Homemade Pumpkin Hemp Bars (Vegan and Gluten Free)

  Mar 21, 2019  |  #Recipes
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These homemade pumpkin hemp bars are the perfect flavorful, on-the-go vegan and gluten-free snack. With no refined sugars, these hemp bars are perfect for before or after a workout and a great family-friendly, kid-friendly snack!

Stacked Pumpkin Homemade Hemp Bars with oats in bakground

Original Recipe from October, 2016. Photos updated in March, 2019. 

Gooood morning! All you snack lovers (like myself) can rejoice with today’s hemp seed bars. And you pumpkin lovers, too!

How was your weekend? On Saturday, we drove down to Columbia for the UMass/USC game. I feel so far removed from UMass, having graduated in 2008 and being 1,000+ miles away, but I jumped at the chance to see my alma mater play close by. Plus, there’s a Charlotte alumni group here that gathered before the game for a mini tailgate session, so that was fun. I wish I had brought some of these hemp bars with me – they are the perfect portable snack!

Our friend is a USC season ticket holder so he got us tickets. It was a beautiful fall day for a football game. Neither team is very good this year, so the game was a bit sloppy with a lot of turnovers. UMass totally could have won, but blew it on a few occasions. It was a fun game though.

So, About These Homemade Hemp Bars

Pan of Homemade Hemp Seed Bars

I think I’ve talked before about how I grew up with basically no cares about food or nutrition. As a very active child, I never worried much about what I was putting into my body (until college). I kid you not, I used to eat a slice of ice cream cake EVERY DAY after school in high school. Every day. My mom knew how much I loved it and it would just always be there in the freezer. I think this plays a role in my relationship with food today. Nothing was ever off limits so I never had fears around food. And, to this day, I still have very fond memories of ice cream cake.

Anyway, since I was an active child, I was often eating on the go. I had weird snack preferences, but they worked. For example, before a basketball game, I ate sliced cucumbers. Who the heck knows why I chose them as pre-game fuel, but I liked chomping on them. I’d also always have a Quaker chewy granola bar. While there are much worse bars out there, it still wasn’t providing me any protein. It was, however, giving me carbohydrates, which likely benefitted me on the soccer field or basketball court.

Now that I know more about nutrition and my body, I always look for bars that have protein. Because, I snack not to just snack, but to hold me over until my next meal. And without protein and healthy fats, that’s unlikely to happen. WhatI love about homemade protein bars, specifically these homemade hemp bars, is that you can control each ingredient that goes into them.

Pumpkin Hemp Bars, Vegan and Gluten Free

So first, gather your ingredients.

What You Need to Make Hemp Protein Bars:

  • Hemp Seeds (I love these)
  • Oats
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Nut Butter
  • Pumpkin Puree
  • Maple Syrup
  • Spices – I used cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and sea salt

Ingredients to make Hemp Protein Bars

These homemade protein bars have about 7 grams of protein each. I love them just as much as my vegan protein bars, although the texture is completely different if we’re comparing recipes. These are a little tougher and chewier, while the vegan protein bars are soft, thanks to the chickpeas. You could even add chia seeds or flax seeds if you wanted to up the protein content even more.

The next step for these hemp seed bars is to mix everything together in one bowl. You don’t even need a food processor. And since these are egg-free, feel free to lick the batter as you go along. I know I sure did.

Ingredients for homemade protein bars mixed in a bowl

Then, you’ll transfer the batter to your baking sheet and press down firmly. 20 minute later and you’ll have your final product!

The protein in these hemp bars comes from the oats, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds. I’ve been breaking them up and tossing them in my yogurt for a little bit more. Plus, these have no refined sugars. The sweetness comes from maple syrup. They are not overly sweet, though, so if you do like your bars sweeter, you can simply add more. Or even a few scoops of coconut sugar or brown sugar.

Homemade hemp protein bars

Funny story. I made batches of these before FNCE, thinking I’d have plenty to take with me, but also to come home to. But, I came home to two empty containers because someoneee (read: Ed) loved these hemp bars so much and ate them.

5 from 2 votes
Stacked Pumpkin Homemade Hemp Bars with oats in bakground
Homemade Pumpkin Hemp Bars (Vegan, Gluten Free)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

These homemade pumpkin hemp bars are the perfect flavorful, on-the-go vegan and gluten-free snack. With no refined sugars, these hemp bars are perfect for before or after a workout and a great family-friendly, kid-friendly snack!

Course: Gluten Free, Snack, vegan
Cuisine: snack
Servings: 10
Calories: 240 kcal
Author: Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN
Ingredients
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp tsp sea salt plus some for topping
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ cup almond butter or peanut butter
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (+1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life to keep them vegan)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease 8x8 pan or line with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, seeds, salt, spices, almond butter, pumpkin, maple syrup, and vanilla. Mix until fully combined. Fold in chocolate chips last.
  4. Transfer dough to baking pan and spread evenly over the pan. Press down firmly so it is flat.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until edges turn brown.
  6. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before cutting into bars. These will harden slightly upon cooling.
  7. Top with sea salt and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these homemade hemp bars as much as we did. I will warn you that the smell of the dough itself is breathtakingly awesome. And then, prepare for the smell of baked pumpkin to dominate your kitchen. It’s such a pleasant smell, even outside of fall.

You’re welcome.

Please make sure to sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over these homemade hemp bars while they are cooling. The sea salt is a game changer, in my opinion. And, plan to take these bars everywhere. They are the perfect portable snack, with lots of healthy fats (thanks to the hemp and granola seeds), complex carbs and protein! I mean, now that you know how easy it is to make your own homemade protein bars, I hope these will be a staple in your future meal prep.

 

Want More Recipes? You May Also Like:

 

What was your favorite granola bar growing up?

Favorite type of seed? I love pumpkin and sunflower seeds!

 

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41 responses to “Homemade Pumpkin Hemp Bars (Vegan and Gluten Free)

  1. Oh these have such common ingredients, I will definitely pin! I love granola bars, so this is definitely gonna be useful to me when I am looking for snack ideas!
    One granola bar that I was never allowed to have but absolutely loved were the bars that were basically like chocolate bars. You know the ones completely dunked in chocolate with nougat inside? Ugh, those were so darn good. The sweet tooth issue never resolved itself, but at least I don’t eat those kinds of granola bars haha.

  2. I LOVE ice cream cake; I love how you would eat a slice every day. It’s interesting how our diets change over time. 🙂 I’m still an ice cream cake lover. When we were little we used to have those cracker sandwiches from the store with the slightly fakey (I loved it) cheese and peanut butter in others.

    This just sparked a craving for granola bars; now I need to cook up my other pumpkin!

  3. Oh my gosh ice cream cake is my absolute favorite so I’m actually pretty envious! My childhood snacking wasn’t much more nutritionally outstanding- uncrustables and ramen!
    Wish we could have gotten together- I’m glad you had fun!!

  4. Holy protein batman. In one bar? That’s awesome. I can just imagine the smell wafting through my kitchen.
    I was never a granola bar fan growing up actually. Favorite seed though? I’d say sunflower seeds. I love throwing them onto my salads or stirfrys.

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