These triple seed cacao squares bring together the health and nutrition benefits and delicious flavors of hemp, pumpkin and sesame seeds. They make a perfect snack or treat for anyone with nut allergies or for kids to take with them to any nut-free event, including school. They are chewy and soft, yet they provide some fun textures with a gentle crunch, given the different seeds in them. They are also sure to please the chocolate lover, but can also be made in a cacao-free version.

These whole food squares are high-energy and super nutrient-dense. They are rich in protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, micronutrients and fiber. They are naturally low in sodium and have no refined sugars. They predominantly use whole-food sugars from dates, and with 16 dates used for 16 squares, each serving equates to eating one date along with a small handful of seeds. Being raw, as opposed to baked or cooked, also means that they maintain their full nutritional integrity!

Characteristics

TYPE: Snack
PREPARATION: < 5 mins
SERVING: Makes 16 squares

  • Whole food
  • 100% Plant-based (Vegan)
  • Raw
  • Organic (depending on choice of ingredients)
  • Wheat-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Peanut-free
  • Nut-free
  • Soy-free
  • Corn-free
  • Refined sugar-free

Goodies Needed

INGREDIENTS:

TOOLS:

  • Food Processor
  • Spatula
  • Glass 8-inch Square Dish

Preparation Steps

  1. Place the seeds in a food processor, and process on high speed, until broken down into smaller pieces.
  2. Add in the reminder of the ingredients, except for the water and maple syrup. (Be sure to remove the pits from your Medjool dates!) Process on high speed, until a uniform crumbly mixture results.
  3. Add in the maple syrup and water and spin for a few more seconds. Stop the food processor and test a small amount in your fingers. Mixture should stick together.
  4. Transfer the mixture into your dish and press firmly all around with your spatula to pack down the mixture. You can eat it immediately for a soft, chewy texture, or place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour (or more) for a firmer texture.

  5. Cut into 16 squares and enjoy.

  6. Store in refrigerator for short term use (within week), or in freezer for long term use.

Tips

  • You can easily make these squares cacao-free if you require or to experiment with a new flavor combination. If leaving out the cacao, I also recommend leaving out the maple syrup and water.
  • You can substitute the cacao powder for carob powder, in which case you will most likely not need the maple syrup.
  • You can also experiment with other seeds. For example, swap the pumpkin seeds for sunflower seeds for a different flavor combination.
  • Be sure to use fresh Medjool dates, which are plump and moist. Dry dates or other varieties of dates may not be ideal for this recipe, failing to make it stick together properly or requiring more water.
  • If the mixture is too crumbly and does not want to stick together enough, you can mix in another tablespoon or two of water.
  • If you cannot easily get Medjool dates, swap them for about 1.5 cups of raisins and omit the maple syrup.
  • Instead of squares, you can also cut these into bars, or if you have more time form them into balls.

Meal Health & Nutrition Benefits

Hemp Seeds

  • provide healthy fats, protein and some carbohydrates
  • are a source of omega-3 fatty acids and provide an great omega-3 to omega-6 ratio (1:3)
  • provide phytonutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits
  • a source of vitamins, especially vitamin A and E
  • a source of minerals, especially phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc
  • support optimal health, weight, healing, and prevention
  • help maintain healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels
  • help prevent and protect against heart disease, cancers, diabetes and other chronic lifestyle diseases
  • for more information, visit the hemp seed health benefits from Organic Facts

Pumpkin Seeds

  • provide healthy fats, protein and some carbohydrates
  • provide phytonutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
  • a source of vitamins, especially most B vitamins and some vitamin E
  • a source of minerals, especially manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc and iron
  • support optimal health, weight, healing, and prevention
  • help maintain healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels
  • help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and infections
  • for more information, visit the pumpkin seed detailed overview from World’s Healthiest Foods

Sesame Seeds / Tahini

  • provides healthy fats, protein and some carbohydrates
  • provides phytonutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
  • a source of vitamins, especially most B vitamins and some vitamin E
  • a source of minerals, especially copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, molybdenum and selenium
  • supports optimal health, weight, healing, and prevention
  • helps maintain healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels
  • helps protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and other degenerative diseases
  • for more information, visit the sesame detailed overview from World’s Healthiest Foods

Raw Cacao

  • provides healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates
  • provides one of the highest sources of antioxidants
  • a source of vitamins, especially the B vitamins
  • a source of minerals, especially manganese, copper, magnesium and iron
  • provides an abundance of phytonutrients for healing and prevention
  • contains euphoric properties (anandamide), aphrodisiac properties (arginine), anti-depressant properties (tryptophan) and helps stimulate and balance brain activity
  • provides anti-inflammatory, rejuvenating and anti-aging elements
  • helps maintain healthy blood pressure, and protect against cardiovascular disease
  • for more info, see the cacao benefits overview on Organic Facts

Medjool Dates

  • provide healthy carbohydrates, some protein, and are virtually fat-free
  • provide vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants
  • provide most of the B vitamins
  • especially rich in potassium, copper, manganese, and magnesium
  • support optimal health, energy, weight, healing and prevention
  • support digestive, immune, and cardiovascular health
  • for more info, see the medjool dates overview on Nutrition-and-You

Maple Syrup

  • a rich source of simple carbohydrates (sugars); provides about 20% less calories than honey
  • a source of antioxidants and phytonutrients
  • provides trace amounts of B vitamins
  • provides minerals, especially manganese, zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, copper and magnesium
  • serves as a good, natural sweetener option, which provides some nutrition and health benefits
  • for more info, see the maple syrup overview on organicfacts.net

Vanilla

  • provides antioxidants and phytonutrients, like vanilloids, and has anti-inflammatory properties
  • provides some B vitamins
  • provides some minerals, especially manganese, potassium, copper, and magnesium
  • when in its purest form, can positively support overall health
  • supports optimal cognitive health and mental performance
  • for more information, visit the vanilla overview from Nutrition-and-You.com