These hemp protein balls have become my new favourite obsession! Perfect for those sweet cravings when you still want a healthy treat or snack. I actually came up with the idea when I was making my Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies because I kept eating the raw cookie dough, and it was damn delicious! So here’s a healthy protein ball recipe that tastes like gingerbread cookie dough, with the nutritional benefits of a high protein snack.
Hemp seed health benefits
Hemp seeds are the seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Although they come from the same species of plant as cannabis, hemp is a different variety and only contains trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound that gets you high. So no, hemp seeds won’t get you high.
Hemp seeds are such an awesome nutritional superfood, filled with healthy fats, protein and minerals. They have been used to treat various disorders for thousands of years in traditional oriental medicine and now considered a functional food. And one that I love to eat daily in salads, smoothies, snacks and it even makes for a delicious crumb for fish or chicken (I’ll have to share my recipe for hemp n herb crumbed chicken).
1. High in essential fatty acids + anti-inflammatory
It has great anti-inflammatory benefits, containing essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). Although we hear a lot about the importance of omega 3s, we actually need a balance of both, and hemp seed contains a balance optimal for human health. Hemp seed also contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which has been linked to several health benefits including reducing inflammation and heart disease risk. GLA has been found to be beneficial in reducing menopause and PMS symptoms such as breast pain and tenderness, depression, irritability and fluid retention.
2. Good source of protein
Hemp seed is a good source of high-quality and easily digestible protein, containing all essential amino acids.
3. High fibre for gut health
Hemp seeds are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, containing 20% and 80%, respectively. Soluble fibre provides fuel for gut bacteria, whilst insoluble fibre adds bulk to help eliminate waste.
4. Rich in minerals & vitamins
Hemp seeds are a great source of vitamin B1 (thiamine), required for carbohydrate metabolism, and vitamin E, which maintains healthy skin, eyes and immune system. Hemp seeds are rich in minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium, and a good source of phosphorus, iron and zinc.
Personally I love Hemple who have a range of hemp seed products including hemp protein powders, hemp seeds and hemp seed oil. They are 100% Australian owned and grown, and are sustainably farmed – ticking my ethos boxes. For 10% off all their products you can use my code ‘TRIS10’ at the checkout when ordering online with Hemple. (Please note this isn’t a sponsored post and I don’t receive any kickbacks for recommending them – I simply receive the same discount as I’m sharing with you. I only ever share products I love and use myself, so it’s a bonus that the awesome team at Hemple have offered this discount!).
Gingerbread Hemp Protein Balls (vg/gf)
1/4 cup Hemple Vanilla Hemp Protein
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup almond meal
2 soft pitted dates
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp all spice
2 tbls Hemple hemp seeds
1 tbls Nuvia plant-based sweetener
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
+ a few squares dark chocolate, melted (for coating) – use vegan chocolate for vegan option
1. Add all ingredients (except chocolate) into a food processor. Process until mixture is in between a cookie dough and crumbly texture. You still want some bits of almonds. Don’t over process or it will end up like nut butter!
2. Roll into small balls. Place in a container in the fridge to set for at set 2 hours (if short on time or coating with chocolate, freeze for 20 mins instead).
3. If coating with chocolate, freeze protein balls for 20 mins first (this helps the chocolate stick). Melt a few squares of chocolate in a bowl over a simmering pot of water. Once melted, remove the bowl off the pot.
4. Roll the balls through the chocolate to coat. Place in a container in the fridge or freezer to set.