Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Chocolate Hemp Squares

MORE cookie squares? Yes, and these include Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seed Nut butter.

These are my Chocolate Hemp Squares from Vive le Vegan!. I decided to break down the simple steps in photos for you today, shown below.

First is the combination of nut butters and maple syrup in the pan. Then the the cereal crumbs (whizzed in a mini-processor) are stirred in and the mixture is pressed into a square pan lined with parchment. Remember I showed the trick of lining a square pan with parchment? Well, here it is with the corners folded in after cutting. The next photo shows me beginning to press the mixture around the pan with a bit of leftover parchment, to keep it from sticking... then into the fridge for some cooling while preparing the topping. Next, in a saucepan, the chocolate chips are combined with the non-dairy milk. When smooth this chocolate goodness is poured over the base and tilted back and forth to even out... then back into the fridge to cool completely.

Want to make these? Well, here's your chance to win a basket of hemp products from Manitoba Harvest! Click here for details on the goodies and contest rules.

Thanks to Manitoba Harvest for supplying their wonderful hemp products for this giveaway. Now one of you will have the opportunity to test out more Vive le Vegan! recipes using their hemp foods. Good luck! :)


juliehasson said...

These bars look fantastic Dreena!!

Do I win? I've never cooked or baked with hemp (or tried it for that matter : )


Danielle D. said...

Are these the gluten free squares in Vive (if made with GF cereal)? They look really yummy! I hope that I can win some hemp butter so that I can make them.

Suki said...

Great Blog!
Have you ever tried Omega's PumpkinSeed Butter? It's very good. If you have, is the hempseed butter similar?
We have been unable to find the Hemp products in our area.

Anonymous said...

i don't have a blog, can i still win, these would be perfect for a picnic

Grace said...

You are killing me with all the yummy photos of sweets. Good thing I'm not on a sugar free diet!

SusanV said...

I'd love to give them a try, so put my name on the top of that random draw! ;-)

me said...

I love how the bars look so moist and delicious. I can almost taste them just looking at the picture!

Julie said...

I love how you showed different pics showing the steps to make these bars! They look great!

P.S.- Please pick me...randomly, ofcourse!

Tina K said...

I can't find hemp seed nuts. All I can find is hemp seeds- same thing??

About the contest... If we win- when are you starting to count the three days we have to respond to you? I am away until Monday night for Easter!

krispycheks said...

Hemp nut butter! I didn't even know that existed! Oh, how silly of me to doubt the scope of nut butters. Those look incredible!

Scott Carlson said...

I don't eat or drink caffeine so I avoid regular chocolate. Is there a white chocolate option (since it has no caffeine containing cocoa powder)? Or maybe a preservatives w/ struesel-type topping?

I'm a vegan-leaning vegetarian (flexigan?), so I don't know this answer. Is there vegan white chocolate available?

Danielle said...

Ooh, those look yummy. If I don't win the contest and can't find hemp seed butter in my store, guess I'll try it with almond and soy nut butter or two nut butters. When I made the homestyle chocolate chip cookies, I used wax paper to line the pan because I don't have parchment, and it worked fine.

Scott, for people who don't eat chocolate, there is always carob.

Vicki said...

These look amazing! My fingers are crossed for your drawing...I'm still looking for hemp in my area...I really want to know what it taste like.

EatPeacePlease said...

Oh, Yum! I like how you whizzed the cereal up. Good idea for my next treats. An even better idea of my next treats would be with HEMP PRODUCTS!

Jennifer C. said...

Those look absolutely delicious! I bought some hemp seeds after reading about them in Vive and really liked them. Unfortunately I've never found the hemp seed butter locally, but I'd love to try it!

I am an Edu-Dame said...

How exciting - a contest! Over the weekend, I made the Apple Cardamom Cake with Lemon-Maple Frosting and MMmmmMMmmmm - rave reviews all around. Great flavor and the texture was perfect. I am really excited to try some of the recipes with new-to-me ingredients, like hemp products. Your picture of the chocolate hemp squares makes me want to start right away!

reva said...

those look good! i've been wanting to try cooking/baking with hemp seed butter. this looks like the perfect receipe to try it out.

Lady Di said...

