Friday, 12 April 2013

lemon bars with coconut


A reader recommended I try making raw lemon bars, so here you are! They are nut free, and can be gluten free if you use buckwheat groats instead of oats. I paired them with coconut because the two go so well together and also, I was able to use finely ground dried coconut to sprinkle on the bars, instead of powdered white sugar like in the conventional recipe! Hurray for natural sweeteners. 

I think they turned out pretty well, but I will be making these again soon so I can improve. One thing I would change is using the whole lemon - it made it too bitter. So I suggest you just use just the juice from 3 lemons. I have already corrected this in the recipe so don't worry your pretty little head. Or your pretty normal-sized head. I dunno. Whatever kind of head you have - don't worry it. Just enjoy. 


lemon bars with coconut: makes about 12 bars

Base:
3/4 cup oats (or buckwheat groats if you want it gluten-free)
3/4 cup dates
3/4 cup coconut shreds

Lemon layer:
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup (or 1 cup dates, but this will change the colour)
Juice from 3 lemons
1/2 cup coconut shreds
1 or 2 bananas

To make the base: pulse the oats or buckwheat groats and coconut shreds in your food processor until they become a rough flour. Add the dates and process until it all sticks together. Press into the bottom of a square baking pan and put in the fridge.

To make the lemon layer: blend all the ingredients until smooth. See if you like the taste and adjust accordingly. Spread evenly on to the base layer and set in the fridge overnight. The next day, cut into squares and sprinkle with finely ground coconut flakes for a powdered sugar effect. Nom!

88 comments:

Grace said...

Oh my gosh!!! YAYYY!! They're here! Woohoo! :)

They look totally amazing! I can't wait to try them out!

But darn.. I'm going to have to wait for the next time I go to the store... :( We are currently out of coconut oil and shredded coconut right now.. :(

So, I guess the suspense of how it tastes begins... now! Ughh they look soooo yummy! I just wanna eat it off my computer right now!

I'm sure this is going to taste absolutely delicious! Thanks for the recipe Emily! :) Can't wait till the next trip to the store arrives! :)

-Grace :)

P.S. The whole ground up shredded coconut for a powdered sugar effect is genius! I love it! :)

Natalia said...

Wow, have to try this one this weekend, it looks so delicous!

coconutandberries said...

These look so delicious- Lemon is my favourite..dare I say I typically choose lemon over chocolate?!
I love your photo styling too :)

Anonymous said...

The photos look gorgeous! Would there be any substitute for the coconut shreds?

Anonymous said...

What size baking dish would you recommend?

Sydney Corporate by LuisaM said...

Yummmyyy...great recipe!!

http://sydneycorporate.blogspot.com.au

Anonymous said...

Wow! These look amazing! Will be making these for bake sale we're having at work.

therawfoodsisters.com said...

Mmmhmmm!! Love lemon in cake. This sounds definitely like our cup of tea! Thanks for sharing lovely.

Anonymous said...

Just made it! It's so delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

The Vegan Cookie Fairy said...

Beautiful!

Emily von Euw said...

Well you don't actually have to add them if you don't have/like them. But to keep the consistency, throw in another banana or more dates.

Emily von Euw said...

9X9 square =)

Emily von Euw said...

LOL blasphemy!!! =P thanks very much.

Emily von Euw said...

HAha thanks, Grace, for the idea =) Much love to ya!

Anonymous said...

Done ! I did it with lime juice and buckwheat groats ...so good Emily ! You're like a superstar of raw food. Thank you for inspiring me every week ! Julie d. :)

Ashli @ The Sweat Revolution said...

This recipe is going to be a godsend - my husband has been asking me for so long to make him Lemon Bars (his favorite), so I've been searching for a healthy version - this is just what I've been looking for! Thank you!

Koko said...

Mmmmm delish! I have been meaning to make raw lemon bars for so long, but I've been wanting to use Irish Moss in them and I have just been putting it off and putting it off. Consider me inspired! These look so great, me and my normal-sized head (I think!) will just have to make them now!

