If you eat a plant-based diet, you've heard the popular (and annoying!) question "How do you get enough protein?" at least once. Protein tends to be associated with animal products, but there are plenty of vegan protein sources out there.

Sunflower, hemp, and pumpkin seeds are all rich in protein (among other awesome benefits you can read about in the sources at the bottom of the page). With these bars, you get to combine plant-based protein, chocolate, and coffee! This makes these bars ideal for a midday or to-go snack or even a quick breakfast for those of us who're always running late in the mornings.

Ingredients (makes 10 small bars):

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) oats
  • 7 dates, pitted (approx. 100 g/3.5 oz)
  • 15 g (0.7 oz) shelled hemp seeds
  • 10 g (0.35 oz) pumpkin seeds
  • 30 g (0.7 oz) sunflower seeds
  • 0.5-1 tsp. hemp protein powder
  • 15-20 g (0.5-0.7 oz) dark chocolate (for coating)
  • 1 tbsp. raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Lightly roast the oats in an oven at 200oC (390°F) until golden brown, and let cool once done. (This step is optional, but we feel the roasted oats add a richer flavour to the bars.) 
  2. Combine the pitted dates, cacao powder, coffee, and salt in a blender or food processer and blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the date cream, cooled oats, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds and stir with a wooden spoon until combined in a dough-like lump. 
  4. In a flat, rectangular dish (you can choose to cover it with baking paper or grease lightly with vegetable oil), flatten the dough by pressing down hard with a tablespoon or your hands. If the dough isn't pressed flat, it will crumble when you try to cut out the bars.
  5. Let the dough cool in the fridge for approx. 30 minutes. This makes it firm enough to withstanding cutting.
  6. Cut the dough into bars while still in the dish - this works best to reduce crumbling. Carefully tip out the dough onto a cutting board or plate.
  7. Place the chocolate in a heatproof glass bowl and set it over a bowl/pot of simmering water to melt the chocolate.
  8. Decorate the bars with the melted chocolate, and let them cool in fridge until the chocolate coating has solidified. And you're done!

You can store the bars in an air-tight container in the fridge for approx. a week or freeze for later use.

References on Protein Benefits and Sources:

Rodriguez-Leyva, D., and Pierce, G. N. (2010) The Cardiac and Hemostatic Effects of Dietary Hempseed. Nutrition & Metabolism, 7(32). DOI:10.1186/1743-7075-7-32.

Shortsleeve, C. (2018) Are Sunflower Seeds Healthy? Here's What the Experts Say. Time, 17 October. Available at: Accessed 19 July 2019). 

Shubrook, N. (2018) The Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds. BBC goodfood, 1 October. Available at: (Accessed 19 July 2019).

Protein Pick-Me-Up Bars



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