Ok, so I found some hemp seeds....can I just wizz them like peanuts to make my own hemp nut butter? The health food store I was at, didn't carry the butter.

KaiVegan said...

I can't believe I'm comment #19! Well, I should believe it, since I didn't have a chance to visit blogs most of the day.
And I promise to make this yummy goody (and blog about it) when I get hemp products.
Hmmm.. that makes me a winner:)

Michelle said...

i haven't tried these bars yet either. i love anything with chocolate on top though!

Chava said...

oh wow! Those bars look so fudgy and delicious!

And to Scott's question - You can buy vegan white chocolate chips on and also at pangea ( I've never seen them in stores though.

primaryconsumer said...

This is so exciting! I've never seen any hemp products other than hemp seeds at the health food stores I shop at, and they sound so amazing. Ooohhh, I hope I win!

Dreena said...

Hi Julie! Well, you're the chocolate master, so I thank you for that! I got your e-mail, so no, not a win just yet, but may-be! I find I use hemp more in baking than in cooking. Well, the oil I use in salad dressings, but for the seed and nut butter - those I use in muffins, cereal bars, cookies, etc. You'd have fun experimenting with them I'm sure. :)

Hi Danielle, well the squares are wheat-free or gluten-free, yes, IF you use a wheat-free or gluten-free cereal. (and yes, they *are* yummy)!

Hi suki, thanks! I tried the pumpkin seed butter some while ago now, and I'm not sure why I haven't been using it since we like pumpkin seeds. Hemp seed nut butter is probably very similar, except that its taste is more in line with sunflower seeds. Very green in color though!

Hi Alison, absolutely - as long as when I announce the winner, that person e-mails me - they win... no blog required!

Awww, thanks Grace!

Oh, Susan, I would love to see what kind of creations you would make with hemp products. Your recipes are always the most beautiful-looking and unique, you would do hemp justice indeed!

Hi 'Me', thanks! They are very moist, I couldn't resist digging in as soon as I took the picture. mmmm!

Hi Julie, I'm glad you liked that - I thought it would be a change and helpful to some that don't do a lot of cooking/baking to see the step-by-step and that it's not that hard. :)

Hi Tina, yes the hemp seeds *should* be the same thing - as long as they are 'shelled' hemp seeds (sometimes the two are interchanged). They should be a creamy white color, roundish with some green flecks. Oh, no worries about missing the announcement, I will likely wait until Monday to announce... so, enjoy your Easter! :)

Thanks krispycheks! The hemp nut butter is sometimes stocked in the refrigerated section, so that may be why you haven't seen it. :)

Hi Scott, yes there are a couple of alternatives for you. First, there IS vegan white chocolate available, though you will probably have to order it online through or (I'm not sure if it's available in retail stores where you live, or anywhere for that matter). Also, you can make this chocolate 'ganache' using carob chips and non-dairy milk. Check out my post from Monday featuring the Chocolate P-Nut Butter Squares - I used carob chips for those! I have a brother-in-law that also cannot have caffeine, so I often do the carob version of my desserts for him. No problem! Btw, congrats on learning more and working towards veganism - feel free to e-mail or post any questions along the way! :)

Danielle, that's a great point. You can easily sub any nut butters in these bars. There is already almond or cashew in them, so you can use more of these, or combine with sunflower butter, peanut butter, etc. Maybe not tahini, because it's a bit bitter, but most everything would work super!

Thanks very much, Vicki... keep 'em crossed! :)

Hi Leslie! You can sooo make these too - all stovetop stuff, so no stressing to have to use your oven! Using the processor to crumble the cereal takes just seconds, and you can use whatever cereal you like!

Thanks Jennifer, and I'm glad you are enjoying the hemp seeds!

Dreena said...

Hi Gail... ohhhh, how I love that cake - I'm so pleased you loved it too!!! I love the icing, because it's not sugary sweet, and really I want to just eat it straight with the spoon! Thanks for giving me your feedback on it, that's wonderful. Yes, I think you'd enjoy these squares as well!