Nicole said...

Wow! LOVE the lemon! And this is my favorite base I have tried because its not oily. Well done and thank you. I am always excited to see what yummy trick you have up your sleeve. It brings me do much pleasure to watch others enjoy this and then tell them it's healthy :)

Anonymous said...

the lemonbars probably turned out to be bitter because you also zested the white part of the skin, which makes it bitter. Even if you know it, you have to be carefull while zesting because you tend to 'scrub' too long on the same spot. But honestly anything with lemon tastes waaaaaayy better with the zest and the juice, otherwise they wil just turn out sour lemony instead of sour delicious aromatic lemony!

Anonymous said...

Hi Emily! This recipe looks amazing, can't wait to try it! I have a question, dates are hard to come by in my area, what would you recommend as a substitute?

Alex @ delicious-knowledge.com said...

Looks like someone answered my question- can I make them with lime? I am already planning a raw taco-themed party and lime bars would be the perfect dessert. Thanks for this!

Emily von Euw said...

Any other dried fruit =)

Mariza said...

I love your site! I made your cheesecake last week and it was amazing.
Is there anything I can use in place of the bananas in this recipe? Nothing against bananas, except I had to use 2 to get the right consistency and their flavour was just a little too present for what I was expecting in a lemon bar. Would cashews or perhaps something else do the same job?

Emily von Euw said...

Yep cashews would be fine =)

Pixie said...

These sounds amazing! The starfish in the photos confused me a little, but then I thought "Don't be shelfish - Make these bars and share them!" :D
So I think I shall!

Emily von Euw said...

LOL you are a genius.

Fletcher Brown Skin Clinic said...

Hi Emily! Your site and all recipes are amazing! I have been making your recipes since I discovered your site... Have all been so delicious and yummy! Your photos and writing are also brilliant. Do you have a book? i would love to buy to keep in kitchen and give as pressies!

Tamara said...

I am so excited to give this a try! Thank you for being such a creative individual and posting all of this!! I can't believe I am now finding your website! What would you recommend I use to substitute for the coconut oil? I want to make this an oil free treat : ) Thanks!

Emily von Euw said...

Aw thank you! I don't have a published book YET (soon though!, but I do have a couple ebooks:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/116061149/This-Rawsome-Vegan-E-Book

http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/2013/01/my-e-book-has-arrived.html#.UXmM_bXvuSp





Emily von Euw said...

Thanks! You could cashews, if that works?

Emily von Euw said...

And maybe some more dates?

Lesley- Ann said...

I'm not a vegan, not even a vegetarian - I eat just about everything. But, I love experimenting and trying new recipes, and I love your website!! Your desserts are divine, & pictures are great. Thanks for posting them & sharing them with the world! These lemon bars are SO yummy too!! Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I made these last night and left them in the fridge overnight (about 12 hours now)- i was thrilled with the taste of the base and the lemon layer as I was making it! But the top part hasn't set. I'm wondering what I did wrong? Which ingredient is it that makes it set? I have it in the freezer now and am hoping it will set there! Thanks, Mel

Anonymous said...

Freezing worked well- I loved them. I will try again next time and see where I went wrong.I also loved the base and can see lots of uses for it in the future! thanks so much. Mel

Anonymous said...

I just made these - they look sooo good - and now they are in the fridge. Can't wait to see what they'll be like tomorrow morning! Of course I tasted the lemon cream and it was really good. I used one and a half bananas, which is almost too many if you want it to taste mostly lemony. I also added a piece of vanilla pod - just had to,I love vanilla so much :-) I will bring these to work tomorrow and see what my non vegan friends will have to say about it!

Emily von Euw said...

Thanks for sharing! You may want to use more banana and coconut oil next time, or dates =)

Emily von Euw said...

Yay! :D Love to hear that.

Anonymous said...

