I LOVE lemons and always have. I used to chow down a box of lemonheads when I was a kid, and always added lemon to my water before I knew of its detoxifying properties. I find lemon-based desserts and drinks so refreshing and just remind me of how much I love summer!
The downside of lemon sweets is that they are often paired with A LOT of sugar to downplay the sour and tangy natural flavour that lemons give. One of my favourite desserts is lemon bars, but often the recipe asks for lots of butter and lots and lots of sugar.
This weekend, I tweaked around and came up with this simple and easy lemon bar recipe that has no refined sugar or flour and can consumed by those who follow a clean eating lifestyle. For a Gluten Free option, you can always substitute the whole wheat flour with either coconut flour or almond meal. I hope this sweet treat will remind you of how spring is around the corner!
Clean & Healthy Lemon Squares
For the crust:
2/3 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup sugar-free powdered sugar (see below on how to make sugar-free powdered sugar)
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp + 2tsp virgin coconut oil
1 Tbsp water
**Sugar-free powdered sugar: Use 1 cup of Xylitol or Sucanat and blend in a high speed blender for about a minute to get an equivalent of 1 cup powdered sugar.
For the filling:
3 egg whites
½ tsp organic vanilla extract
1 ½ cups of sugar-free powdered sugar, divided into ¾ cups.
½ cup lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine crust ingredients in a food processor until well blended. Using a sheet of wax paper, press evenly onto a well-greased 8” x 8” pan. Cook for about 15 min, or until golden.
2. While crust is cooking, beat egg & egg whites in a medium bowl with electric mixer until well blended.
3. Add vanilla and ¾ cup of sugar-free powdered sugar; mix well.
4. Add lemon juice and the remaining powdered sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add lemon zest.
5. Once the crust is cooked, remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
6. Pour lemon filling mixture over the hot crust and place pan back in the oven.
7. Let the lemon dessert bake completely, for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool down before cutting it into bars. Makes about 12 squares.