Hi Reva, thanks... I'm glad this is sparking some interest for using hemp products. They are highly nutritious, complete protein and rich in essential fatty acids... makes eating the cookie a guilt-free indulgence. :)

Hi lady di... I haven't tried this, though essentially that is what nut butters are. If you tried it, you may need to add a touch of oil, unless you have a Vita Mix which I understand can process nuts into nut butter - presto! Rather than attempting to make your own, I would sub another nut butter for now, and use the seeds to make something else, like the Energy Cookies or Apple-Hemp Muffins. If you do attempt it, let us know how it worked!

Kai, you just might be sending out the energy to 'create' the win for yourself!! :) Btw, I'm with you Kai these days, with not getting around to blogs much. I want to, but I am just keeping my day together as it is with day-to-day activities, the kids, and then testing recipes! I have become a neglectful blogger! :)

Hi Michelle - I know... chocolate topped on just about anything works, right?!

Thanks so much, Chava!

Hi primaryconsumer, thanks! Oh, as I' mentioned in a previous comment, you may want to look in the refrigerated section for the hemp nut butter - sometimes that's where it is stocked. :)

mary said...

These bars look lucious!!

Thank you for posting pictures of your recipes. Now, I want to go and pick up TEV, after having seen all the delicious looking recipes!


Caroline said...

Oh my, I just got drool on my keyboard hehe:) Dreena, those squares look SO awesome!
Hemps seeds are such a nutrient-rich food, it's a darn shame that the masses aren't more knowledgable about this special seed. Have you ever read the Emperor Wears No Clothes?
Well I hope I win b/c I've never seen the hemp nut butter before and I really, really wanna make these drool-worthy bars!

Emily said...

mmmm, hempy. I've only ever had hemp seeds in Alpsnack bars and those are really tasty. This looks really interesting, and of course, everything is better with chocolate. I can't wait for Easter so I can indulge a bit. hee.

VeganCyclist said...

mmm. yummy.

Claire said...

I have been sprinkling hemp seed nuts on lots of foods ever since i bought Vive le Vegan, and learned of the many benefits of hemp!
I would love to win the basket.
Dreena, you are a vegan cooking superwoman! thanks for being so inspiring, with organic, beautiful, healthy, yummy foods.

xo Claire

Sarah said...

Thanks for the inspiration to be a better vegetarian :)

Anonymous said...

These look delicious! Oh why, oh why have I never cooked with hemp before?


Amy said...

Thanks for all the pictures, Dreena. I can't seem to find hemp in very many places to try though. So, pick me!

Kourtney said...

I've never tried hemp, but I'm all for anything that contains chocolate!

Megan said...

I love this blog... Thanks for being a constant inspiration.

These bars look incredible! I can't wait to try some more hemp treats! I love the flavor! I'm on a mission now to make some hemp waffles!... Off to market!

FunLauren said...

Chocolate + nut butter = perfection!

I've never cooked or baked with any hemp products, but after seeing these, I may have to give it a try!

Starla said...

These squares look so good! Please help me as I'm hemp-illiterate.

Is it a seed or a nut and what does it resemble in taste, if that's possible?

Now I need to go find some!

Michelle said...

okay, something just dawned on me here.. if the kids will like hemp seed butter.. then i really can send a "nut butter" and jam sandwich to school every now and then.. hemp being a seed and all! okay, now i *really* want to try the hemp butter. we like the seeds!

Dreena said...

Thanks so much Mary - oh, btw, these bars are from Vive le Vegan, just in case you thought they were from TEV. :)

Funny, Caroline... thanks! :) I haven't read that book - what am I missing?!

Oh, Emily, I am excited about Easter too. Silly me, I mean I have chocolate in the cupboard, but you know, we are just far more justified eating it when it is Easter, or Halloween, or Valentine's, etc, etc! I really want to try those Alpsnacks, but I still haven't seen them here.

Thanks vegancyclist - short and sweet! :) (not you, your comment - well, maybe you are, but how would I know?!!) :)

Oh, wow, Claire, thank you for that glowing compliment. Gee, that's so sweet of you. So great that you are enjoying the hemp seed nuts - fabulous to hear! :)

Thank you Sarah for that... very nice to hear that you are finding some inspiration here - thanks!

