Hemp Protein Bars

We try to always see things from the bright side even though we all have setbacks and things troubling us every now and then. That is why we have waited to tell you this story until we could find a happy ending to it.

When Luise was pregnant with Elsa she got chronic pelvic and tailbone pain. It was a pregnancy spent on crutches and in a wheelchair. During the last months it was so bad that she had to stay in bed most parts of the day. After Elsa was born it became better but not completely good. During the end of our trip around the world the pain got a lot worse again. Since then she has been on constant rehabilitation several days a week, working with the entire body. We feel a bit bad about not mentioning this in our weekly stories, since her injury and rehabilitation actually has been a huge part of our lives these last years, but as we hate focusing on the rough stuff we deliberately kept it out.

Looking at her walking, no one would probably guess how much her body was hurting. But each walk that she has taken has been punished with hours of pain. Running has been completely out of the question, even carrying Elsa has been hard at times. She has seen several doctors, osteopaths, physiotherapist, acupuncture clinics, homoeopaths and personal trainers, and all of them have given her different advices on how to get better, with no result. Finally she found a good clinic where she has been going for six months now. She has been working so incredibly hard, both there and at home, with small improvements each month. She has been going through intense treatments and medications and has a very talented physiotherapist and personal trainer. And you know what, a few days ago Luise took her first run outside! She only ran a couple of blocks and for about 10 minutes, but it was amazing seeing her in her running outfit again. With the biggest smile on her lips. She is still not fully recovered, but we think this is definitely worth celebrating. So here are our protein packed hemp bars. Perfect after a good run and for celebrating health.

Hemp Protein Bars
Makes around 15 bars 

These bars are not only filled with protein, they are also magically delicious. They are sweet but it in a very nice and nourishing way. Have them after a workout or as a mid-day snack.

Dry ingredients
1 cup (160 g) pumpkin seeds
1 cup (100 g) dried shredded coconut
1/2 cup (80 g) hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
1/2 cup (50 g) hemp protein powder (you can use hemp hearts instead)
4 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp bee pollen (optional)

Wet ingredients
20 fresh medjool dates, pitted

6 tbsp coconut oil, room temperature
4 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp ground vanilla

Add after blending
6 tbsp rolled oats

2 tbsp poppy seeds

In a food processor or blender, pulse the dry ingredients quickly. Do not over-process, you want it a little crunchy. Place the mixture in a bowl and set aside. Add all wet ingredients to the food processor or high speed blender and run until smooth. This might take some time, and if your blender isn’t strong enough you might have to help out by stirring around a few times with a fork or add a dash of water.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, add oats and poppy seeds and stir until well combined. Spread the batter evenly into a 11 x 7-inch (28 x 18 cm) baking dish, make sure it becomes quite compact. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Cut into bars. Wrap them in paper and store in an air-tight container. Will keep around a week in the fridge.

Tip: If you do not have a high speed blender, place your pitted dates on a plate and mash with a fork until they are sticky and smooth as caramel, it’ll take a few minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients one by one and kneed it by hand until well combined.


