Healthy Paleo Lemon Bars

This past weekend was absolutely gorgeous. We are talking walk in the park, sundress, and bar-b-q beautiful.  And to top it off we had the perfect summer-friendly festivities to help us celebrate.

DSC02713A dear friend of ours graduated law school (Congrats!!!) and another friend celebrated his birthday. Naturally, both of them threw a  bar-b-q to celebrate, because… why not?

Anyways, the warm weather and the barbecues put me in the mood for something sweet, light and refreshing. I saw  TexanErin’s recipe for Paleo Lemon Squares on Pinterest and got inspired to take a stab at them. This was my first go at lemon bars… Ever… and I think they turned out quite nicely!  I love Erin’s idea to use desiccated coconut instead of powdered sugar on top! I updated the recipe a bit to exclude all eggs. I used honey and dates instead of maple syrup, and a mixture of cashews, coconut cream and turmeric instead of egg. The turmeric gives a nice yellow color and doesn’t distort the flavor. It is also super good for you! Double Win.DSC02704 DSC02699So these become a vegan, dairy free, grain fee, refined sugar free version of the classical dessert. The cashews in the filling make them taste somewhat like little mini-lemon cheesecakes. Yum!!

DSC02727DSC02708They were a hit at the party so I hope you like them, too! I think they will be a perfect accompaniment to the upcoming Memorial day festivities!

How about you? What desserts do you like to make to bring to a bar-b-q? And what are you excited about making for this Memorial Day weekend?

Enjoy and happy Summer!!

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Serves: 15-18

Ingredients:

Crust

  • almond meal – should be coarsely ground, 1 cup
  • hazelnut flour, 1/4 cup (can absolutely sub with almond flour if you don’t have hazelnut)
  • coconut flakes, 1/2 cup
  • coconut oil, 1/4 cup
  • honey, 1 tbsp

Filling

  • cashews, soaked, 1 cup
  • dates, soaked, 6
  • water reserved from dates, 1/4 cup
  • meyer lemons, whole, 2
  • lemon juice, fresh squeezed, 3/4 cup
  • tapioca starch, 1 tbsp
  • lemon essential oils, 3 drops
  • turmeric, 1/2 tsp
  • ginger powder, 1 dash
  • coconut cream, 1/4 cup

Garnish

  • desiccated coconut, ~ 2tbsp

Tools:

  • food processor
  • pan 9×13

Directions:

Crust

  • mix all dry ingredients together
  • blend the softened coconut oil and the honey together until well combined. make sure not to melt the coconut oil. (picture below)
  • blend all ingredients together and press evenly into a 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Then remove from oven and set aside

Filling:

  • de-seed the meyer lemons and quarter
  • mix all ingredients (including the 2 full meyer lemons, skin and all)  in the food processor until combined. Blend until there is a smooth creamy consistency, about 5-7 minute in my food processor

Put it all together:

  • pour the filling onto the pre-baked crust and spread evenly.
  • bake at 350 for 25-27 minutes or until set in the middle
  • remove and cool completely
  • lightly sprinkle the desiccated coconut on top and place in fridge until ready to enjoy
  • slice into squares
  • serve and enjoy!

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This is the desired consistency of the coconut oil after you mix in the honey. It should blend well but not be melted

Some Notes and Tips:

  • the coconut cream is the top part of the can after a can separates. It is thick and creamy and perfect for these types of desserts.
  • turmeric is super good for you and super yellow! If you want a milder color, just tone down the amount of turmeric. I think you would be fine adding 1/2 the amount I used here
  • the cashews and dates should be pre-soaked. The cashews take about 4 hours and the dates about 2 hours. Both can soak overnight as well. Just put the desired amount in water and set out. This makes both ingredients creamier when you throw them in the food processor
  • i used primarily Meyer lemons for the juice, but mixed in regular lemons as well. You could use any type of lemon as long as it is fresh juice 🙂
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The turmeric will brighten when you bake it. This is what the bars looked like before baking. Don’t go overboard on the turmeric! 🙂

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BeFunky Collage

13 Comments Add yours

  1. I love lemon bars! I can’t wait to try these!

    1. Thanks! Let me know how you like them 🙂 they were delish!

  2. Sune says:

    Lovely blog! 🙂 Is there any way to reach out to you via e-mail? Couldn’t find any contact form.

    1. Thank you! And yes- you can reach me at aliciaeats@eatyourwayclean.com
      A contact form is a great idea- I’ll add one!

  3. pinkiebag says:

    Oh these look and sound amazing. I love a nice lemon drizzle cake but this something extra. I’m saving this to try later. Thanks for sharing, Chloe.
    https://pinkiebag.com/

    1. Thanks Chloe!! Glad you like them! And I love lemon drizzle, too!! Have you checked out my scone cake with lemon drizzle/glaze?? //eatyourwayclean.com/2016/03/05/orange-scone-cake-with-lemon-coconut-glaze-sugar-dairy-grain-and-soy-free/

      1. pinkiebag says:

        Hi, no I haven’t, but I will do now, thank you.

  4. These sound amazing! Totally going to be giving this recipe a go. 🙂 x

    1. Yay! So glad you like them! They were a hit at our last bar-b-q!

      1. I’m amazed you shared! I’ll be making them for myself.. And eating them by myself! 😉

        1. Hahaha! It’s only because I made 2 desserts that day that I had enough to share 🙂 Watch for the magic bars recipe next week! 🙂

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