Archive for Vegan

Hemp Protein Bars

“You know you’ve been a food blogger a long time when…”

I feel like I’ve written this blog post before. And, to be fair, I kind of have. In different ways.

But this is one of those recipes that I keep coming back to again and again and again… It’s simple, it’s healthy, and the possibilities for customizing it are basically endless.

So, yeah, this is a riff on energy balls, bliss balls, protein balls… whatever you wanna call them. Ladies and gentlemen: Hemp Protein Bars!

Hemp Protein Bars

The star of these super healthy bars is hemp. Now, let me just say right off the bat, before you jump to conclusions (as one of my YouTube subscribers did), that hemp and weed/pot/marijuana are the same thing. They really, really, are not. Yes, they are related. But hemp doesn’t have any THC, which is the active ingredient in pot. Hemp is actually a pretty spectacular plant. It’s incredibly sustainable, Canadian-grown, and its fibre has a million uses. And–this is where we come in, dear reader–the seeds of the hemp plant are positively packed with vegan protein. 31 grams of protein, in fact, which is more than half of your daily requirement, in just 100 grams of hemp hearts. The list of reasons to love hemp goes on and on.

They also add a lovely nutty flavour to everything. So, if you are vegan or vegetarian (or even if you’re not), they’re a great thing to add to your diet.

In this particular case, these Hemp Protein Bars are a lot like a Larabar, or one of the other vegan-friendly protein bars. No sugar, simple ingredients, no baking. Bonus: these ones also have no nuts. Sweet!

Hemp Protein Bars

Vegan Hemp Protein Bars

For the bars:

  • 1 1/2 cups dates, pitted and soaked
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds (I’m using these ones from Natera)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup protein powder (make it hemp for extra hempy goodness!)

For the drizzle:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • hemp hearts for garnish


  1. Drain the dates out of the water they were soaked in and place the dates in the bowl of your food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients, and blend well to combine. The mix should be still a little sticky.
  2. Press the mixture evenly into a 7″ or 8″, parchment- or wax paper-lined square pan. Place in the fridge and allow to set.
  3. To make the drizzle, place the coconut oil in a small saucepan on low heat. Allow to warm, but don’t bring it to a boil. Add the maple syrup and coconut sugar and whisk continuously until it dissolves. Stir in the cocoa powder and whisk to dissolve. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it gets to the right consistency to drizzle. Drizzle (or just spread) the chocolate topping over the protein bars, and then sprinkle additional hemp hearts over the top to garnish. Refrigerate until set, then cut into bars.

Lemon Blueberry Pavlova Two Ways {Vegan}

I’m not quite sure what I’ve gotten myself into. It’s blueberry season, and I seem to just keep acquiring more and more and more blueberries! It’s not my fault… they just follow me home, honest!

So, yeah, I have too many blueberries, so I have been making ALL the blueberry things. Earlier it was a (non vegan) lemon blueberry pound cake, but I always like to make sure I have something that’s entirely plant-based happening most of the time.

Today’s recipe is just that.

And I found, when I started to get into the recipe, that I could use the same ingredients in a variety of different ways. I was actually able to create two distinctive desserts out of the same group of ingredients.

Lemon Blueberry Pavlova

Dessert number one is a vegan pavlova.

If you’re not Australian you may not know what Pavlova is. Basically, it’s a big meringue that is baked at a low temp for a long time, and the final result is something that is crispy on the outside, but chewy on the inside. They are usually topped with a mixture of curd, whipped cream, and fresh berries, and often served at Christmas.

My vegan version is made, of course, from aquafaba. You simply take a basic aquafaba meringue recipe and instead of piping it into “kisses,” you pipe it into what looks a little like a bird’s nest. This creates the base of the pavlova. You top it with lemon curd, fresh berries, and coconut whip.

Blueberry Lemon Eton Mess

Dessert number two is inspired by a non-vegan one I had a few weeks back at a local restaurant, H2 at the Westin Bayshore. It was called a Blueberry Lemon Eton Mess, and it consisted of layers of lemon curd, whipped cream and a blueberry compote, topped with meringues. It was delicious, but I wanted to recreate it and make it vegan.

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Eton Mess

Here’s the basic recipes to create both:

Here is how to make the meringue. I piped half into “birds nests” to make pavlovas and half into “kisses” for the Eton Mess. You can skip the raspberry powder if you like, but I had some left over from making this recipe, and I liked the idea of raspberry and blueberry together.

Here is how to make the lemon curd.

  • 2/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • pinch of salt
  1. In a mason jar, combine water, non dairy milk and cornstarch. Screw on the lid and shake well to mix. Pour into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and then cook over medium heat, stirring continuously with a whisk until it starts to bubble.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and continue to stir until it thickens and bubbles.You’ll know it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon, and you can run your finger through it without it running back together.

Here is how to make the coconut whip (or you can be lazy and buy it in a can!).

Here is how to make the blueberry compote:

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. In a smallish saucepan, place all the ingredients over  medium heat, and gently bring to a boil. Allow to cook down for 5-10 minutes, until the consistency is jammy. I like to mash mine up with a potato masher, or you can puree it in your blender if you like a smoother consistency. Allow to cool before creating your dessert–it will thicken as it cools.
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