  • Debbie Lewis
    Hi Luise, yes I think it must be the dates as the raw cacao powder I have is very dark, there just was not enough liquid. In the UK it's very hard to find fresh dates... they are quite small and virtually always dried here. I doubled the quantity of dates and oil and that fixed it. Thanks for your quick reply, And yes... they are delicious!
  • Debbie Lewis
    Hi - I just made a batch of these and they have come out very different to yours! They are very pale in colour - not dark at all - and they haven't set. I looks like there's way too much dry ingredients to wet... I used the ml weights instead of cups as I'm in the UK...
    • Hi Debbie. What a shame! The color depends on the cacao powder you use and the stickiness depends on the quality of the dates, we always use fresh medjool dates. They are soft, sticky, big and juicy dates. Could that be the problem? Let me know. /Luise
  • It sounds like Luise suffered from symphysis pubis dysfunction, no? I too suffered with this in both my pregnancies (and for some time after the first) until I cut wheat and cane sugar out of my diet (while pregnant). The dietary changes completely relieved my symptoms. I should point out that my symptoms were not so severe as to require the use of a wheelchair. So glad she is back running. Best wishes to you all!
  • I var i mine drømme
    I was so surprised when I read this post the other day. Not that you could ever get to know 'strangers' by following a blog, but after keeping tuned the last two years, you kind of get a feeling that you do! I just wanna send you all some good vibes and wish you all the best in the future. And normally I do not write comments, but you sneaked into my dreams this night, which took me by surprise, so I felt it as a sign to send out some love and positive energy :) Thank you for always being an inspiration! Josephine
  • Yum! Part of my New Year's resolution was to give up buying snack bars. This will make a very nice replacement!
  • So glad Luise is on the mend and running again, a real inspiration! These bars sound incredible and I just might be able to convince my toddler to eat these hemp bars if I throw in some extra chocolate incentive by way of cacao nibs (he's a picky one).
  • Hi, I've been a reader for a while, but have never commented. I feel compelled to reach out and offer my sincere condolences and hope that you'll begin to feel better. Life is hard, and its hard to share those negative parts in the online world. I hope your treatments begin to help and you see some progress. Thanks for your constantly inspiring healthy recipes. I especially loved your post on raising children to eat well.
  • Yum, and congrats on such incredible progress :) Truly inspiring. We've just started being able to buy hemp products for consumption in Australia, and I do believe I've just found my first recipe idea to try :D Thankyou.
  • Wow, congratulations on running again! Sounds like such a happy and bright spot for you guys. This was inspiring and just lovely to read. Wishing you so much joy for the miles ahead. And the bars sound delicious. Something to look forward to at the end of a workout for sure :)
  • These look INCREDIBLE. I mean, seriously. I want like 400 bars in my face right now.
  • Vincent
    I mostly just lurk and don't really posts comments, but I've made a few of your recipes, enjoy reading new posts and viewing the gorgeous pictures of delicious food, and even your lifestyle has been an inspiration. Therefore I'm sorry to hear she has been through all this trouble, and am delighted to hear that it is getting better. Good luck with the rest of the recovery!
  • Luise, you're amazing for doing so much traveling, cooking, and inspiring (i am certainly inspired) despite your pain! Congratulations on the run! Even though the weather is anything but warm, I am now inspired to lace up my sneakers and face it for a run. I'll certainly make some of these protein bars so I have a good snack waiting for me at home. I just bought snacks. Thank goodness for well stocked (green) kitchen cupboards. All the best with the rest of your recovery!
    • Thank you Sasha! Hope you had a nice run in the cold and the bars turned out delicious :-)
  • Elizabeth
    I hope Luise continues to recover and improve! :) Yum, can't wait to make these!
  • Sophie from Sydney
    Wow, wow, wow... I just made these and they taste so yummy (I couldn't stop eating the mixture) !! I was looking for an energising snack that I could take to work to stop me from getting sleepy and unproductive in the afternoons. These beautiful bars will do the trick! I added a few extra superfoods like goji berries, spirilina and mesquite, as well as some cocao nibs. Oh and I also added some ginsing :-) I live on the other side of the world but feel strangely connected to you three through the stories you share and the food you prepare. Keep spreading the green love .. S xx
    • Wow Sophie, have you already made them? That was quick! Thank you for your sweet comment. We're glad that you liked the bars and it sounds like a great twist to add ginsing :-) Maybe we'll meet in Sydney one day ...
  • Sini
    Sorry to hear you've had such a hard time but happy to hear it's finally getting better! I look up to people who always try to see the glass half full, not half empty. Thank you for the recipe. Have to give it a go!