These look amazing!!!! Is it ok to eat raw oats though?

Emily von Euw said...

Yeah that's fine! If you don't want to though, you can use buckwheat groats or almonds instead :)

Anonymous said...

thanks so much!!! Made them last night - cant wait to try! I added raisins to the top layer...

The Dame Intl said...

Sweet lawd! Im doing this cos I have all the ingredients! yummmm!

Obvioulsy these ingredients have been waiting for this very recipe XD

Joy Peters said...

Not that these aren't fabulous all on their own, but fresh blueberries really kicked it up a few more notches. I'm sure any fresh fruit would as well. What a great, but light and fresh, treat!

Cassandra Milnes said...

These are fabulous! I love how you use raw oats instead of nuts for the base! I have made several pies with the nut/date base and I think the oats taste better, and it really cuts down the calories/cost! I think I used too many bananas though b/c it tastes like tart bananas... any suggestions? More sweetner? I used agave instead of maple syrup and used a little less than 3/4 C to cut calories. I'm thinking that might be the issue. I just feel like the lemon flavor didn't shine through. Maybe grate lemon peel on top? Any help is appreciated!

I also put them in the freezer so they will last longer (after trying one before freezing it) and yummm!!!

I can't wait to try your other recipes!

Cassandra Milnes said...

Also, if anyone else counts calories like me, you don't need to feel bad about eating this for something sweet! The calories are as follows:
Per Serving (if 12 total):156 cals total; 20g carbs; 10g fat; 1g protein; 2g sodium; 11g sugar

This is calculated using 10 dates, 1/4 C agave (instead of maple syrup) and two bananas. The rest is the same as the recipe above.

Emily von Euw said...

Thanks for that :)

Emily von Euw said...

Hm, you could more dates and less banana, or more cashews. Thank you!

Amber Lee Corp said...

I have been on your blog since I found it Saturday, your desserts are INSANELY gorgeous and YUMMY looking, I LOVE the pictures and I can't wait to make a lot of these! What is a typical day for you eating raw? Breakfast through dinner? I was juicing all last week and now back to solid food (vegan) but the breads are making me so tired so raw/vegan is the way I want to eat for now on. Thanks for posting your recipes and posts, I am a huge fan already :)

Emily von Euw said...

Aw thank you so much! :) Here's an average day, although every day is different: wake up, drink water, work out, drink green juice, wait until im hungry again then have fruit, continue with lots of fruit or sometimes sweet raw snacks until dinner. dinner is either a raw meal like noodles, salad or a bowl of fruit, or a whole food cooked meal of beans or tofu or some protein, veggies, a whole grain with a homemade sauce. I'll usually have a raw dessert or dates and nut butter, or more fruit, if I am still hungry. I don't eat bread unless it's a special occasion (we make pizza every saturday so sometimes I'll indulge in that, but it's always homemade whole wheat dough). I think as long as you stick with lots of fruit, greens and whole foods - you'll be full of energy!

:)

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, Emily. I made these this evening and I am in HEAVEN!
Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with food!!

Sarah Burks said...

I made these last night for my husband and thought I'd produced something with real cheese or cream products! These were amazing and that crust is fantastic. I just used the same crust recipe but added a 1/4c of apple juice while it was processing and it clumped up into a dough ball. I chilled that rolled it out thin and it is becoming the crust for a raw key lime pie. Thank you so much for that fantastic recipe!!

Ps- I sprinkled blueberries on top instead of powdered coconut and they added the perfect amount of sweetness!

Emily von Euw said...

Mm awesome. So great to read that! :) Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I found this recipy yesterday and was so excited to get home and make it. I even went to my local health shop to buy buckwheat. I followed the recipy step by step but it came out a total flop!!!! The crust did not want to stick together, there is not enough dates in it to bind the dry ingredients. The top part came out fine but all the flavours don't work together. There is just to many different flavours competing against each other and the lemon makes it bitter. I could not get the base to clump together so at the end I mixed everything together as a last attemped. This morning when I checked it in the fridge it was still runny! What a waist of good ingredients. Will think twice before making anything of the internet again! :( Morné

Emily von Euw said...

