Revamped Super Seedy Hemp Protein Bars

These are easily my favorite snack/energy bar/treat.  They are the perfect grab-and-go sweet, crunchy, chewy, satisfying bar that will keep you going for hours.  Sweetened with dried figs, these bars are grain-free, nut-free, vegan, paleo, and packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.  There are chocolate chunks to fulfill your daily chocolate needs and they take less than 5 minutes to make.  The catch?  There is no catch.  My super seedy hemp protein bars are the real deal!

So why, you ask, am I revamping such a delicious recipe?  The answer is simple.  I’ve found a way to keep the taste of these bars exactly the same while boosting the healthy factor.  And if you don’t think that I am constantly looking for ways to improve my already healthy recipes, you don’t know me that well!

I didn’t do a ton to improve these bars, but a little goes a long way in terms of nutrition.  The first thing I did is swap the dates for more figs, and used less of them.  This occurred by accident as I was about to make a batch of these bars when I realized I was out of dates.  As I had all the other ingredients out and ready, I decided to just use more figs and hope for the best.  I also added an twice as much hemp protein powder and a slash of vanilla extract to round out the changes in these seedy bars.  Let’s take a closer look at why these changes are for the better.

Dried figs vs dates:
Let me start by saying there is nothing wrong with dates.  I actually use dates quite often as a natural sweetener, such as in my raw brownie recipe, or to make raw almond joy poppers.  Both figs and dates are perfect ways to naturally sweeten recipes, however figs are slightly lower in calories, carbs, and sugars while higher in fiber and minerals.  For a comparison, figs contain 28 less calories, 11g less carbs, and 18g less sugars per 100g than dates while boasting 3g more fiber, twice the amount of protein, 10% more calcium, and 6% more iron per 100g dates.

When developing this recipe I was looking to make a energy bar that would be both a delicious and energizing snack/meal any time of the day, as well as a great post-workout eat.  Swapping out the dates for dried figs (and using two less) allowed me to keep the energy level high, as well as the sweetness without the extra calories and sugars.

The addition of vanilla extract brings out more of the natural sweetness of the figs and cinnamon, while I think it’s self explanatory why I added extra hemp protein powder 🙂  If you’re a health nut like myself, check out the benefits of the other ingredients in these bars, power-phrased: 

unsweetened shredded coconut ~ lower cholesterol, improve digestion, stabilize glucose levels, improve metabolism hemp hearts & hemp protein powder ~ protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids chia seeds ~ antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acid, vitamins and minerals, low-carb energy cinnamon ~ heart health, blood sugar regulation, better brain function tahini ~ high protein, vitamins and minerals, easily digested, high in GOOD unsaturated fat chocolate ~ antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, mood enhancer, minerals.

Do yourself a favor this new year, make a batch of these scrumptious bars!  Your body and mind will thank you.

Revamped Super Seedy Hemp Protein Bars 

adapted from this recipe

yield: 8 bars

14 dried calymata figs, hard stems removed and diced
1/2 cup unsweetened shreadded coconut
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened hemp protein powder
1/4 cup tahini
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp water (as needed)
1/2 recipe 3 ingredient chocolate, chopped

Pulse the figs and coconut in the base of a food processor until well blended.  Add the hemp hearts, cinnamon, and hemp protein powder.  Process until combined.  Add the tahini and vanilla.  Blend until a wet dough forms.  The dough should stick together when pressed between your fingers (see 4th picture in above post).  If it is too crumbly, add a water, 1 tsp at a time, until the correct consistency is achieved.   Pulse in the chopped chocolate.

Place the dough in a 8×8″ baking pan and press it down into an even layer.  Place tin foil over the top and refrigerated for 8-24 hours.  Cut the bars and keep them in the freezer.  You can either wrap them in parchment paper/tin-foil and keep them in a air-tight container or simply place them in zip lock bags in the freezer.  They will keep for a couple of months in the freezer if properly stored (but will NEVER last that long:).

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  1. I've been really wanting to try these, but I don't know anything about cooking with figs. They look so perfectly pressed and ready to munch on.

  2. It's super simple. You can find dried figs in most grocery stores. I recommend calymata figs but mission or any variety you can find will work here. Cut the hard stem off the top and you are ready to go! The tricky part is you will have to add moisture (water) to these bars depending on how dry the figs you are using are. But you can easily tell because the "dough" won't hold together when you pinch it if it is too dry. Also, follow the instructions and process the ingredients in the order listed. They are really, really good and easy to make! I always have these in my freezer to grab when needed. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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