High Protein Hemp Hummus

by Gena on April 5, 2011


A little while ago, I got the following comment on my sweet potato hummus post:

I don’t know if you’re still reading these comments, Gena, but this hummus is like divine intervention.  It is so good.  I made it without sesame oil (because I didn’t have any) and added a bit more salt than indicated (because I used dried beans instead of canned) and it is by far the best hummus I’ve ever had. Thank you for sharing.

Best hummus she’s ever had? Wow. That’s high praise, given how much excellent hummus is in the world. Thank you!

When I first made that sweet potato hummus, I ate it obsessively for weeks and weeks. I was certain that I’d never come up with a hummus recipe I liked more. I should have known better. Hummus is one of my favorite foods, and I’ll be making new versions that I love for a good long time: whenever I think I’ve identified a favorite, I quickly find another version I like even more. The hummus I’m about to share is my new favorite, but I’ll refrain from calling it my favorite for obvious reasons: a lifetime of hummus variation awaits me.

This hummus first sprung to mind as I was helping a client to add more high-protein foods into her routine without adding an excess of meat analogs. It’s often my job to help the newly vegan understand that, while imitation meat and processed soy can be helpful transition foods, and can certainly have a place in any healthy vegan diet if eaten with some moderation, we needn’t see them as our only possibly protein options. Plant based protein is all around us—in beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, high-quality vegan protein powders, nooch, and more. We’ve got options.

I’ll write more about the array of high protein plan foods later this week, when I share another high-protein recipe that I developed for my client (an entrée). Today, I’m offering you a higher protein hummus option that will allow you to easily add some amino acids to your sandwiches, salads, veggie snacks, or wraps. It’s thick, tasty, and easy to make. It’s hemp hummus, and I can’t believe I haven’t made it sooner.

In essence, this recipe is what happens when you replace the tahini (sesame paste) in traditional hummus with ground hemp seeds. The rest of the recipe is traditional: chickpeas, lemon, salt, garlic, and a dash of cumin. You can enjoy the recipe just as you would regular hummus, but with the satisfaction that you’re getting at least a little more protein and essential fatty acid action with each bite. Note that I did add 1 tbsp of tahini to help with creaminess and texture; if you want to keep it light, stick to the hemp alone.


High Protein Hemp Hummus (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Makes 4-5 servings

1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds
1 can chickpeas, drained, or 2 cups freshly cooked (heat before blending for ideal consistency)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp tahini (optional)
1/2 tsp cumin

1) Place the hemp seeds in the bowl of a food processor and grind till powdery.

2) Add the chickpeas, salt, lemon, garlic, tahini, and cumin, and begin to process. Add water in a thin stream (stopping to scrape the bowl a few times) until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

3) Garnish with hemp seeds and serve.

You can of course do anything you like with this hummus. My favorite use of the week was to stuff it into some nori sheets—a la my poppyseed sushi from last week—and devour piece by piece. One serving of the recipe has ten grams of protein—half of those the complete proteins afforded by hemp seeds—and you can make that even higher by adding a few tablespoons of nooch to the recipe. Easy, right?


Before I go, I just wanted to mention that submissions for Green Recovery are pouring in, and that the brave writers behind these submissions are pouring their hearts out. I’ve been moved to tears as I read these honest accounts—many of which represent the very first time that the writers in question have spoken openly about their histories. I have former anorexics, bulimics, binge eaters, compulsive eaters, and a few women with EDNOS histories. If there is an ED in your past, and you feel that eating a vegan diet in the present has helped you to move forward and redefine your relationship with food in a healthy way, then I’d love to hear from you.

See you tomorrow!


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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm

mmm I love hummus and I love hemp so I’m definitely going to give this a try! thanks :)


Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Wow. This looks and sounds delicious… I’ve been afraid of hemp seeds ever since I tried a hemp protein powder. The taste was not ideal, to say the least ;) I will need to give it another go to make this. Thanks!


Christina April 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I haven’t made hummus recently because I ran out of tahini and just keep forgetting to pick some up! This recipe looks amazing, I might have to give it a try :)


JL Goes Vegan April 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Ohhh, I like the hemp addition. Nice nutty, heartier, humus.