Oh no! >< I'm sorry about that. Okay here's some advice you need to remember for all my recipes : you do not have to follow the specific amounts. You said the crust didn't stick together because there wasn't enough dates? Add more dates! If the top layer was too bitter, add more sweetness or coconut oil (coconut oil will also make it thicker)! You should customize these recipes so they work for you, every time :)

Also, don't give up after one flop! Learn from your mistakes xo

Suey said...

I've put in a whole cup and a half of dates and the crust still isn't sticking, do you have any other tips for that?

Emily von Euw said...

Uh oh! You just have to keep adding dates, coconut oil or another sticky liquid until it sticks together. =/

Suey said...

Did you use fresh dates? I don't see how dried ones could make it stick. Anyway I used a half a banana to make up for the dryness and it's hard now :D Also I think the filling would be better with just one small banana, and a half a cup of soaked cashews. Also I only put in the juice of about two lemons, that part needs to be done with care as not all lemons are the same juiciness!

Emily von Euw said...

Oh dear oh dear. Well dried dates should still be quite gooey and moist. I am glad it finally worked! Sorry it took so much effort >< :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice. I will try this recipy again with a few changes.
I made your fudge brownies twice now and they came out perfect!!! Very addictive :)

Anonymous said...

I had the same problems, will also try the banana in the crust and the soaked cashews. Next time I'll only use one lemon. Thanks Suey! :) Morné

pamjsb55 said...

I made these wonderful "Lemon Coconut Bars"! They are great! And this recipe has given me some ideas for other fruit bars as well! The only thing I could taste the coconut oil over the lemon at first. So rather than 3 lemons I added 1 more making it 4 lemons and some lemon zest. Now it truly has a lemony taste! Thank you!

pamjsb55 said...

Oh, by the way! Everyone who was and is having problems with the dates for the crust. Here's a hint! Follow the recipes directions, then take the mixture and kneed it or massage it. YES! KNEED or MASSAGE it! Then it will stick without anything else more!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. Love these bars, they're delish!! Can't wait to try your other recipes... Lavender ice cream is next on my list.

pamjsb55 said...

Everyone who was and is having problems with the dates for the crust. Here's a hint! Follow the recipes directions, then take the mixture and kneed it or massage it. YES! KNEED or MASSAGE it! Then it will stick without anything else more!

Jenn said...

Wow, I am so intrigued by your blog. I have never enjoyed baking or cooking indulgent foods because I would eat too much and feel awful afterwards. I have been eating wheat, dairy, and sugar free for over a week now (still early) but I seriously have never felt this good in my life! I cannot wait to try some of these amazing recipes!

Lori H said...

Mmmm... these are so delicious and my first experiment with raw vegan food. Everyone in my household enjoyed them. Thanks Emily! Looking forward to trying out more of your recipes!

Anonymous said...

Don't know why I waited so long to actually make these :))) now it's in the fridge, but somehow the lemon layer doesn't freeze at all. is there something I can do to make it cutable in the morning?

Anna

Emily von Euw said...

Even though you put them in the freezer? That is very strange lol... Since you've made them already that would be my only suggestion ><

Anonymous said...

Opened the freezer in the morning and found bars hard as stone :))))) lol and yum ))) thank you for the great recipe and inspiration :))))

Anna

Gemma Louise said...

can you use something other than dates to stick the base together?

Emily von Euw said...

Raisins, figs or other dried sticky fruit :)

Solovina Petrousky said...

I did these today and... WOW!! I love them... there are still few of them but they will not survive to this night, I can tell you.

aaron and brittany (henck) bolerjack said...

EM This looks AWESOME--except i can't have coconut. If i add more oats and dates, is that all i need for the crust? Should i sub soaked cashews for the coconut in the filling?

