I’ve recently had the privilege of participating in my very first product review through the Sweat Pink Ambassador community. So, here’s a quick shout-out to the fabulous SPA founder Alyse for this opportunity. Much appreciated!
Now, onto the real business. Today, I’ll be reviewing hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest, a sustainable manufacturer of hemp-only foods, based in Winnipeg, Canada.
Confession Time: Until about 20 minutes ago, I’d never tried hemp hearts before. Scratch that, I’d never tried hemp anything before. I thought hemp was just rope material that middle-schoolers use to make friendship bracelets. So, let’s just say…prior to receiving my free sample in the mail this morning, I was a hemp virgin.
But, nevertheless, they arrived to put the breaks on my virginity, and I eagerly tore into the packaging.
First Impressions: Okay, they’re all natural: check. Each serving has 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegs-3s: check, check.
Moving right along, then…
Well, they’re not exactly what I’d expected. To be honest, I’m not even sure what I was expecting, — maybe granola pieces in the shape of a heart? I don’t know! — but these disc-like things resemble lentils more than seeds. Hmm…intriguing!
The Taste Test: Nutty. Buttery. Tender. Just a slight crunch. Yep, I can get on-board with these little guys!
So far, hemp hearts get an A+ rating.
And that concludes our preliminary round. Time for the finals.
This company website features several tantalizing recipes, so component number 2 of this product review is to experiment with hemp hearts in one of these recipes.
I’m a sucker for superfood smoothies, so I chose to blend up my own twist on Manitoba Harvest’s Cinna-Butter Bliss Smoothie. The original recipe has been copied below for your convenience:
- 2 tbsp. Almond Butter
- 1 tbsp. Hemp Hearts
- 1 Banana*
- 1 Date*
- 1/2 tbsp. Cinnamon
- 1 cup Hemp Bliss Organic Beverage*
- Combine all these ingredients together in a blender.
- Pulse until the mixture is thoroughly smooth (yields 1 serving).
* Notes: I don’t particularly care for bananas, so I substituted roughly 1/3 cup frozen mangoes. I didn’t have any dates on-hand, so I omitted that ingredient altogether (although I’m sure dates would add tons of flavor). Instead of Hemp Bliss, – because, if I barely knew what hemp hearts were, why would I just happen to have drinkable hemp lying around?! – I substituted coconut milk.*
Despite these variations, the smoothie still tasted absolutely incredible. In fact, I can see it becoming my standard post-workout recovery fuel.
And now, for the overarching question: Do I recommend purchasing Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts?
This product has earned my seal of approval and exceeded whatever preconceived notions I had about hemp (which, by the way, is so much more than just a pre-teen fashion statement!).
So, sprinkle the deliciousness on top of salads, oatmeal or yogurt. Toss them into a protein shake or smoothie, like I did. Cook or bake with them in your favorite dishes (or try a brand new recipe, like those displayed on the website). You can even enjoy a handful straight from the bag, as a nutritious and satisfying snack.
Sold, yet? Well, maybe this will persuade you:
During the months of October and November, you can score 20% off all products at ManitobaHarvest.com.
Use the promo code HHSweatPink14 before check-out (and send a cyber thank-you to the awesome folks over at Sweat Pink and Manitoba Harvest for making this special offer possible!).
* Reminder: This promotional discount will expire November 30, 2014. *