Hi Lori - yes, time to get cooking - or baking, or just sprinkling on soy yogurt or something! :)

Thanks Amy, I think we'll start to see hemp more and more in coming months, but it might help to ask your stores to carry it too, or see if they are stocking it somewhere that you might not expect (that has happened to me with different things). :)

Yes, Kourtney, chocolate does just about everything good, doesn't it?!

Thank you very much, Megan. Wow - hemp waffles??!! I'm very intrigued... please let us know how they turn out - yummy!

Hi funlauren! They are quite easy to make, too. A pot to clean up and a bowl from the chocolate, but they are pretty simple and not much room for error... always a bonus! :)

Hi Starla! Hemp is a seed, not a nut (confusing, I know), and they taste similar to sunflower seeds, but smaller in size much like a sesame seed, and also softer in texture. If you have Vive, there is a section about hemp foods there, covering the some nutritional info, cooking tips, etc. Also, you can visit Manitoba Harvest's site for more detailed info and recipes too!

Hey, Michelle... exactly!! I make sandwiches for baby with the hemp seed nut butter, since she isn't eating nuts yet. I just spread it on, sprinkle on some cinnamon and a drizzle of agave. The hemp butter really benefits from a touch of cinnamon and a little sweetener I find. Anyhow, she LOVES it - far better than a similar sandwich with tahini or sunflower butter. Good luck if you try it out on your kidlets. :)

Tina K said...

Thanks for the info on the hemp seeds... what I have is deffinitely shelled. I'll keep looking! I guess Capers and Choices probably have them, right?

Happy Easter everyone! Eat lots of chocolate!!

Ms. Mercedes said...

dreena--I'm totally in love with hemp anything. I currently have hemp nut seeds (for salads) and hemp protein powder (for smoothies) in the fridge and am lovin' it =) I really want to try hemp seed butter...mmm.
Thanks for this post!

Anonymous said...

I love my Manitoba Hemp nut seeds and sprinkle them on lots of different foods. I would love to try some of their other products... That is a great sandwhich idea that you use with your baby,I am going to pass that on to my sister, who is always looking for vegan ideas for her one-yr old!

-Michelle S.

Rochelle said...

Hi, Dreena!

Those look so great I can almost taste them! I have hemp seeds in my fridge, but haven't tried them yet. I really need to pick up your books at the store. Keep up the great work!

Chris said...

Yikes! The odds are getting long with all these comments, but count me in. And I really want to try this recipe!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Dear Dreena:

yum yum yum yum.

<3 jess

Starla said...


Thanks for your helpful information on hemp. YES! I just got VIVE from Borders book store last week but haven't had the time to sit down and go through it.

me, Mavis said...

WOW! What a great opportunity for my first (non)baking experience with hemp! PICK ME Please!

Dreena said...

Tina, yes, Choices and Capers definitely carry Manitoba Harvest hemp seed nuts - and butter - and oil.

Wow, Ms. Mercedes... you really are lovin' the hemp products - that's fabulous - you'd love the nut butter! :)

Hi Michelle S... thanks, and I hope your friend picks up the nut butter for her little one. I have a food introduction guideline in Vive le Vegan, which gives info on how to introduce foods to babies/toddlers to reduce allergenic risks. Seeds and seed butters are introduced at a year, but nuts not until 18 months, and then peanuts not until 2 years. So the seed butters provide a good source of nutrients and protein and essential fatty acids at that stage - and beyond of course! :)

Thanks Rochelle! In the meantime, pull out those seeds and throw 1/4 cup in a muffin recipe the next time you make them, or put a couple of tablespoons in a cookie batter, or just sprinkle them on your cold cereal, or into hot cereal, or stir into peanut butter for your sandwiches. Just a few ideas for you!! :)

Hi Chris... you're in!! Good luck! :)

Hey Jess!! Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks... :)

You're welcome Starla, and if you have any questions now that you have Vive, feel free to e-mail or post them. :)

Dreena said...

Hi me, mavis - just saw your comment - your included in the contest... thanks!

Maddy said...


did i say yum????


Harmonia said...

Looks great as usual!

Anonymous said...

Hemp, Hemp Hooray for cooking with my favorite plant! Thanks for sharing the recipe.