Healthy Lemon Bars

recipes sweets Apr 23, 2019

I’m not sure if anything pairs more perfectly with warm weather than lemon bars. These perfectly tangy and sweet treats just scream sunshine, am I wrong? Whether you’re baking for a cookout with friends or simply craving a cheery dessert, my Healthy Lemon Bars are the answer. Between the mouthwatering shortbread crust to the light, refreshing filling, I know these will be my new summer staple. Plus, I used a few simple swaps to make this recipe refined sugar, gluten and dairy free. What more could you want?

While any regular lemons will do, I love how Meyer lemons add a little extra something to these bars. This variety is thought to be a hybrid between a lemon and a mandarin orange, so they have a natural sweetness and subtle herby flavor that I absolutely love.

Plus, lemons are packed with Vitamin C to boost your immune system, keep your skin healthy and radiant, and may even reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

Perhaps what I love most about these tangy treats are just how simple they are to whip up! Only a few key ingredients are needed, yet your family and friends will see you a pastry genius. Perhaps my favorite healthy swap in this recipe is the coconut flour. You can find this at any grocery store, and it’s a wonderful, gluten free and healthy alternative. I found that sifting the flour before mixing with the other ingredients helps create the perfect crust and a smooth lemon filling.

Another trick I used to give these bars their signature yellow hue is turmeric. Adding a small amount of this colorful spice boosts the vibrancy, but don’t worry, it won’t change the taste in the slightest. If you don’t have any turmeric on hand or choose not to use it, the bars will turn out just as tasty!

As for a garnish, I found these dried organic lemon slices at the grocery and was intrigued. Yet thin slices of fresh lemon or a sprinkle of powdered sugar would likewise be a gorgeous addition.

As the weather warms up here in Austin, I find myself looking for a light, sweet treat that won’t weight me down and is filled with summery flavors (if you’re looking for more tropical-inspired healthy treats, check out my Lemon Coconut Collagen Bites).

These Healthy Lemon Bars have all of the lemon and coconut goodness I crave on a hot day. And maybe this healthy, delicious dessert is just the excuse you need to invite everyone over for the first cookout of the year 


 YIELDS 9 bars

 PREP TIME 10 mins COOK TIME 30 mins TOTAL TIME 40 mins
 
Ingredients
 
Crust
  •  1 1/2 cups coconut flour
  •  ¼ cup coconut oil, melted (can also use ghee or butter)
  •  1/4 cup maple syrup
  •  1/4 tsp of salt
Meyer Lemon Filling
  •  4 eggs
  •  ½ cup lemon juice (about 2-3 large lemons)
  •  2 tsp lemon zest (about 2 large lemons)
  •  â…“ cup maple syrup
  •  2 tbsp coconut flour, sifted (to eliminate clumps)
  •  â…› tsp turmeric powder (optional for color, won't effect taste)
Garnish
  •  Optional: dried or fresh lemon slices & powdered sugar
Directions
 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine sifted coconut flour, coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix until well-combined.
4. Add dough to parchment-lined baking dish. Press down with hands or the bottom of a cup to make an even, packed layer.
5. Bake uncovered for about 10 minutes, until the dough is slightly brown around the edges.
6. While the dough bakes, prepare your Meyer lemon filling. In a medium-sized bowl, add eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, sifted coconut flour, maple syrup and turmeric. Mix until smooth.
7. Once crust is finished, allow to cool. Once cooled, pour Meyer lemon filling on top of crust. Bake for 20 minutes.
8. Once baked, allow to cool before adding garnish of choice. Cut into 9 bars and serve.
9. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

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