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Easy Honey Hemp Bars {gluten-free}

Easy honey hemp bars sparkle with light-as-air puffed brown rice, bits of nutritious flax, sesame, pumpkin, and hemp seeds, plus tangy red goji berries and buttery-rich pecans. That means a whole lot of healthy love.

Easy Honey Hemp Bars

Over the years, Alice Medrich’s beautiful cookbooks have influenced my work as a baker and pastry chef. Several, including her first, Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts, hold places of honor on my office shelf. This recipe comes from Medrich’s marvelous Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies cookbook.

The cookbook is full of tempting cookies and bars, including a nice selection of whole-grain, wheat-free and/or diary-free recipes. Nourishing gluten-free honey hemp bars hang in the Chewy chapter, though these addictive little munchies could easily go in Crunchy or Crispy

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I just can’t leave a perfectly good recipe alone. The original honey hemp bar recipe calls for black (or white or tan) sesame seeds, but I switched in omega-3-rich chia seeds. I like the textural feeling as the chia seeds soften and do their expanding gelatinous thing in my mouth. Robbie, not so much, he votes for sesame seeds in his honey hemp bars.

In addition to the honey, mashed dates help bond these bars together. Chop a super-moist Medjool date, then smoosh it with the back of a knife.  Date paste works too. You can find packages of date paste at Mediterranean grocery stores.

Ingredients for Easy Honey Hemp Bars

The recipe’s ingredient list also calls for dried currants, but in the notes Ms. Medrich suggests an upgrade to red goji berries. Since I happened to have some in the pantry, and since antioxidant-rich goji berries seem to be more and more common bulk bin items, and not just in health food stores, I went with the red. She proposes diced dried apricots as well, or any bits of tasty and colorful fruit.

Medrich’s new cookbook Flavor Flours is also full of wheat-free healthier recipes to try. Do you think the wheat-free recipes in Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy cookie book might have inspired Medrich’s newest cookbook? The title says it–Flavor Flours: A New Way to Bake with Teff, Buckwheat, Sorghum, Other Whole & Ancient Grains, Nuts & Non-Wheat Flours.

Easy Honey Hemp Bars-Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy cookbook

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something healthy and sweet!

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Honey Hemp Bars
Print
Easy Honey Hemp Bars
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

These bars are a cinch to make. Put everything in a bowl and mix them with warm honey and dates. Press into a pan and bake. The recipe comes from the cookbook Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich. Makes 16 to 20 bars. 

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 16 bars (see note)
Author: Letty | Letty's Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups puffed rice or millet cereal (I used Arrowhead Mills puffed brown rice)
  • ½ cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup pecan or walnut halves , medium-finely chopped (I used pecans)
  • 2 tablespoons black (white or tan) sesame seeds (I subbed in chia seeds)
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons goji berries
  • Scant ½ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon date paste or mashed dates
  • Rounded 1/8 teaspoon Real Salt (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square metal pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cereal, hemp seeds, pecans, sesame (or chia) seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax meal and goji berries to mix.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm the honey, date paste, salt, and vanilla, stirring and mashing until the date paste is dissolved and/or evenly dispersed. Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and fold until all of the ingredients are moistened and sticky.
  4. Scrape the mixture into the lined pan and spread it evenly with a fork. Using the back of the fork tines, press the mixture very firmly all over to compact and adhere the ingredients.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is barely golden (if in doubt, take it out, so that the honey does not get scorched). Cool in the pan.
  6. When cool, lift the bars from the pan. Gently peel off the parchment. Cut into bars or squares with a heavy sharp knife.
Recipe Notes
  • I bumped the salt up a titch, from a rounded 1/8 teaspoon to ¼ teaspoon. Must be because I like salt with my sweet.
  • I cut my bars smaller and got 32 (1 x 2-inch) bars.

5 comments

  • Teri Thomas

    What colorful bars! I can assure these light but tasty treats, will accompany on many spring and summer hikes and mountain bike rides. Reply · 21 April, 2015

  • You’ve inspired me. GREG Reply · 21 April, 2015

  • What a delicious way to eat healthier. Reply · 3 May, 2015

  • […] Bake Energy Bites (that are actually good for you!) from Mountain Mama Cooks Easy Honey Hemp Bars from Letty’s Kitchen Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies from Vintage Mixer Healthy Chocolate […] Reply · 5 September, 2015

  • […] heart seeds are an easy nutritional addition to cookies and bars—like these super-easy honey hemp bars. Packed with protein, omegas 3 and 6, plus magnesium, fiber and iron, they’re an easy […] Reply · 22 February, 2016

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