Also, about the "dried" date confusion--at least here in the UK we have "fresh" dates (soft and chewy) and "dried" dates, which have been dried till they are almost LITERALLY rocks! So, at least for european readers, a recipe like this cannot be made with "dried" dates unless they are soaked quite a while!

Anonymous said...

Made them! & loved it! I used figs & dates for the crust, Soo good!

Emily von Euw said...

Your ideas will work fine :) I suggest using cashew butter so it's super creamy. Thanks for that tip!

Anonymous said...

Hiya,

Want to have a go at these this weekend... They look so good and I lurrrrrve the combination of coconut and lemon. I can't eat oats so I'm going the buckwheat route! I've used buckwheat flour before but never tried the groats so I hope you don't mind but I just want to pick your brain on a couple of things 'cause I want them to be as perfect as they look :-)

1. What kind of groats do you use? Are they brown or greeny-white? Do you think these http://www.buywholefoodsonline.co.uk/organic-buckwheat-raw-1kg.html would work ok?
2. Do you soak 'n' sprout then dehydrate the groats first or just process them as-is?

Thanks for your thoughts & keep up the good work! I can't wait to get me a copy of your book - as much for all the gorgeous photos I know it will contain as for the scrummy recipes!

Lots of love, Kimberley x

Koumudhi said...

Hello Emily,
I tried this coconut-lemon bars, and it came out pretty well. However, I substituted coconut oil with normal vegetable oil. The crunchy crust got from using buckwheat groats went well with the top layer. When I made the top layer and tasted it, 2 lemons were enough, but apparently the next day when I served to my colleagues, it tasted like it could have taken 1 more lemon to out-taste the banana flavor(probably because it was with the crust). Nevertheless, thumbs up to the recipe :). I absolutely enjoy trying your recipes, especially because it takes less time to do it and it's vegan with low calories.
Thanks again for these lovely pics and new tastes,

Regards,
Yash

Sandra therrien said...

I just made these for the get together tomorrow, and got to only lick the spoon, I am eagerly awaiting the slice tomorrow! I used honey, as I was out of maple syrup, and it was delicious. My crust was dates and almond flour and coconut shreds. I skipped the oats, wanted grain free. I love the desserts on this site, they are so good!

tess said...

How many cups of cashews would you substitute for the bananas? I'm allergic to bananas so the replacement is crucial!

Emily von Euw said...

1 1/2 cups :)

tess said...

Thanks, I'm gonna give these a try!

British Tracks said...

this recipe was totally amazing! I adapted it to my liking and served it at a raw demo that a had a few weeks ago! It was a hit! I'd like to post this recipe on my blog of course giving you credit as where I adapted the recipe from. Love Love Love your site and your recipes. Much success my fellow vegan homie!

therawscout.tumblr.com

Emily von Euw said...

Just checked out yo tumblr - so rad! Of course you can share this recipe :D

Aja Vines said...

This is one of my favorite desserts of all time! I've made it several times for my boyfriend and I, and I actually just made one for a work function of his. I'm excited to get feedback and have them all fall in in love with amazing NATURAL dessert :D

Anonymous said...

I made them yesterday and we got to taste test today.. Yummy!

Anonymous said...

Great starting recipe! I agree with what another commenter said, that it was a lot more banana and a lot less lemon than i expected. I used 2 bananas and it was a bit on the overly gooey side, so i think cutting back to one banana and adding lemon zest could be just the trick!

and amen to the powdered sugar = ground up coconut genius!

Laurel said...

Made these yesterday and they are fantastic! I made them just as written (1 banana) and they are sour and so good! I blended the filling in my Nutra Bullet and the base in the food processor (took quite a while for the dates to chop up.) When assembled, I froze them and they held up well after chiseling them out of the pan. I will try them in the fridge to see how they hold up--if there are any left, that is. Thank you!

Robert Glenn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Glenn said...

I really like your blogging skills, please share this kind of posts

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