The Heart of Fall Food + Freebie

I am partnering with Sweat Pink and Manitoba Harvest to share my opinions in this post. As always, I like to make you aware that I have received product compensation for the work, but what I say is 100% my opinion. My full policy can be read here.

The saying is you learn something new everyday.  Consider this my attempt to pass on knowledge I didn’t have a week ago.

Lately I have been seeing a ton of posts on Instagram about Hemp Hearts.  Yeah.  I felt the same way, “What the heck are hemp hearts?”  <<Only I didn’t say heck.

I was intrigued so I did some reading.

Hemp hearts are just part of the hemp seed.  Not just… they are actually the most nutritious part and lower in carbs than chia seeds.  These little guys are bringin’ the heat; 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of Omegas per 30 gram serving!  Manitoba Harvest also states that these are raw, vegan and Non-GMO.  So in a nutshell (literally) these rock!

Did you know that October is Non-GMO month?  #funfact

I thought it would be fun to make a recipe that is perfect for fall so you can enjoy the nutty flavor and crunch of these seeds beyond just a sprinkle.  Here we go!

Oh wait… Just in case you don’t own Hemp Hearts yet, you can order them here and save 20% on your entire purchase now through Nov 30, 2014.  Code: HHSweatPink14

Okay, now here we go!

pumpkin mac

I was inspired by our recent Kroger coupon book of all things.  The booklet shared a recipe that used noodles, regular flour and bread crumbs but we try to avoid all of those about 90% of the time.  So I really wanted to eat it, but knew I had to make a few swaps and here is where I ended up!


This isn’t creamy like a normal mac and cheese, instead it ends up being thicker like a casserole baked mac.  Of course you could make your own creamy goodness of a sauce if you are up for it!  This has a blend of sharp cheddar and smoked gouda.  (You could also swap out the flour or dairy for a non-dairy option.)


Pumpkin Broccoli ‘Mac’ N Cheese


  • 3-4lb spaghetti squash
  • 4 cups milk (or non-dairy substitute like almond milk)
  • 1/2 onion (cut in large chunks)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (or another flour like almond)
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 8oz sharp cheddar (shredded)
  • 4oz smoked gouda (shredded)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 heads broccoli (rougly chopped)
  • hemp hearts
  • salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 and bake the spaghetti squash as you normally would.
Meanwhile, in a smaller pot, combine milk, onion and nutmeg. Cook on medium-high heat until bubbling but not burning.
Combine butter and flour in a saute pan. Cook on medium heat until the butter and flour come together.
Remove the onion from the milk and discard. Slowly pour the bubbling milk into the pan with the flour. Whisk to mix and stir until the sauce starts to thicken. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the cream cheese, cheddar, Gouda and pumpkin. Continue to simmer and stir for another 5-10 minutes, until it thickens.
Meanwhile, cut the broccoli florets from the stem and roughly chop. Remove the squash from the oven and discard seeds. Use a fork to scrap out the noodles. Combine the broccoli with the spaghetti squash.
Once the cheese sauce has thickened, taste and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the pasta and broccoli then toss. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 375. The cheese should be bubbling and golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving and sprinkle on Hemp Hearts.

Pumpkin Mac

Since this makes a big dish, imagine your leftovers made into a panini with bacon.  <<Yes, I said bacon.

Some other sneaky ways I love Hemp Hearts:

Sprinkle on edamame, chia pudding or Shakeology.  Also in anything Quinn eats.

More ideas I loved on IG:Instagram hemp hearts

@iamhumanity – Banana Pancakes

@chefsarahsweeney – Pumpkin Kale Millet

@nourriture.en.folie – Spinach salad with hemp hearts, feta, almonds, corn, celery, cucumber, tomatoes and balsamic glaze.

@yogawithciara – Kale Salad deliciousness

In case you haven’t had enough, I dare you to peek at the recipes posted on Manitoba’s site.

Now that I have you drooling and understanding that these would pack a nutritional punch to your meals, go enter to get a free bag from Manitoba Harvest!a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you had to choose: pumpkin or apple?

What Non-GMO food would you like to try this month?

What is your favorite way to sneak in nutrition?

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