other vitamins they contain such as magnesium, fibre, zinc, iron, and phosphorus.
Coconut Quinoa Recipe:
- 1 cup uncooked organic quinoa
- Unsweetened coconut milk (I used boxed not canned)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Rinse off and soak the quinoa overnight for optimal absorption and digestion.
- In the morning, rinse it off and place into pot.
- Cover the quinoa with just enough coconut milk to just barely cover the quinoa-we do not need a lot of extra liquid here since it was soaked overnight and has already absorbed a lot of moisture.
- Bring the quinoa to a boil and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover and cook the coconut quinoa for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and get eating.
To assemble the breakfast bowl, use ½ cup of the cooked quinoa per serving. Add your favourite fresh fruit, any nuts and/or seeds, an all-natural sweetener of your choice, and Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts.
My bowl included coconut quinoa with some pure maple syrup, pomegranate and banana, crushed pecans, and hemp hearts.
If you aren’t a fan of quinoa, disregard the hesitation for this recipe. I am also not a huge quinoa fan but this breakfast has been a game changer. And my 18 month old absolutely loved it.
As I mentioned above, I have a bottomless pit of a toddler who demands food all day long. Seeing as she is not yet quite a fan of raw vegetables and only has her few favorites on repeat, sometimes I find it hard to get creative. One of her very first foods was zucchini and she loved it but that love dwindled somewhere along the way. I don’t give up that easily though and I managed to get her back on the zucchini train with these fries.
She’s still a little tiny human so I personally try to avoid overloading her system with too many starchy grains. This meant I had to get creative in replacing a portion of the usual breading that is traditionally used for making zucchini fries. Hemp hearts to the rescue. This recipe makes for a great snack or even a side to a meal.
Zucchini Fries Recipe:
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 16 strips
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup rice bread crumbs (or any other kind)
- 1/8 cup Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts
- 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- ½ Tsp. oregano
- 1/8 Tsp. garlic powder
- S + P
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Crack the egg into a container and whisk thoroughly.
- Combine the bread crumbs, hemp hearts, nutritional yeast, and spices in a separate container.
- Dip each zucchini strip into the egg mixture and shake off the access.
- Proceed to coating the egg dipped strip in the bread crumb mixture.
- Place the fries on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
- Bake in the oven for about 18 minutes, filliping halfway through.
We can all agree that pasta for dinner is among the easiest of dishes to serve, yes? Everybody loves pasta and there are plenty of ways to make a simple pasta dish hearty and healthy. This PUMPKIN PASTA RECIPE of mine has been on repeat ever since I came up with it.
The whole family adores it and I made sure it was nutritionally balanced as is, but of course there is always room for any additional veggies should your heart desire. The cashews and the hemp hearts provide this dish with both quality healthy fats and protein. And the pumpkin squash provides us with fibre and the unique taste that is truly unforgettable. See? A healthy, well-balanced and well-loved pasta recipe-life is good.
Because I want to inspire you to up the ante on heath by using Manitoba Hemp Hearts, I’m hosting a giveaway. For your chance to win a Manitoba Harvest Prize Pack please leave me a comment on this blog post telling me what your favourite way to enjoy hemp hearts is. If you have not used them before but are influenced to do so now, leave me a comment on how you’d like to use them. I will choose one winner at random on Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 at 8pm CST. This giveaway is valid for Canadian and U.S citizens. //UPDATE: Giveaway is closed. The winner is Samantha Way. Thank you all for your participation.
For more inspirational ideas on how to incorporate this super plant of a seed to your meals, check out www.Manitobaharvest.com.
You can also stay inspired by following Manitoba Harvest on the following social platforms:
This post is sponsored by Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods. All opinions and words are my own. Hemp hearts have been a staple of mine for years now and I have been raving about them for just as long. Thank you for taking interest in what I advocate and why. I hope this post leaves you with health and happiness.