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Chocolate hemp seed amaze bars

This recipe comes from the blog of my friends mom, Katie Morford. She is a registered dietitian and her blog Mom's Kitchen Handbook has so many great healthy recipes. I actually came across this one on her instagram page and I've been meaning to make it for months! I finally purchased hemp hearts and decided to whip these granola bars up. What's great about these bars is that you can really customize them to your liking. I'm a dark chocolate fan so I drizzled some melted on the top, but if you can do milk chocolate or even leaving it completely out. These bars truly are"amazing" like the name suggests and soon you'll want to ditch the store bought bars and start making all your granola bars at home!

What you need: Makes 16 bars

  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • ½ cup chopped raw hazelnuts or almonds (not roasted)

  • ½ cup raw hemp hearts

  • ⅓ cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

  • 6 medjool dates, pitted

  • ⅓ cup cashew butter, peanut butter, or almond butter

  • ¼ cup honey

  • ¼ cup water

  • ¼ cup cacao nibs (see note)

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 heaping tablespoon hemp seeds and ¼ cup dark chocolate chips for topping the bars

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with a piece of parchment paper long enough so it drapes over 2 sides.

​2. Spread the oats, hazelnuts, hemp hearts, and pepitas on a large baking sheet and cook until the oats are fragrant and the nuts and seeds lightly toasted, 8 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, put the dates, cashew butter, honey, and water into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Run until blended, stopping and scraping down the sides as needed.

4. Transfer the toasted oats and seeds to a large bowl. Add the cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, and salt and stir well. Add the date mixture and stir until evenly mixed. Transfer to the prepared pan and use your hands to press the dough very firmly into the bottom, creating an even layer that fills the entire pan.

5. Scatter 1 tablespoon hemp hearts over the bars. Put the chocolate chips into a small bowl and microwave on high in 30-second bursts, stirring after each one, until smooth, about 1 ½ minutes. Drizzle the chocolate over the top of the bars. Freeze for 30 minutes.

6. Remove the pan from the freezer, run a knife around the edge and use the two draping sides of parchment to lift it from the pan. Cut into 12 bars or 16 bars, as desired. Store in a resealable bag or air-tight container and store in the fridge, where they will keep for several weeks.

Recipe from: Katie Morford at Mom's Kitchen Handbook

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