“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.
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
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
- 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.
- Press the mixture evenly into a 7″ or 8″, parchment- or wax paper-lined square pan. Place in the fridge and allow to set.
- 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.