These tasty, high protein, no bake sunflower seed bars are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin E to help reduce inflammation and promote blood, brain, and skin health.Jump to Recipe
Sunflower seeds are a good source of magnesium, which is supportive for the nervous system, selenium for the thyroid, and folate for cellular repair, and they’re low on the glycemic index.
These bars are the perfect healthy dessert or high protein afternoon snack. Substitute one of these homemade goodies for a store-bought energy bar and you’ll be feeling much better about your choices.
I love that sunflower seeds grow easily in North America. This makes them an ideal source of healthy fats for us.
Consuming the seeds, rather than the oil, means there’s no danger of oxidation due to heat.
This recipe calls for sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and hemp seeds, which are all rich in healthy fats and plant-based protein.
The lion’s share of the sweetness comes from dates, while a little raw honey offers a sense of decadence, and brings the texture together.
A bit of cinnamon, cardamom, and salt, add digestive support and pleasing flavors.
If you like, you can top your sunflower seed bars with chocolate, but that is totally optional.
Oh .. and did I mention. There’s no baking involved, so putting this recipe together is super quick and easy.
SUNFLOWER SEEDS: I recommend stocking raw sunflower seeds and keeping them in the freezer. For this recipe, you’ll lightly toast your seeds in a skillet. This can also be done in the oven. Toasted adds oodles of extra flavor and makes the seeds more digestible.
SESAME SEEDS: Sesame seeds are hardly ever eaten, aside from hummus, tahini, and sesame seed buns. This is a shame, since sesame is a wonderful source of calcium. The seeds are warming and moisturizing, with an affinity to the bones, muscles, and strength.
HEMP SEEDS: Heavy, oily and slightly sweet, hemp seeds are good for heart-health, grounding, and slightly sedative. Hemp seeds are nutritive, contain all 9 essential amino acids, and the optimal ratio of omega-6 and omega-3s. They tend to go bad quickly, so make sure they are fresh.
DATES: The dates act as a binder and add natural sweetness to the bars. You do not need Medjool dates for this. Purchase a more inexpensive pitted date. If the dates are overly dry, consider soaking in hot water for 15 minutes, then draining well prior to use in this recipe.
TAHINI or SUNFLOWER SEED BUTTER: A seed butter such as tahini (made from sesame seeds) or sunflower seeds tends to be lighter than nut butter. I personally love them. You can use either for this recipe. If you don’t have a seed butter you can substitute with nut butter, such as peanut or almond.
HONEY: I’ve included honey in this recipe for texture and superior flavor. Honey and sesame is a rockstar combination.
Good raw honey is a little pungent, and it destroys mucus, so it’s adding digestive support for the healthy fats. Since there’s no cooking in this recipe, it’s also safe to enjoy your best honey.
CINNAMON: Cinnamon helps to balance blood sugar, and it’s warming and dry. These qualities bring balance and beautiful flavor to this recipe.
CARDAMOM: Cardamom is Ayurveda’s number one mucus destroyer, and it’s grounding and aromatic. It’s going to help with overall digestion.
Optional chocolate topping
The chocolate topping on the sunflower seed bars is totally optional, and super easy.
To make it, you simply combine semi-sweet chocolate chips with ghee, butter, or coconut oil in a microwave safe container and cook in 30-second increments until the chocolate is melted, and you are able to stir it into a smooth mixture.
Pour it over the bars and refrigerate or freeze before cutting.
Storage and eating
Lift the entire contents out of the pan using the edges of the parchment paper. Cut into 24 squares and store in the fridge or freezer in a food-safe container.
Will last 1-2 weeks in the fridge and 2-3 months in the freezer.
Due to their texture, these bars are totally chewy and edible right out of the freezer, but you can also defrost before enjoying. (If you can wait!)
Recipe for Vitamin E Sunflower Seed Bars
Helpful Kitchen Tools:
- 1 cup sunflower seeds, raw
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
- ½ cup hemp seeds, (optional; sub with flax meal, chopped almonds, etc.)
- ½ cup tahini or sunflower butter
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt, to taste
- mini chocolate chips
- dried cranberries, raisins, etc.
Optional chocolate topping
- ¾ cup chocolate chips, semi sweet
- 1 tablespoon ghee, butter, or coconut oil
Prepare the seeds
- Place sunflower seeds in a small skillet on medium-low heat. Shake frequently until lightly browned. Add the sesame seeds and shake well. Cook for another minute, then turn off the heat.
Make the bar mixture
- Set aside half a cup of the seeds to add back in later for texture, and transfer the remainder to a food processor. Process until coarsely chopped.
- Add dates, optional hemp seeds or almonds, tahini or sunflower butter (or both), honey, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Process until the mixture combines into a thick, sticky, dough that holds together when pressed.
- If too crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoons warm water and process again. Remove the blade, transfer to a mixing bowl, and stir in the reserved whole sunflower and sesame seeds.
Complete the bars
- Line a 8x5-inch tray with parchment paper. Transfer the sunflower seed bar mixture into the tray and press firmly into the edges.
- If you will add the chocolate topping, do so before refrigerating. If you will skip the chocolate, move to the next step.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours, or freeze for 30 minutes until firm.
Storage and eating
- Lift the entire contents out of the pan using the edges of the parchment paper. Cut into 24 squares and store in the fridge or freezer in a food-safe container.
- Will last 1-2 weeks in the fridge and 2-3 months in the freezer. Due to their texture, these bars are totally chewy and edible right out of the freezer, but you can also defrost before enjoying. (If you can wait.)
For the optional chocolate topping
- Place semi-sweet chocolate chips and ghee/butter/coconut oil in a microwave safe container and cook in 30-second increments until the chocolate is melted and you are able to stir it into a smooth mixture.