I love all things lemon, and lemon bars are at the top of that list. They are tart, sweet, creamy and sadly FULL of sugar. I knew I wanted to come up with a healthy version so that I could enjoy them whenever I got a craving (which is happening more often than not now that I'm pregnant). I wanted to make them refined sugar free, dairy-free, gluten-free and still have them taste amazing!
I have tried dessert recipes before made with chickpeas instead of flour, so I thought that would be a good option for these lemon bars. Chickpeas give these bars a creamy smooth texture and are very mild in taste so you can't even tell they're in there! The crust is made with coconut flour and the recipe is sweetened with maple syrup and honey - no refined sugars here! They are SO lemony, creamy and they melt in your mouth. The crust can be a bit crumbly, but they're totally worth the mess. Even Everly couldn't keep her hands off them. Check below for the recipe!
Gluten & Dairy Free Lemon Bars
Makes: 16 Bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas (I used dry chickpeas that I cooked, but you can also use one can of chickpeas)
1/4 cup + 2 tbs unrefined virgin coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup raw honey
3 tbs unsweetened coconut flakes
zest and juice of 2 large lemons
2 tbs almond milk
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.
To make the crust blend the coconut oil and maple syrup together using a hand mixer. Once creamy stir in the coconut flour, hemp hearts and salt to form a dough.
Press the dough mixture into the parchment lined baking dish.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges turn slightly golden brown. Turn oven down to 325 degrees.
While the crust is baking, blend all of the filling ingredients together in a Vitamix or other high powered blender. You will want to blend it for a few minutes until you reach a smooth and creamy consistency.
Once the crust is done, place it in the fridge for 10 minutes to cool. Once cooled pour the filling over top and bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is firm and cooked through. Mine cracked once it cooled which doesn't look the prettiest, but it still tastes amazing!
Cut into 16 squares and store in an airtight container in the fridge.