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Meatless Monday: Hemp seeds add protein to apricot chews

Hemp Seed Apricot Chews.
Hemp Seed Apricot Chews. The Kansas City Star

Note: This is the third in a three-part Meatless Monday series on incorporating hemp seeds into recipes.

Hemp seeds boost the protein in basil pesto and lend nutty flavor and healthy fats to summer salads.

My favorite way to enjoy the tiny seeds on the go is by adding them to apricot chews. The portable bars are easy to make, and they keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks if you store them in an airtight container. They remind me of the protein chews sold at T. Loft, a tea and juice shop with locations in Kansas City, Leawood and Lawrence.

Follow this recipe from Whole Foods to make bars, or incorporate even more of the superfood by forming the mixture into half-dollar-sized balls, then rolling the balls in shelled hemp seeds.

Hemp Seed Apricot Chews

Makes 24 bars, or about 20 balls

3 cups (about 1 pound) dried apricots, roughly chopped

1 cup chopped pitted dates

1 cup shelled hemp seeds

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until mixture forms a chunky paste. Transfer to prepared pan and press with a spatula to create an even thickness. Cover and chill until firm, 1 to 2 hours, and then cut into squares.

Per bar: 98 calories (21 percent from fat), 2 grams total fat (trace saturated), no cholesterol, 18 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 4 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.

Contact Sarah Gish via email at sgish@kcstar.com or tweet @sarah_gish.

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