Growing up, lemon bars were always one of my favorite baked goods, but if you’ve ever made them using a traditional recipe, the amount of sugar that goes in is a real buzzkill. A while back I concocted this healthier version:
1. Reduce Fat. Replace butter with organic coconut oil. Use only 2 Tbsp versus 1 cup! Add an egg to maintain moisture content potentially lost when removing so much fat. Crust will be more like a shortbread cookie, which I find better because it’s less of a crumbly mess and I hate cleaning up after people.
2. Go Gluten Free. Use dehydrated reduced fat coconut and gluten free flour in the crust and filling respectively to please gluten-intolerant guests.
3. Reduce sugar. Instead of using over 3 cups sugar, prevent giving the ones you love Diabetes, by using a limited amount of naturally sweet unrefined honey and calorie free stevia powder.
4. Protein Domination. To make up for volume lost to sugar, add more eggs to lemon filling yielding a delicious custard-like texture that is nearly all protein!
Now I feel less guilty! Enjoy!
*As always, please use organic ingredients for YOUR health!
For the crust:
1 1/2 cup Let’s Do Organic Reduced Fat Shredded Coconut
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature
1 tsp stevia
1 1/2 tsp honey
For the luscious lemon layer:
8 large eggs, room temperature
2 Tbsp honey, warmed
1 1/2 tsp stevia
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
3 Tbsp gluten free flour
Zest from 4 lemons, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil. Drop 1/2 tsp coconut oil onto foil and rub bottom of pan and 2 inches up the sides.
In high speed blender, blitz up shredded coconut, sea salt, baking powder and stevia until a fine feathery powder forms. In medium sized bowl whisk together egg, honey and coconut oil. Add coconut mixture and 1 tbsp of the lemon zest to egg mixture and mix with fork until combined. Firmly and evenly press dough into bottom of pan and 1/4″ up the sides. Lightly fold foil over edge of crust to prevent burning. Bake crust for 6 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, whisk together remaining 8 eggs, stevia, honey, lemon juice, gluten free flour and lemon zest (reserve 1tbsp for top of custard).
Pour lemon mixture over warm crust and place in oven. Bake until the filling sets, about 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining lemon zest. Let cool in the pan on stove. Refrigerate until chilled. Lift from pan using foil as handles. Cut into 16 squares.