Gena, I can only imagine what it’s like to read the submissions. I hope your readers will realize that as you post the series, there is so much you’re dealing with in the background. You are to be commended!


Freya April 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I’m with Katie above – hemp seeds straight up are fine, but I tried hemp milk once and it was the foulest thing I’d ever had! But that hummus sounds so good…I need to get over the hemp fear!
So glad the GR series is popular :)


Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn April 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm

I love the idea of adding hemp seeds! That is such a simple addition that adds so much nutrition! Thanks for the idea girl:)


Kelsey April 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I love hemp and hummus AND the idea of hummus with an extra protein boost! Win win win. Great idea. And you can never have too many hummus recipes!!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm

The hummus looks wonderful! Love hemp seeds for all the punch they pack in terms of nutrition and taste and they add a richness to food that is so nice.

And I almost forgot about your sweet potato hummus.

You are the hummus making queen!

Excited to hear what the other recipe you came up with today for a client was.

And also…so awesome that you are getting so many reader stories and submission for your Green Recovery series. I know those stories will help thousands of others once they are posted and printed…great, amazing, meaningful project, Gena!


Keri - I Eat Trees April 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I’m so excited about this recipe! I have a few pounds of hemp seeds in my freezer, and we all love hummus. Thank you for sharing!!


lauren @ spiced plate April 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm

oh, this is the perfect marriage of healthy foods! Thanks Gena!


Kate (Peacocks & Moonshine) April 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I love all your hummus recipes!
I’m pretty sure I could live solely on hummus, greens, avocados and pears. I was just about to buy hemp seed to make your hemp seed bread, so this recipe comes at the perfect time. Thanks Gena :)


Elizabeth@The Sweet Life April 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm

oh wow-that looks amazing!!! love the look of the texture.


Mama Pea April 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm

You are so smart.

I got some NYC trip details today…I’ll email you soon!


Tawney April 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Ironically, I just made your sweet potato hummus last night and was having it for lunch when I opened this post! I find chickpeas to be a bit heavy or something sometimes, so I used white cannellini beans instead. Very tasty! I’ve got a few more meals of the sweet potato hummus to eat, then I’ll try the hemp. Keep the hummus coming!


bitt April 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm

You had me at hemp. I love the switch up my hummus recipes too. I will throw some hemp in there next time in your honor. I have some chickpeas soaking so it will be soon.


Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm

This is such a great recipe Gena! What an awesome way to get in extra protein. And I’m heading over to the sweet potato hummus recipe now… sounds fantastic!


Christine (The Raw Project) April 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Hmmm, I adore hummus and hemp seeds, so this recipe is a must for me! Thanks Gena, this looks wonderful.


Karen April 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Spring has rekindled my love of hummus and lately I have been obsessed w/perfecting my go-to recipe, so this comes at a perfect time for me. I love the idea of adding hemp protein. And, your intro reminded me that I have yet to try your beloved sweet potato hummus. Two new hummus recipes to whip up…Excitement!


Hannah April 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Mmmm I am so excited to try making this someday soon. It sort of annoys me that so much of the media touts hummus as a high protein “food”, when it really has only 2 grams per 2 T serving, but this? This is the real deal.


Lauren @ WWoB April 5, 2011 at 6:42 pm

I have NEVER seen hemp in a hummus recipe, but this seems like it would be delicious! I actually have the ingredients, so Im super excited to try it out!! Obviously I also need to make your tater hummus too :)
Hummus guru much?


Lauren April 5, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I have yet to make my own hummus! Shame on me! Especially since it’s one of my favorite foods ever! This looks great, Gena! Thanks!


Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA April 5, 2011 at 7:14 pm

This sounds great! I really love how hemp tastes.


Bryant April 5, 2011 at 7:21 pm

My most interesting hummus recipe was the traditional ingredients of chickpeas and tahini, plus peaches and mango hot sauce (this is what I used: http://www.pepperpotions.com/molten.htm). Sounds crazy but it was delicious!


FoodFeud April 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Now I’m upset I threw my hemp seeds out! I was worried they had spoiled!


