Registered Dietitian | Certified Diabetes Educator | Victoria BC

Vegan Hemp and Sunflower Seed Pâté

Vegetarian Pate Recipe with Sunflower Seeds, Hemp Hearts and Dill
Hemp hearts are a food that comes up daily in my practice. I recommend it to many of my clients as a great plant-based complete protein that offers a wide nutrient profile including omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and zinc. Generally my focus is on breakfast, where most people struggle with getting in a good protein source – ”add 3tbsp of hemp hearts to your oatmeal” or ”make a chia pudding using Homemade Hemp Milk. The beauty of hemp is its versatility, and so it doesn’t get confined to just breakfast I wanted to share this Vegan Hemp and Sunflower Seed Pâté. Hemp hearts give this pate a nice rich creamy consistency and provide 13g protein per serving. Serve it with some seed crackers or cut up cucumber for a tasty afternoon treat, or as a light lunch.

Simple Vegetarian Pate with Hemp and Sunflower Seeds

“Hemp foods contain Omega-3 and the rare Omega-6 Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). GLA may help with cholesterol, inflammation, skin and hair health, balancing hormones, and general heart health.”

Basic nutrition schooling tells us to “limit omega-6 fatty acids and increase omega-3s”. I have written about Getting Your Omega-3s For The Vegetarians in the past, and we know that too much omega-6 can limit the conversion of plant based omega-3 (linolenic acid) to EPA and DHA. Unfortunately this doesn’t give credit to Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) which is found in a limited variety of foods including evening primrose seed oil, black currant seed oil, borage seed oil and of course hemp. Clinical trials have shown that at a dose of ≥1400 mg/day for at least six months may be effective in improving some symptoms in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a painful autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints. Research is ongoing on its effects on the heart and other inflammatory conditions.

This recipe offers almost 3 tbsp of hemp hearts per serving which provides us with our daily needs of omega-3 fatty acids, 50% (%DV) of our daily needs of magnesium, 25% for zinc and 16% for iron. Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E and one serving of this pate provides us with 75% of our daily needs as well as 25% of Selenium.

Recipe for Hemp and Sunflower Seed Pate

This Hemp and Sunflower Seed Pâté was adapted from Julie Daniluk, TV host, author and Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN). I’ve reduced the amount of dill from ½ cup for a more subtle flavour and increased the amount of turmeric for its anti-inflammatory benefit and also for colour. I used unpasteurised apple cider vinegar in place of lemon as lemon does not grow here on the island and apple cider vinegar has the beneficial live bacteria cultures (see 8 Common Fermented Foods Your Probably Have At Home). Swapping out the lemon, using local hemp seeds, and the fact that this dish can be made 100% raw gets major points for sustainability.

Easy Hemp and Sunflower Seed Pâté

Adapted from Julie Daniluk (RHN).<p>

This Pâté is so simple to make and is full of high quality, nutrient dense ingredients. Serve it with some wholegrain crackers, or slices of cucumber and have it as a light lunch, or serve it as an appetizer with friends.

  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds (soaked*)
  • 1 cup raw hemp hearts
  • ¼ cup dill (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed oil (I used argan, olive oil or any nut oil would do)
  • 2 tbsp red onions or scallions (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (unpasteurised)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until paste-like.
  2. Serve immediately, or to form a pate shape place mixture in a small rice bowl and let sit in the fridge for up to an hour. Turn bowl upside down on a serving plate until pate is released.
  3. Store in a container in the fridge for up to a week.
*Option to soak sunflower seeds for 6 hours prior to use. The recipe will taste just as good if you didn’t have a chance to soak the seeds.
Gluten Free: Serve it with gluten-free seed crackers or sliced cucumbers.
Make it oil free: Replace the oil with water.

Nutritional Information

Amount per one of six servings

Calories: 320
Total Fat: 26.7g
Saturated Fat: 3.0g
Sodium: 200mg
Potassium: 210mg
Carbohydrate: 9g
Fibre: 5.2g
Sugar: 1.8g
Protein: 13g
Vitamin C: 3mg
Calcium: 5mg
Iron: 6mg


PEN – Evidenced Based Nutrition – GLA
Manitoba Harvest

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