Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods. Thanks for supporting brands that align with my values and help make TFD possible. I was compensated for my time but as always, all opinions are my own!
The perfect homemade protein bar for on-the-go! A nutrition-packed snack, dark chocolate matcha hemp protein bars are made with real ingredients and loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and protein.
Bars are a hot topic right now with some recent press questioning what constitutes a “healthy” bar. I’ll be addressing this in my monthly newsletter next week so be sure to subscribe if you don’t already (scroll all the way down to the footer).
Bottom line, a bar is healthy if it includes whole foods and words you can pronounce (like the bar I created for you today)! But be careful of relying on bars all the time. With the supplement-heavy world we live in with shakes, bars, meal replacements, juices, etc., I worry that we’re moving away from eating real food. And there’s no comparison when it comes to the real deal.
Having said that, protein bars can be a great on-the-go snack when you’ve got a busy day ahead and are running from place to place and need something that’s easy to transport. If I’m working from a coffee shop in the afternoon, I’ll often throw a bar in my purse so I don’t have to purchase some sort of coffee shop pastry to satisfy my mid-afternoon hunger. And it’s even better when it’s a homemade protein bar.
So what’s the key to creating a real homemade protein bar at home? My protein bar equation is: nut butter + seeds + dried fruit + protein powder (optional) + flavor boost (optional). Is it wrong that I always love adding dark chocolate as a flavor boost for my bars? It provides a flavor boost AND an antioxidant boost! Win. Win. For this bar, I also added matcha green tea powder for an antioxidant boost and because I’ve been on this kick playing around with matcha in the kitchen. Because matcha is sooooo hot right now ;). I’ll save the matcha talk for an upcoming blog post with another matcha recipe I recently made.
For now, let’s talk about hemp seeds which made their way into this protein bar. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein, containing more protein than any other seed (about 10g per ounce). Plus, they’re a complete protein, meaning they contain all 9 essential amino acids, making them a great protein source for vegetarians and vegans. And they’re high in essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6), magnesium, vitamin E, and fiber. You can use these seeds in just about everything – salads, cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream, smoothies, or you can eat ’em right outta da bag. Don’t worry, it’s totally legit.
- 1 ½ cup rolled oats (or 1 cup oat flour)
- 2/3 cup unsalted creamy almond butter
- 6 pitted Medjool dates
- ½ cup Chocolate Hemp Pro70
- 2 tbsp Hemp Hearts
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp matcha green tea powder, divided
- 2 ½ tbsp coconut oil, divided, melted
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
- 1/8 tsp salt
- ¼ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
- In a food processor, pulse oats to fine, flour-like texture. Add almond butter, dates, Hemp Pro70, Hemp Hearts, 1 tbsp matcha powder, 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted), almond milk and salt. Pulse to combine.
- Transfer mixture to a parchment lined 9×9’’ baking pan and press down the mixture evenly into the pan. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes to harden.
- Meanwhile, heat chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove bars from the freezer and cut into 12 servings. Sprinkle 1 tsp matcha powder over top and drizzle with melted chocolate.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Have you ever tried hemp seeds? If not, you’re in luck! Manitoba Harvest is giving away one 8oz bag of Natural Hemp Hearts to one lucky TFD reader! The contest will run one week through April 30th and I’ll announce the winner shortly after that. Enter below!
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