By: Leah Golden, MS, RD

I’m a big fan of simple, nutritious and tasty snacks. I bet you are too! These peanut butter and hemp protein squares are an easy step towards having healthy on-hand snacks available for either post workout or in between meals.  Instead of reaching for the candy jar at work for a quick pick me up, give these a try.

 

 

There are many types of energy and snack bars available on the market, but I encourage you to make your own. They’re so simple! These select handful of ingredients provide healthy fat, fiber and protein that’ll keep you satisfied until your next meal. They hit the spot with their nutty flavor, great texture and sweetness. The chocolate drizzle, sprinkled hemp hearts and pumpkin seeds pull it all together.

Have you ever eaten hemp plain or cooked with it? Whenever I think of hemp, I think back to my time in Eugene, Oregon for college.  I remember going to a local grocery store and getting their hemp granola and thinking how I was such a hippy! Hippy or not, hemp is quite the nutrition powerhouse.  It’s packed with omega-3s, protein and fiber and can easily be added to many dishes. Bring out your inner hippy and enjoy some hemp hearts.

 

 

This recipe is so simple.  You combine all the ingredients in the food processor and blend until well combined. Stop when the mixture still has some texture.  Feel free to continue blending or add more dates, if you’d like the batter to be creamier. You should be able to form the mixture in your hand.

 

 

The nice thing about these no bake squares is that you can change up the ingredients fairly easily if one particular component doesn’t resonate with you. Those who are not on the peanut butter train, I encourage you to try almond butter or even hazelnut butter!  Nut allergy peeps, give sunbutter a try!  The combinations are endless!

 

 

If you’re looking for an excuse to have a little chocolate in the afternoon or as a late-night snack, why not pack in some more nutrition while you’re at it. Give these a try and let me know what you think. Snap a picture and send it along as well.

 

~Leah

 

 

No-Bake Peanut Butter & Hemp Protein Squares  

 

If you’re looking for a post workout snack, afternoon pick me up or late-night bite, these no-bake squares will hit the spot. They’re full of fiber, protein and omega-3s to satisfy your cravings and tide you over.  The chocolate drizzle adds a perfect amount of sweetness and rounds things out.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes

Author: Leah Golden, MS, RD

Recipe type: Appetizer, Snack, Dessert

Cuisine: Gluten-free

Serves: 12-15 squares

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 18 pitted dates*
  • 5 T salted creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup hemp hearts, plus extra for topping
  • 3 scoops collagen peptides (Vital Proteins)
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 T roasted cocoa nibs
  • 1/4-1/3 cup dark chocolate
  • Raw pumpkin seeds, enough to sprinkle on top

 

Directions:

 

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the dark chocolate on low heat. Stir often. Keep on low heat until use.
  2. Combine dates, peanut butter, cashews, hemp hearts, collagen peptides and oats in food processor until well combined, but maintains some texture.*
  3. Add cocoa nibs and pulse a few times.
  4. Pour mixture in a 9”x 9” baking dish and press down firmly.
  5. Drizzle dark chocolate over bars and sprinkle with hemp hearts and pumpkin seeds.
  6. Refrigerate or freeze for at least 15-20  minutes or more until set.
  7. Cut into squares and eat immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for one month for best taste and freshness.

 

* Dates vary in size. If mixture doesn’t seem sticky enough, add more dates and pulse to combine.