When I was a child, I absolutely loved lemon bars. They’re such a fresh summery treat and the perfect mix of tart and sweet. When I was invited to my dearest friend SAIGO’s birthday bonfire on the beach, I knew I had to jump into summer and recreate my childhood favorite for a guy who makes me feel young and alive.
Without a clue or a lot of time, I spent some time Saturday night thinking of potential desserts. I considered caramel chews, chocolate brownies, dark chocolate truffles or my classic strawberry shortcake. But with this friend, recycling just won’t do.
And I must say: I have outdone myself. Truthfully, these may be my best recipe to date and their creation happened in what feels like a dream. Actually, it was a dream. As in, I woke up Sunday morning and just knew how this recipe would be done. I followed my intuition, received a little feedback from a friend with good taste, and this treat was born. Life works magic sometimes.
What I love about this particular treat is EVERYTHING. Specifically, I love the subtle coconut flavor, tart lemon zing and rich, creamy texture. These simple and surprisingly healthy desserts are gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, raw, full of anti-inflammatory ingredients and are so delicious you’ll feel fantastic eating 2 or 3 (or 4 or 5).
These bars are perfect for summer and because they’re raw, you can keep your hot oven off.
If you try this recipe, let me know! I’d love to see how they turn out for you. Leave a comment, share it and tag your picture #goodjuju on Instagram!
- >> Crust <<
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 2 cups pecans
- ½ cup date paste
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- ½ cup coconut flakes
- >> Filling <<
- 1 cup coconut cream from one can of full fat coconut milk (scoop off just the hardened cream and save the liquid milk for smoothies or other recipes)
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 6 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp turmeric (for color + health)
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 2 tsp maca
- 4 tsp date paste
- 1 tsp bee pollen (optional)
- Line a rectangular baking dish with parchment paper
- Combine all ingredients for the crust in a food processor until they are well-mixed and crumbly (about 3-4 minutes).
- Remove from food processor and press into the bottom of the rectangular baking dish to form the crust.
- Place crust in the freezer to cool while you prepare the filling.
- In a blender, add the filling ingredients and mix until smooth (about 3-4 minutes).
- Pour over the crust and use a rubber spatula to smooth the surface.
- Top with shredded coconut and bee pollen (optional)
- Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes until set
- Transfer to the refrigerator until you're ready to enjoy.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.