Meghan @ StruggleMuffins April 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I’m sorry whaaaa? High protein hummus? That is the stuff dreams are made of! The measly amount of protein in most varieties of hummus has been my one complaint about what would otherwise be a perfect food in my mind. I don’t need a lot of protein, just a lil boost – like the one provided by hemp seeds – will suffice. Brilliant – thank you for sharing your hummus know-how :)


Emma (Namaste Everyday) April 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm

since I am transitioning into veganism, I don’t want to get stuck in processed-soy ruts. luckily I have your great site as a resource for recipes!


BroccoliHut April 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Mmmm I love hemp in my hummus! I like to add fresh herbs to the mix too.


melissa April 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm

this looks like a great recipe. I have been eating hummus by the tub lately!


Emilia @ Namaste Gurl April 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I absolutely love hemp seed nutrition- high protein, high fiber, and contains all the amino acids. What’s not to love about hemp? I’ll SO be trying this hemp hummus indeed soon and of course I’ll be adding nooch, as I add it to everything! :)


zoe (and the beatles) April 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm

you just made my night! i’ve had hemp seeds sitting around just waiting to be used but have had no idea WHAT to make with them…and considering hummus is like, a food group for me, this is PERFECT! thanks so much! i can’t wait to try it. ditto with the sweet potato!


Hannah April 5, 2011 at 10:53 pm

One day I’ll have the funds to justify ordering hemp seeds online from the only place I can order them from in Australia (despite the fact they have to be sold as “pet food”), and I shall enjoy this current favourite whole-heartedly. Until then, I clearly need to try the sweet potato version!


tweal April 6, 2011 at 6:18 am

I know what you mean about obsessing over hummus – I have done that too! So far I haven’t met a hummus that I didn’t like. My husband prefers traditional so I typically make that flavour, but I also enjoy black olive, rosemary, or spicy hummus too. Dreena Burton has some great hummus recipes. And I always put hemp seeds in, it gives a nice nutty flavour and so much nutrition.


Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day April 6, 2011 at 8:19 am

I love hummus too.. I just ate veggie and hummus sushi for breakfast! Try as I might, I just don’t like hemp seeds (or pine nuts).. so strange.. I keep thinking I will like them, but I never do. So odd.. I don’t even like traditional pesto made with pine nuts..

This looks great though.. and the nutritional profile is outstanding!


jenny April 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm

EXCELLENT idea. thank you gena.


Erin April 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm

This sounds fantastic! I know that hemp seeds are really good for me but don’t like them as-is, so this would be a great way to get them in my belly.


Melanie April 7, 2011 at 10:38 am

ooh – I can’t wait to try this. Hemp is one of foods I’m adding to everything lately – Actually I made hummus last night and put it on a sprouted grain bagel and added hemp seeds to the top. That was a little messy – I can’t wait to add them in the hummus now :)


Ritika April 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm

This is the first recipe of yours I have tried and my first taste of hemp seeds. SO DELICIOUS. I have no idea why I was worried about the taste of the seeds. I can’t stop eating this hummus! Thank you, Gena!


Ann-Louise April 8, 2011 at 8:53 am

I made your sweet potato hummus last night and seriously -OMG! It was beyond delicious. Now, I can’t understand why everyone doesn´t eat sweet potato hummus all the time. Thank you thank you thank you for a superb recipe!


Leigh April 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Delicious!! Everyone loved it, especially my youngest who adores hummus!! Glad to know this is so high in protein….and tasty too! many thanks!!


Michelle April 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I just finished making this (to go with my raw tomato bread ;) delicious! Thanks Gena!


Karen McCarville May 17, 2011 at 12:58 am

Gena, I’m making this recipe first thing tomorrow – can’t wait! Also, so glad I found your sight – very impressive!


Olive June 10, 2011 at 11:04 pm


I LOVE this recipe! I have made it 3 times already. I like using 3 T lemon juice and 2 T water and I like the 1 T of tahini. Now, when I make it, I just double the recipe. So far, my fave way to eat it is generously spread on a brown rice tortilla with lots of cucumbers and romaine lettuce. Delicious! Thank you for the fantastic recipe!


