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Is hemp flour really better than wheat flour? - Hemp Flour vs. Wheat Flour

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

In the world of baking and culinary creativity, the search for healthier and more diverse alternatives to traditional ingredients is an ongoing endeavor. Hemp flour, derived from hemp seeds, has emerged as a gluten-free option that holds promise for various culinary applications. But is it truly superior to wheat flour, the staple ingredient in many kitchens? Let's delve into a comprehensive comparison of the nutritional aspects, taste, texture, and usability of hemp flour and wheat flour to help you make an informed choice that aligns with your dietary needs and preferences.

Four bowls with wheat, wheat flour, hemp flour and bread

Nutritional Comparison - Is hemp flour really better than wheat flour?

According to Souper Sage's detailed analysis, hemp flour boasts 553 calories per 100 grams, a higher caloric content than both whole wheat flour (332 calories) and regular wheat flour (361 calories). However, where hemp flour truly shines is in its fiber content. It contains significantly more fiber while harboring lower protein levels compared to wheat flour. With 35% carbohydrates, hemp flour contrasts starkly with wheat flour's 80% carb content, rendering it an appealing option for those aiming to manage their weight and carbohydrate intake effectively.


Hemp flour is like a supercharged version of protein powder, offering a complete vegetable-based protein source with a 33% protein concentration (slightly lower than protein powder's 50%). What's remarkable about hemp flour is that it's not just about protein – it's a whole package of goodness.

Now, let's talk about amino acids. Hemp flour comes with all 20 known amino acids, including those essential and semi-essential ones that our bodies can't make on their own. That's like getting a complete set of building blocks for your body's functions. And here's a fun fact: hemp seeds are more digestible than soy or rice – a little digestive win!


But wait, there's more. Hemp flour isn't just about protein and amino acids. It's got a range of micronutrients that are essential for keeping your body's daily processes in top shape. Picture this: folic acid, which helps your cells repair and build themselves, along with potassium keeps your muscles, cells, and nerves functioning as they should. And let's not forget about magnesium – it's like the multitasking mineral, contributing to energy metabolism, bone health, and a well-functioning nervous system. With around 450-470mg of magnesium per 100g of hemp flour, it's a magnesium goldmine.

Iron, a trace element that helps your blood transport oxygen, is also hanging out in hemp flour. A 100g serving can give you a solid 10-12mg of iron – not too shabby at all. And speaking of minerals, zinc joins the party too. It's an antioxidant that boosts your immune system and fights off infections and allergies. For men, hemp flour can cover about 70% of your daily zinc needs with just 100g.


Let's not overlook the power of vitamin E – essential for keeping those pesky free radicals at bay. And remember that protein I mentioned earlier? Well, it's not just any protein. It's primarily composed of edestin, a type of protein closely resembling what's found in human blood. This edestin is a digestion champion and even forms the backbone of our cellular DNA. About 65% of hemp seed protein is edestin, and the rest is albumin, a high-quality globulin protein found in egg whites.

Hemp flour dough

Taste and Texture

One of the standout features of hemp flour is its distinctive nutty flavor and slightly gritty texture. This characteristic adds a unique dimension to dishes, setting it apart from the more neutral taste of wheat flour. Additionally, the darker color of hemp flour can influence the appearance of baked goods, introducing a rustic quality that can be either embraced or adapted creatively. While hemp flour may not seamlessly replace wheat flour in all recipes, it does present a versatile substitution option for an array of culinary creations, including bread, muffins, and pancakes.

Hemp Bread cut in 5 pieces

Usability and Applications

Hemp flour's compatibility with a range of recipes stems from its adaptability as a wheat flour substitute. The versatility of hemp flour empowers those adhering to gluten-free diets to enjoy baked goods without compromising on flavor or texture. This opens up a world of possibilities for individuals who might have otherwise missed out on their favorite comfort foods due to dietary restrictions. Nonetheless, it's essential to note that the transition to hemp flour might require some experimentation, as the distinctive characteristics of hemp flour can influence the outcome of different recipes.




Choosing Between Hemp Flour and Wheat Flour

Ultimately, is hemp flour really better than wheat flour? he choice between hemp flour and wheat flour hinges on individual dietary needs and preferences. For those seeking a gluten-free alternative enriched with fiber and lower carbs, hemp flour emerges as a viable contender. On the other hand, if reduced caloric intake and increased protein content are higher on the priority list, traditional wheat flour retains its appeal. The decision is deeply personal and should be made considering one's overall dietary goals and culinary aspirations.

Hemp flour cake with mulberries on top

Conclusion

Hemp flour's emergence as a gluten-free and nutritionally diverse alternative to wheat flour has expanded the possibilities of healthy and creative cooking. Its higher calorie content, coupled with elevated fiber levels and diminished protein quantities, offers a unique nutritional profile that can cater to various dietary requirements. The nutty flavor, gritty texture, and distinct appearance of hemp flour contribute to its culinary charm, though it might not seamlessly replace wheat flour in all scenarios. Ultimately, whether hemp flour or wheat flour holds the mantle of superiority is a subjective determination, driven by individual preferences and health goals.


Sources:

Hemp Flour Study
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