Mango Hemp Protein Breakfast Bars (Vegan, Gluten Free)
I’ve been getting really into podcasts lately. Particularly, I’ve been loving Rich Roll and the One Part Podcast. And, as a result, I’ve rekindled my passion for plant based nutrition and living a vibey positive lifestyle. These things — eating plants and being positive — are pretty integral to my way of being at this point. But bringing the intention and love back into the small choices has been making a huge difference in my day to day.
It’s amazing to me how stories change our lives. Listening to a longevity scientist talk about her career path or an ex-junkie talk about his journey to wellness and prosperity. These simple stories, despite being personal and unique, speak volumes about the human spirit. I’ve always been obsessed with powerful stories. But I know that’s not special to me. We, as humans, are intimately wrapped up in the mythos of being human. Regardless of if a story is utterly real or fabulously fictional. All forms of story can speak to the complex and strange nature of being conscious walking monkeys.
Personally, I find myself attracted to stories of the human spirit conquering death / the devil / the darkness. I also love stories involving the power of the creative imagination and relentless positivity. It’s why I love Elizabeth Gilbert and Emma Watson and Amanda Palmer; or my fictional heroines: Hermione Granger and Lucy Pevensie. It’s most definitely why I’m attracted to yogic philosophy, which asserts that the power of pure human spirit can conquer suffering and offer us a more holy and integrated experience of joy.
But those Mango Bars, tho...
What do "the influence of story" and mango hemp protein breakfast bars have in common?
Um... well, they both have the power to make us feel awesome.
GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.
These bars are super easy and wonderfully nutritious. They taste lightly of vanilla and mango. And, because they're packed with hemp hearts and chia, they pack both a protein and an Omega-3 punch. Just in case you're wondering, Omega-3's (along with Vitamin D) regulate serotonin levels. And serotonin synthesis, release and function in the brain directly affect cognitive function. Optimal levels of omega-3's and vitamin D may even improve common brain dysfunctions (check out this PubMed scientific abstract for more).
One of my favorite things about these hemp protein breakfast bars is that they're portable and very low in sugar. I often find myself rushing through lunch like a jerk. Or snacking on dumb stuff like chips and hummus when I'm too busy for a meal (ok it's not dumb it's just not that exciting). So having a really delicious snack bar around makes me feel like "yeah! I'm totally taking care of myself!" And then I jump-high-five myself.
The lil trick that makes these bars extra awesome is that I soak the dried mango. Fresh mango is too juicy for these bars, and dried mango is too hard and sticky. Soaking dried (unsweetened, unsulfered) mango gets that perfectly soft texture while avoiding adding to much moisture. You can use this trick with any hard/dry fruit if you want to mix up the flavors here. Dried blueberries, apricots, peaches, apples, cherries etc. all work.
And hey! If you make this recipe, leave me a note and tell me what you think! And if you post about it to twitter or instagram hashtag #willfrolicforfood so I can see your creations!
xo -- Renee
- 1 cup (4 ounces) unsweetened, unsulfered dried mango
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup whole rolled oats
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup hemp hearts
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/8 cup coconut sugar
- pinch sea salt
- 1 cup applesauce
- juice of 1/2 meyer lemon
- 1 teaspoon meyer lemon zest
- 1 inch ginger, minced
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a small baking sheet (~12"x8") with parchment paper. Chop the dried mango roughly and place it in a medium bowl. Cover with the hot water. Set aside to plump up for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the almond meal, oats, coconut, hemp hearts, chia seeds, coconut sugar and sea salt. Fold in the applesauce, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced ginger, and vanilla extract until the mix is thoroughly combined. Drain the mango and discard the water. Add the now-juicy chopped mango and fold it into the rest of the ingredients. Set the whole bowl aside for 10-15 minutes to saturate the oats and chia with moisture.
- Then, use a spatula to spread the mixture evenly out on your baking sheet to about 3/4" inch thickness. You can smooth the edges by folding the parchment paper in on the edges and pressing gently down on them.
- Bake on the center rack for 18-20 minutes -- when done, the bars will be dry to the touch and just barely golden on the edges. Remove and let cool to room temp before cutting into squares or rectangles as you like. Store for up to a week in the fridge in a sealed container (the bars get more moist when they cool completely).