These lemon bars make for a delicious, summery, refreshing treat! And you don’t even have to turn on the oven, which is always nice, especially in the summer.
Not only are they raw (no cooking or baking!), vegan (no dairy or eggs!), gluten free, and refined sugar-free (only natural sweeteners, here – and not much at all!), but they are quick and super easy to make.
For the crust
- 1 cup pecans (or nut of choice)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 4 pitted Medjool dates (soaked in warm water for a few minutes)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2-1 TBSP lemon zest*
- 1/2-1 tsp. fresh lemon juice*
For the lemony filling*
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut butter
- 1/2 cup coconut cream from one can of full fat coconut milk (keep can in refrigerator for a few hours, then scoop off just the hardened cream – save the liquid milk for smoothies or other recipes!)
- 1/8 cup Xylitol (could also sub 1/8-1/4 cup maple syrup or a few drops of liquid stevia)
- 4-6 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice*
- 3 tsp lemon zest*
- dash of turmeric (for yellow color)*
*Bonus: you can also make these as lime bars, chocolate bars, or even pumpkin spice bars! Follow the same basic recipe, but for lime substitute lime zest & juice instead of lemon & add a dash of spirulina for a green color, and for chocolate bars omit all of the citrus ingredients, and just add 1/2 cup cacao powder (or unsweetened dark cocoa if you don’t mind it not being raw) to the filling. For the pumpkin spice, omit the citrus and add about 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice to the crust and 1 cup of pureed pumpkin, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp maple extract, and 1 tsp vanilla extract to the filling.
Combine all ingredients for the crust in a food processor until well-mixed and crumbly. Press into the bottom of an 8″x8″ baking dish. Add the coconut oil, coconut butter, and coconut cream to a bowl and soften until nearly melted (microwave in 30 second increments for a quick way to do this, otherwise you have to mix and mix and mix to build up heat). Once well combined, add the rest of the filling ingredients and mix. Pour over the crust in the baking dish and place in freezer for about 15 minutes until set. Then transfer to the refrigerator to keep cool until ready to devour. (If you have any leftovers, which I highly doubt, keep them in the fridge!)
(And how adorable are these paper plates from Cheeky Home?! I’m in love!)