I heart hemp hearts. I was inspired to base a recipe on these little gems after a foodie chat at family dinner last week. When I mentioned that I add them every morning to my superfood smoothie, my family looked confused and asked what hemp seeds are. This prompted a long discussion about seeds and hemp and hippie food in general (and for me just led to a hemp heart craving, which I satisfied with this lovely summer salad!)
For those of you still wondering what hemp hearts are, they are the shelled hemp seeds, which come from the hemp plant. Appropriately, my boyfriend and I first learned about these when wandering in Portland and an old (very hippie) man went on a 15-minute passionate speech about how he lost 50 pounds because he eats hemp hearts on EVERYTHING (and was wearing all hemp clothing and probably using “hemp” in many ways…) But don’t worry, these seeds come from a hemp plant that is only a cousin of the Marijuana plant and contains only 0.001 percent THC. 🙂 These “hearts” are nutritional powerhouses, and have more protein than any other seed, and are full of healthy omegas and antioxidants. They also have a delicious nutty taste and delicate crunch, which make them a perfect addition to salads like this one.
I used hemp hearts two ways here – blended to make a dressing and then sprinkled on top of the salad. When the hemp hearts are mixed with the fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and nutritional yeast, the dressing tastes very tahini-like, but even more fresh and light. It pairs especially well with the tangy grapefruit and creamy avocado of this salad. I topped this combo off with a little seared tofu for protein, but chicken or chickpeas would also be tasty! Just be sure to include the radicchio for the color points. Bon appetit!
Dressing Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- juice of one small lemon
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
Salad Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1/2 bunch Lacinato kale, torn into pieces
- 1/2 head of radicchio, chopped
- 1 small avocado, cubed
- 1/2 grapefruit, chopped
- 1/2 block extra-firm tofu, cubed
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Add all dressing ingredients to a blender and purée.
- Pour into small bowl and let cool and thicken in fridge while you chop and prepare veggies.
- Toss kale and radicchio with about half the dressing and massage into kale leaves to soften.
- Divide greens onto two plates and then add the rest of the ingredients.
- Drizzle more dressing over the top of the salad, sprinkle with hemp seeds, and then salt and pepper to taste.