Lauren July 29, 2011 at 8:24 am

OMG, I have to admit to you a few things:
1- I don’t eat RAW very often at all… I love meat and as a general rule don’t like many green things. You’ll see me with a romaine/baby spinach salad before dinner, but that’s about it.
2- I am a reluctant trier of new things, I’m so picky, apparently I’m worse than my 4 year old cousin.

But now I have to tell you: I WANT THIS NOW! I <3 Hummus, and you packed it full of extra healthy shtuffs. You win, I salute you, and I'm going to try this ASAP.


Sam (the Quantum Vegan) October 9, 2011 at 5:46 am

I’m excited…I finally got some hemp seeds yesterday and can make this the next time we need hummus in the house! :) Can’t wait to try it.


Chelsea January 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Just made this<3 since I went with the 3 tbsp of lemon juice, I found I didn't need to add any extra liquid for this to be amazingly creamy. Its delicious, and I can't wait to force feed it to my Lebanese boyfriend when he gets home. He'll be able to tell me if its as good as yours!


Shannon March 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I bought a blender food processor combo today in order to make some of your recipes. The first was hummus and it turned out amazing. I’m so excited by how easy it is and can’t wait to try some of your other varieties.


amy August 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm

yikes a CAN really? it seems if you’re going to go through so much detail to prepare food, raw, vegan etc you might want to sprout the chick peas? Just a thought….. Is it that it tastes better to use canned chick peas? Or cooked ? self cooking at least?


Gena August 2, 2012 at 8:22 pm


I actually find sprouted legumes incredibly hard to digest, and not at all tasty. Because I don’t really subscribe to enzyme theory, it doesn’t matter to me if the beans are cooked, so long as they taste better, which is why I use (BPA free) canned or freshly cooked. It depends how much time I have; I do often cook them myself, but life gets busy, and I do my best.



Cannabinoids Cure Cancer August 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I blended the hemp seeds in with this recipe… Amazing!!!! Thanks for this!

And making good hemp milk is easy, no need for store bought.. Just add 3 parts milk for 1 part hemp seeds, add a little raw sugar, honey, whatever to sweeten it up, blend, run through cheese cloth and bam, amazing!!

You can even use the hemp seeds you have left in the cheese cloth for this recipe!!!


Susan August 29, 2012 at 10:19 am

This looks deeeelish – same w the sweet potato! Thank you

Ps:: homemade hemp milk is fabulous and super easy. Its so good I even drink it by itself which I can hardly believe!


Susan August 29, 2012 at 10:24 am

When making hemp milk I use agave to sweeten and don’t strain it. Just blend and put in mason jar, shake and use.


Vita @ juicer Depot August 29, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Darn! I was just at Trader Joes and I saw hemp seeds and didn’t get it. Looks llike i am going to make another road trim back to Trader Joes. I must try this recipe.


Fiona August 31, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Unfortunately I found this one a bit too bland for my tastes. :( but I like eating it knowing it’s healthy!


emma September 18, 2012 at 2:43 am

this stuff is freaken amazing!!! i think i’m about to start a hummus making obsession.


Mark January 31, 2013 at 8:05 am

Can I use my vitamix instead of a food processor?? The recipe sounds really good. Thank you….


Caitlin January 31, 2013 at 9:50 am

i love this idea! i have hemp seeds on hand and am definitely on a quest to try new hummus recipes in search for “the best one”. this looks fabulous!


Jennie February 2, 2013 at 7:45 pm

I’ve been meaning to make this for ages and just did… wow, it’s delicious! I don’t like cumin so I subbed that out for an additional 4 tbsp of lemon (love lemon) and also added the starchy liquid from the can of chickpeas rather than the water. I am in love. Thanks Gena!


Sunny February 22, 2013 at 8:42 pm

add more cumin and delicious!


Emma March 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Made this today! I bumped up the lemon as we like lemony hummus in this household, and it was perfect. Love the flavour and creaminess of the hemp seeds. Thanks for sharing :)


Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) July 8, 2013 at 9:22 am

Just made this today and I have to say it’s one of the best homemade hummus’ I’ve ever tried. Yum!


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