Hemp, flax and chia seeds are all nutritional powerhouses that can be added to many different foods. Each of these seeds has a unique nutritional profile, so there's no reason to consume just one. Try adding one or two tablespoons of one or more types of seeds to smoothies, yogurts, oatmeal, salads, rice, or baked goods. Chia seeds have a neutral flavor and a little crunchy texture, while ground flax is fluffy and slightly nutty in flavor.
Hemp hearts have had their outer shell removed to make them tastier. Chia seeds are native to Mexico and were a staple food of the Mayan and Aztec cultures, which considered them an energy booster. A good rule of thumb with chia is to use one tablespoon of seeds for three tablespoons of water to replace the egg. Hemp hearts are an excellent substitute for oats in many recipes.
Hemp, compared to chia and flax, offers the highest amount of protein and omega fats, but works differently when cooked with it. Whole hemp seeds can be used in salads, as a crunchy topping for avocado toasts, or in your morning oatmeal. These three super seeds provide fiber, protein and a vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds offer 8 grams of fiber in just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.
Flaxseeds contain a lot of soluble fiber, which when combined with water becomes sticky and thick. Hemp offers the highest amount of protein and omega fats. While you may not have considered the expiration date of your chia seeds or hemp hearts, they can go bad and will go bad if not stored properly or used soon enough. Refrigerate everything except what you'll eat in a week or two in a sealed plastic bag or jar with a tight lid to keep them fresh.
If you've ever opened a bag of nuts or seeds and smelled a plastic smell, you'll know the distinctive scent of rancid fats.