Soft and chewy no-bake snack bars that taste like candy and are packed with nutrients.
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WHY MAKE YOUR OWN SNACK BARS?
There are a dizzying array of snack/protein bars on the market. A grocery store I was in recently had almost an entire aisle filled with bars, each with a different marketing angle and in flavors so appetizing you would have thought they were candy bars, and indeed, they looked like candy bars! The colorful packages boasted the amount of protein, fiber, and sugar in each bar with, in most cases, ingredient labels a mile long. There are some good products amidst this crowded field, but for the average person, it’s hard to decipher what’s truly healthy and what’s not. Some weird sounding ingredients are perfectly harmless while others should be avoided, despite any nutrition claims on the package. One day, several years ago, I found myself standing in one of these jam-packed grocery store aisles looking at ingredient labels and googling words like “isomalto-oligosacharides”, “dextrin”, and “carnauba wax”. That’s when I decided I’d had enough. Since then, I’ve been making my own snack bars and have never looked back. These Almond Hemp Heart Bars are my newest creation. They contain just 5 simple ingredients – ingredients you’ll actually recognize – but the best part is, they’re soft, chewy, and utterly delicious!
HEMP AND HEMP HEARTS
Hemp hearts are growing in popularity, as are all hemp-based products (along with food products, hemp is used to make paper, garments, sugars, bundling material, and lots of other things), which is why I decided to jump on the bandwagon and develop this recipe for Almond Hemp Heart Bars. So, what exactly are hemp hearts? They’re the shelled seeds from hemp plants and they’re high in healthy fat, rich in key minerals such as potassium, and a great source of plant-based protein. Nutritionally, hemp hearts have a lot going for them, but people are sometimes concerned about the relationship between hemp and marijuana. To clarify, although hemp and marijuana are both part of the cannabis plant family (albeit different varieties), hemp seeds contain only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, and will NOT get you “high”.
CHOCKFUL OF HEALTHY FAT AND NO REFINED SUGAR
Almond Hemp Heart Bars are sweetened naturally with dates so they contain no refined or added sugar. Each bar has a good amount of healthy fat along with 7 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Healthy fat is a natural appetite regulator, and, when combined with some protein and fiber will keep you feeling full for a long time. Whether you chose to make your own snack bars or purchase them, here’s an excellent article about what to look for in a healthy snack bar.
MORE RECIPES LIKE THIS
Well wrapped, these bars will last for several months and require no refrigeration. If you’d like to see other recipe for healthy snack bars check out: Peanut Butter Cookie Flax Bars, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Flax Nut Bars, and Snack Bar Madeleines.
If you make Almond Hemp Heart Bars don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me over on Instagram @QueenofMyKitchen. I’d love to see your creation!
- 1¾ cups (220 grams/7.8 ounces) pitted dates
- ¾ cup (120 grams/4.3 ounces) whole almonds, toasted
- ½ cup (70 grams/2.5 ounces) hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix and, using the tamper tool, process until a smooth, sticky dough forms with no visible chunks of dates or hemp hearts.
- Place the mixture in between two pieces of plastic wrap and shape into a 5 x 5-inch square.
- Remove plastic wrap and cut into 8 bars.
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