I'm back! Feels like I haven't posted in ages because I usually publish every week and after this forced three week break I can finally sit down in front of my computer and share a new recipe with you. I said 'forced break' because it wasn't actually a break nor I wanted to stop blogging; long story short: I've been hella busy!...and to top it all off an impromptu photoshoot with my brother happened and now I have like 50 pictures to edit. But it felt so good to grab the camera again and look through my lens with a more creative perspective; some of you already know that photography has always been my main passion, but the majority only have known my food photography and, even though I love and enjoy shooting my recipes, I've missed so much the conceptual and more personal part of my photography work. I will share some of the finished shots on my Flickr gallery, so in the meantime you can see some of my old works here.
Also I wanted to tell you that this week I'm featured on Cut Out + Keep, it's an on-line community where people share their craft projects, recipes and other interesting DIY-related things. They have chosen me as their 'Cooking Superstar' of the week (sounds cool right!) and each day I will be sharing one of my favorite recipes from the blog on their site, plus I did an interview that you can already read here...so you get to know me a little bit more.
So now let's talk about today's recipe: no-bake hemp protein bars. They are 90% raw but since I roasted the peanuts to make the butter I used in this recipe I didn't want to "offend" the raw vegan purists, hehe. These bars are packed with lots of good healthy fats, nutrients, energy and a good dose of protein; so good for those mid-morning craves or after a workout session. They are made with organic ingredients, naturally sweetened and so much more healthy than those store bought 'low-fat' cereal bars. Hemp is such a great source of protein (good for your muscles and bones!) and also of iron, I added a couple tablespoons of maca powder for an extra boost...so important to help me get through the day now that I'm a busy bee!
I love to always have a few in the fridge to grab when I'm in a rush, they are a great snack on the go that will help you feel full until the next meal and specially good after a long run or a sweaty workout. Easy, healthy, no oven required, dairy and gluten-free, sweet and yummy. Go make them!
Hemp Protein Bars
(yield: 8 bars approximately)
16 medjool dates.
4 tbsp natural peanut butter.
2 tbsp unrefined coconut oil.
2 tbsp raw cacao powder.
2 tsp ground cinnamon.
2 tbsp shredded coconut.
4 tbsp hemp protein powder.
2 tbsp maca powder.
Raw cacao powder.
Pit and cut the dates in halves.
Pit and cut the dates in halves.
Put all the ingredients (minus the toppings) in the bowl of your food processor and process until a smooth sticky ball of dough forms. You might need to stop a few times and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Transfer the dough into a lined brownie dish and firmly press it down with a silicone spatula or a small cookie roller. Make sure the dough spreads evenly to the edges and it looks as smooth and flattened as possible so all the bars will have the same size.
Sprinkle shelled hemps, cacao nibs and raw cacao powder on top and gently press down again.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight before slicing.
Divide into 8 big bars (you can make more or less bars depending on how big you want them) and store refrigerated in an airtight container.
You can also freeze the bars for up to three months if you don't plan to eat all of them in the following weeks, they taste good straight out from the freezer but for the best flavor (only if you freeze them) I recommend to let them rest at room temperature a few minutes depending on how cold or hot is at your home.