Four-Seed & Date Protein/Energy Bars.
Water-soaked pitted dates, cinnamon, sea salt, alcohol-free vanilla, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and buckwheat groats.
Note: These seeds were all toasted in a dry skillet – until aromatic and crispy, and then left to cool. This step is very important if you want flavorful bars! Toasted seeds have an entirely different taste and texture compared to their raw form. Heating the seeds brings out their incredible rich, sweet, nutty and distinct flavors.
Pulse the mixed seeds, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor – until the pumpkin seeds break down in size, and the seeds release their natural aromatic oils. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Mix the water-soaked pitted dates and vanilla extract in the food processor, minus soaking liquid. Blend until a chunky paste is formed.
Add the date mixture to the dry mixture in a large bowl, and form a ‘dough’ with your hands.
Press the mixture down evenly into a plastic-wrap lined cake pan. Set in the freezer for an hour, before removing the plastic-covered block from the pan, and cutting it into squares. ENJOY!
These sweet/salty, chewy/crunchy seed bars are a delicious and nutritious whole food, plant-based snack! Offering a full spectrum of amino acids/protein, unprocessed energy/carbs from the dates, plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A great back-to-school item for kids attending nut-free schools and otherwise. A healthier option compared to the packaged store-bought bars, made with processed sugars, refined oils, and preservatives. These DIY bars are made from just a handful of real, nutrient-dense ingredients. Quick and simple to make, this recipe requires no baking, just the use of a handy food processor – my go-to kitchen tool!
(Makes 16 bars)
• Dry toasted sesame seeds, 1 cup
• Dry toasted buckwheat groats, 1 cup
• Dry toasted Sunflower seeds, 1 cup
• Dry toasted Pumpkin seed, 1 cup
• Water-soaked pitted dates, 4 cups
• Alcohol-free vanilla extract, 1 tbsp
• Cinnamon, 2 tsp
• Sea salt, 1 tsp
1. In a dry skillet, toast the seeds separately until they become golden and aromatic. Each seed requires a slightly different cooking time, so keep an eye on them – as they burn quickly! Set aside on a baking sheet to cool down.
2. Pulse the seeds together in a food processor, with the cinnamon and sea salt. Allowing the dry ingredients to incorporate, and the pumpkin seeds to break up a bit. Set aside in a bowl.
3. Drain the soaked pitted dates, and pulse in the food processor with the vanilla extract, until a chunky paste is formed. Empty the date paste into your mixing bowl with the wet ingredients. Using your hands (messy but easier than a spoon/spatula!) mix together to form a ‘dough’.
4. Press the mixture into a plastic-wrap lined pan, creating a solid even layer.
5. Freeze for an hour until the mixture has hardened, and then cut into bars. Pack them into tupperware or individual bags to bring to school/work. Store in the fridge or freezer to keep them fresh and solid.
• Pumpkin seeds: Rich in protein, fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and essential omega fats.
• Sesame seeds: High in protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and essential omega fats.
• Buckwheat groats: Technically a seed, although often treated as a grain – hence the term ‘pseudo-grain’, I use to describe this amazing plant-based protein source. Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat – so it can be enjoyed by celiacs. Packed with protein, fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, selenium, and essential omega fats.
• Sunflower seeds: High in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin E, and essential omega fats.
• Dried dates: A natural sweetener and source of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and fiber. Given their natural sticky binding ability, they are the best base ingredient for whole food, plant-based bars like this!
• Cinnamon helps the body regulate sugars, supports digestion, and contains iron, calcium, antioxidants, and fiber.