  • It needs celebration, definitely! This is a really moving story which made me write my first comment here although I come nearly every day. T'm gonna make these bars for the one I love, a very sporty man, since Valentine's day is approaching: what better wish to make than hoping the one we love is always happy and healthy? Can't wait for your next post... You two have a wonderful weekend.
    • Sweet Faery! Thank you for posting your first comment and your kind words :-) Happy Valentines day and hope your loved one likes the bars <3
  • Monica
    Glad you are feeling better Luise. I understand, too, how are bodies change so much during and after pregnancy. I hope you continue to feel better and become pain-free by summer so you can really enjoy the beautiful summer runs. I will be getting back on that 'train' as well :-)
  • mona
    <3 Keep on running <3 Very nice recipe. Looks so full of energy! And just what we need right now in the freezing cold Scandinavia. I'm thinking of using raw liqourice powder insteed of cacao. What do yuo think? Love, Mona
  • I'm so sorry to hear Luise has been in so much pain since having Elsa. Pregnancy does crazy things to a womans body! I know you've tried everything already (and that's awesome she's getting good results now) but I too suffered from major pelvic pain after the birth of my first child. A (UK trained) French osteopath fixed it in two sessions, even when my doctor said she though I needed surgery! All the best, these hemp bars look amazing!
    • I'm so glad you are all well now Emma! I had really good results with an osteopath in San Diego as well. Happy healing thoughts Luise
  • I'm thrilled to hear there is reason to celebrate. Luise, you are an inspiration. I have no doubt you have struggled through many tough days to reach this point where you can revel in the joy of movement. I hope there are many, many great miles to come.
  • I just came across your blog recently, and I have to say it was virtual love at first sight. And read. Oh, vegetarian love! You two, well three, are a team after my own heart. My new blog is a work in process, but it's sites like yours that inspire and encourage me to practice, learn and share love. A quick question (my apologies if I can find this answer somewhere on your blog): what camera do you (or David) generally shoot with throughout Green Kitchen Stories? Also, I hope your recovery picks up, and know that running has been one of the most therapeutic experiences in my life!
    • Hi Bette Jane, thank you for your comment. I use a Canon EOS 5D with a 50 mm f1,4 lens or a 100 mm f2,8 lens (depending on the motive). Good luck with your blog and your photography. /David
  • I'm so sorry to hear about the awful pain you have been in, Louise. Congratulations on the run, and here's to many more. I wish you all the best in continuing to get better.
  • I am so excited to try this recipe out. We LOVE hemp in our house and I am always looking for new ways to use it!
  • I just discovered your blog a few days ago. Its inspired me to try new ingredients and just eat more whole foods in general. I've never tried hemp seeds before or used dates in my bars. Will have to try it soon. Luise, keep up the hard work! Hope to hear more great stories about your progress.
    • Hi Lisa, we are so glad to be inspiring you! Let us know what you think about hemp :-)
  • Jessica
    It's lovely to hear of your recovery. I had Bilateral Sacroiliitis caused by Ankylosing Spondylitis through my second pregnancy (pelvic and leg pain), unable to sleep in a bed and several episodes on crutches. It took a long time to diagnose and work out exactly what it was, finally after seeing an excellent physio, then orthapedic surgeon and finally a rheumatologist. It was such a joy to be able to walk again without any pain! It's amazing what you take for granted and it's great to hear you're doing so well.
    • Oh wow, what a story Jessica! Unbelievable what you went through, pour you! I'm so glad to hear that you are okay now! I know exactly what you mean, being able to walk without pain is an amazing feeling :-)
  • yum, first off, i will make these. second, and more importantly, i hope you luise! I am so sorry! Chronic pain of any sort is so terrible and annoying - hoping things continue to get better. Thinking of you.
  • I'm so glad things are starting to get better. Going for a run is such an accomplishment and I'm sure it made both of you smile from ear to ear. I'll be thinking about you and sending good health wishes your way! xo
  • Emily
    I am so sorry to hear about your injury Luise. And yet glad that you are starting to feel better. Hurray for that! The bars look absolutely phenomenal. Wish I could reach through my screen and grab one of them right away.
    • Thank you Emily! It took a long time, but I'm so happy for all the talented people who helped me ;-)
  • Jennifer L.
    I am surprised to read this post today. Just this morning, I was wondering how she was doing since I recalled she was off to see some specialist after your visit in Santa Cruz. I wondered if it had helped, or if she had found any relief yet. I know it can be frustrating to try everything and not find some comfort. I am so happy to hear she is running! Our second daughter was born a few weeks ago and I am reminded of how pregnancy, childbirth and parenting take a toll on our bodies! It's hard work growing babies! I am sending along hugs and good thoughts for more recovery.
    • Congratulations Jennifer and welcome to your little new! Hope you are all doing great! Thanks for your lovely comment, take care :-)

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