Healthy Lemon Bars

Healthy Lemon Squares

When life gives you lemons, DO NOT MAKE LEMONADE…  make these healthy Lemon Bars instead!

Because these adorable little treats are exactly how you turn a bad day into a good day.

Healthy Lemon Squares

Healthy Lemon Squares

People correspond the word “dessert” with excess butter, sugar and non-nutritious calories that add to the day’s total.  But not these!  These Lemon Bars are pretty much the epitome of a healthy dessert — no butter or refined sugar, but instead, whole grains, complete protein and natural flavors.

Healthy Lemon Bars (sugar free and gluten free!)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 16 bars

Calories per serving: 110

Fat per serving: 6g

Healthy Lemon Bars (sugar free and gluten free!)

Ingredients

Instructions

    For the Crust:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8" brownie pan with parchment paper both ways. Leave a 2-inch overhang and lock it in place by placing a long and narrow piece of foil over the top of the pan "walls")
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, erythritol, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, stir together the coconut oil, water and butter extract. Microwave at 20-second intervals, until coconut oil melts.
  4. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix the dough together with your hands, knead into a ball.
  5. Dump the ball into the prepared pan and flatten it out to the edges. Dock the crust with a fork and bake for ~18 minutes, or until firm and baked all the way through.
  6. Let cool on a wire cooling rack while you make the filling.
  7. For the Filling:
  8. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, starch and stevia extract until mixture is even.
  9. In a small bowl, add the fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.
  10. Place a sieve over the egg mixture and pour in the lemon juice. Whisk mixture vigorously, then pour over the crust. Bake for ~24 minutes, or until the center no longer jiggles.
  11. Let cool in the pan for 10-20 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Notes

This recipe is: gluten free, sugar free, high fiber and high protein!

http://dessertswithbenefits.com/healthy-lemon-bars/

Healthy Lemon Squares

Here I compare the nutrition labels of a typical Lemon Bar recipe (where there seems to be no limit on the butter and sugar!) and my healthified Lemon Bar recipe.  The average Lemon Bar nutrition label is on the left,  my recipe’s nutrition label is on the right:

healthy dessert blog  Healthy Dessert Blog

While there might not be a drastic difference in calories and fat, there is a drastic difference in the quality and nutrients of the ingredients used.  With my Lemon Bars you will save 40 calories per bar and in turn you will save yourself from the refined-to-the-bone white sugar and bleached flour.  Without any sacrifice on flavor.  The crust is soft and buttery, the filling is rich and tart, and together they pair to make a sweet dessert perfect at any time of day!

Healthy Lemon Squares

22 comments on “Healthy Lemon Bars

  1. These look and sound delicious. Lemon bars remind me of one of my favorite desserts that my Mom would make in the summertime. What a great recipe for a healthier version!

  2. I can’t wait to try these today! Is it possible to sub the eggs with flax or anything else? If not, that’s fine too!

    • dessertswithbenefits

      Inez- I’m sorry to say that flax will not work in this recipe. Eggs are incredibly healthy in moderation! Hope you like the recipe :)

  3. Those look delicious! Can’t wait to try them!

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  5. Is there a substitute for the stevia extract?? thanks :)

    • Katrina-
      I haven’t made these without the stevia so I’m not sure. However, because there are 2 tsp of it, which is about the equivalent to 1.5-2 cups of sugar, I don’t think it’s possible to replace it with something else without changing the filling texture :/

  6. I will definitely try this recipe out!

  7. Very nice recipe, just what I was looking for!

  8. So glad my father shared your blog with me, you are awesome!!

  9. Can i subsisitute the butter extract with something else?

  10. Wow, these turned out really well! This was my first time making anything beyond something from a box. The crust was incredibly easy to make! (And I love the fact that I got to use my hands to blend it. I’m terrible with utensils.)

    Even though some of the filling seeped down between the crust and the pan (the crust shrunk a bit, causing a bit of a gap) it still turned out just like the picture!

    I used vanilla extract instead of butter extract (as it’s a little pricey and hard to come by where I live). This was a great recipe to help use up the last of some coconut oil that I had.

    Thanks so much for this recipe!

    • Michelle-
      YAY that makes me so happy!! I’m glad the recipe worked out for you… especially the hand-mixed crust 😉
      Ina Garten says hands are a cook’s best tool!
      And thanks for letting me know about the vanilla substitution, I’m going to try that out on my next batch :)
      -Jess

  11. just made these. I really enjoyed the oat flour crust, very cakey and tender. I loved the zing of the filling but thought it might have used a little more sweetener, like stevia or even a tablespoon or two of honey. very delicious recipe i feel good about eating! thanks for the recipe!!!!!

    • Aubrey-
      Oh good I’m so glad you got to try out the recipe!! :)
      I agree, I thought the Lemon Bars could be a tad bit sweeter, but all of my taste testers said I shouldn’t add anything (and I thought that was reasonable, since I ALWAYS think food can be sweeter, haha)
      Thanks so much!
      -Jess

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  13. This looks amazing. Any way to use something else instead of the cornstarch? Avocado, Balkan yogurt, tofu?

    • Diana-
      I’m not sure if there is a good replacement for the corn starch because it thickens the lemon filling so you can slice it. Avocado and yogurt won’t work, but perhaps you can try extra firm organic tofu (drained and pressed)? I’m still not sure if that will work though… maybe try a mixture of tofu puree and 1-2 tbs of a neutral flavored flour, like oat flour or brown rice flour.
      I hope these substitutions work out for you!
      -Jess

  14. These look amazing!!! I have a question: can I use ground sweet tea leafs in place of the dry sweeter or corn starch. I also thought about date sugar for t he dry sweetner and the leaves for the other part. Just so wondered if it would work. I intend to try t his ASAP! !! Thank you

    • Yvette-
      Thank you! 😀
      Do you mean sweet tea leafs as in stevia? Or is that some other kind of leaf? I’ve never heard of it before! I wouldn’t recommend trying to replace the corn starch because it helps the lemon mixture bind and firm up. You can definitely try date sugar if you want, just note that the color of the bars won’t be as appetizing and bright yellow.
      -Jess

  15. I don’t have a problem using corn starch, but I use Xanthan Gum and Glucomannan powder for thickening. I had to order it online.

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