With the perfect balance of tart and sweet, these creamy lemon bars are a must try dessert. They are 100% vegan, and also 100% delicious. Plus, they are naturally-sweetened and gluten-free–say whaaaat!
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons water)
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted almonds
- 1/4 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut coconut shreds (or sub more oats)
- 1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 11 Medjool dates, pitted and packed (or 3/4 cup packed)
- 4–5 tablespoons unrefined organic coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 can of full-fat coconut milk to yield 3/4 cup coconut cream*
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (we used 2 Meyer lemons)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (we used 1 Meyer lemon)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8–1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional– just for color)
- Pinch of salt
- Thin slices of lemon
- Rosemary sprigs
- Shredded coconut
- Powdered sugar
- Soak the cashews overnight in room temperature water OR add them to a large bowl with boiling hot water and soak for at least 1 hour (uncovered).
- Prepare the flax egg by combining the flaxseed meal with water in a small bowl or cup and setting it aside for 15 minutes to thicken.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a square (8×8”) baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a food processor, add the rolled oats, almonds, coconut, rosemary, and salt. Process on high until a fine meal is reached.
- Add in the Medjool dates and process until broken down and uniform. Add in the flax egg and 4 tablespoons of melted coconut oil to start, and process. The mixture should be a bit moist and should be able to form a dough when squeezed between two fingers. If it crumbles or is too dry, add the last tablespoon of coconut oil.
- Pour the dough into the lined baking dish and spread it out evenly. Press the dough down using your fingers or a spatula until it is packed in and even throughout. Place the crust in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Once the cashews have soaked, drain them thoroughly and add them into a high-speed blender along with the remaining ingredients. Blend on high until smooth, stopping to mix if needed.
- Adjust seasonings to taste and add in more turmeric if needed (we only used about 1/8 teaspoon).
- Once the crust had cooled, pour in the filling and spread it out evenly using a silicone spatula. Tap it on the counter or a flat surface to remove any air bubbles. Place the pan back into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges dry out a bit and the mixture has set and is no longer liquidy.
- Remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes. Transfer the dish to the refrigerator (uncovered) to cool completely, at least 3 hours (the longer the better).
- Remove the pan from the refrigerator and transfer the bars (along with the parchment paper) to a cutting board. Slice into your desired sizes (we cut ours into 9 squares).
- We topped our lemon bars with a thin slice of lemon, a small piece of rosemary and a sprinkle of coconut, but it is not necessary. If you would like, you can even dust them with powdered sugar.
- Adapted from Minimalist Baker.
- Coconut cream is the hard layer at the top of a full-fat coconut milk can. What we like to do is place the can in the refrigerator overnight, remove it from the fridge trying not to shake it, and scoop out all of the cream into a large bowl. Measure the amount needed and reserve any remaining cream or liquid in the fridge for more recipes or for smoothies.
- We prefer to serve the bars immediately for best results but they will store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Vegan, Guten-free
Keywords: lemon, bars, dessert, rosemary, coconut