Fresh vegan lemon bars are dairy-free, vegan, and both tangy and creamy, with a protein-rich shortbread crust. The rich filling is silky and also protein rich thanks to white beans!
Vegan Lemon Bars
These fresh lemon bars are easy to make and full of protein, the perfect nutritious "dessert for breakfast". The crust is a plant-based buttery shortbread, the the creamy top is a tangy citrus delight. And unlike many vegan lemon bar recipes, this one does not use tofu.
Can you guess the protein source? It’s white beans! Not a lot, but enough to add protein and essential filling nutrients so this dessert is healthier.
The plant-based nutrition panel of both the crust and filling are full of protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, and more!
Ingredients in These Lemon Bars
The lemon cheesecake filling is a healthy, plant-based lemon curd made with coconut milk and corn starch as well as lemon of course. A bit of a time-issue with the stirring on the stove for 15 minutes, but well worth it for the fresh, creamy texture.
And the immunity power of all that lemon is awesome, and we have have anti-oxidants in the turmeric powder.
White beans help with structure and of course add protein, essential vitamins and minerals and no bean flavor!
Meanwhile, the crust has protein almond flour and coconut flour, or even cassava if you have it. As well as Baobab, a sneaky citrus super food that is an awesome immunity booster.
Why Add Baobab To A Lemon Bar Recipe?
What is baobab? It is a super food, made from the root of the Baobab tree found in Africa.
It is a great addition to recipes because it is incredibly high in vitamin C and it actually has a strong citrus-flavor even though it is a root, not a fruit. Hey, that rhymes, haha.
Moving on...baobab also has similar inflammation-fighting capabilities to turmeric.
How to Make Vegan Lemon Bars?
Step 1: Make the crust and bake or freeze.
Step 2: Combine ingredients in a pot on a stove in the order the recipe details and stir on low heat to achieve a smooth texture.
Step 3: Rinse beans and pour in a bowl. Use a fork or hand mixer to pulverize beans into a paste.
Step 4: Combine warm filling mix and bean paste into a blender and process until smooth. Taste test at this point. Want more sweet? Add a tbsp of maple syrup. More tang? Add a tbsp of lemon juice.
Pro-tip: Don’t add too much turmeric. I did that first time, and I needed sunglasses to take them out of the refrigerator, haha!
Step 5: Pour filling into crust and chill!
How to Store Lemon
Store these bars lightly covered in the refrigerator for 3 days. They don’t freeze well, they dry out.
If you enjoy these lemon cheesecake bars, here are two other lemon dessert recipes similarly nutritious and easy to make:
Other Colorful Vegan Desserts
And A Few Other Healthy Recipes to Try
Seven Lemon Water Recipes
Healthy Homemade Marzipan Recipe
Making Smoothies with Ice Cube Concentrates
5 Blender Wellness Shots
2-Ingredient Fruit Smoothies
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Vegan Lemon Bars
makes 16 (2-inch) square slices
- ⅓ cup lemon juice + zest (juice two lemons, and also zest them)
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk (Do not chill cans; you do not want the fat to separate from the milk. Shake the room-temperature can before measuring)
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
- ¼ cup white beans (navy beans are best, but any light-colored bean is fine)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp turmeric for color, optional
- pinch of salt
- Set jar of coconut oil in a pot of hot water to melt it.Line an 8-inch by 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.Preheat oven 350 FMake bean paste: Put ¼ cup white beans in a bowl and pulverize with a spoon or fork until you have a lumpy paste. Add this to a blender and set aside.
- Blend or process ingredients for the crust, press into the pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Or freeze for 15 minutes.Set pan aside while you make filling.
Make Lemon Cheesecake
- In a mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and coconut milk, and mix until smooth. Then, add the maple syrup, vanilla and turmeric.
- Turn on the stove to medium heat, add the lemon juice and stir until warm. Then add the first mixture and the corn starch. Stir, stir, stir. Use a heat resistant whisk or spatula and scrap bottom and sides constantly. Don't stop for 10 or 15 minutes. You are whisking to remove lumps and encourage mixture to thicken, as a gravy would. You don't want to over cook. After 10 or 15 minutes, the mixture should be thick but runny. It will thicken more in the refrigerator.
- Take off the heat and pour into the blender with bean paste. Blend quickly until smooth. Don’t blend too long, you don’t want the mixture to cool much. Pour filling into crust and tap pan on counter lightly to smooth.Refrigerate uncovered for 3 hours or until set.
- Cut into 16 (2-inch) squares. Dust with confection sugar, garnish with lemon triangles, lemon rind curls. Serve.
- Store refrigerated in a sealed container. They will last 3-4 days and then begin to dry out. They do not freeze well.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients and another immunity-boosting smoothie shot book, 4-Ingredient Smoothies + Juices , due out in January 2021. On this blog you'll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism, editor at The Feedfeed and a nutritional expert at WikiHow. More about Dee Dine here.