Lemon Bars


Is there anything more refreshing than the taste of lemon? I think that refreshing quality is why lemon makes such a great dessert flavor. It is the perfect way to end a meal, especially when you're already full from a heavy entree!


These lemon bars are not only refreshing, but they're also remarkably healthy. They're only sweetened with a little bit of maple syrup, and the main ingredients are cashews, almonds, oats, and coconut milk, making them packed with healthy fats and protein! Knowing all of that, I honestly couldn't believe how good they tasted.


If you own a high speed blender, this recipe will be a cinch for you. If you have a normal food processor like me (mine cost $20 at Walmart, whoops), this recipe will also be easy for you, but you will need a little more patience as the "liquefy" setting works its magic. Don't settle for a grainy texture, keep processing until it is creamy smooth. And if you're in the latter category, make sure not to skimp on the cashew soaking.

Enjoy these refreshing lemon bars!


Ingredients
1 cup oats
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw cashews + 1 cup soaked raw cashews (for 1 hour)
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp + 1/4 cup maple syrup
5 Tbsp melted coconut oil + more as necessary
juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup coconut cream (cream at the top of the can of coconut milk)
dusting of powdered sugar, if desired

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, mix together oats, almonds, dry cashews, and salt into a fine meal. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add 1 Tbsp maple syrup and melted coconut oil. Mix with your hands until it is well incorporated and will form a dough when squeezed. If it is too dry, add more coconut oil. Line a 8x8" pan with parchment paper. With the back of a wooden spoon, press the oat mixture into the pan firmly and in an even layer. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn up the heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 8-10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly. Reduce oven heat back down to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, blend soaked cashews, lemon juice and zest, coconut cream, and 1/4 cup maple syrup until smooth and creamy. Pour into crust and spread evenly, tapping on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are dry and the middle is giggly (not liquid-y). Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to refrigerator and refrigerate for at least four hours. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar and additional lemon zest if desired.

Makes 9 bars

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