Fresh vegan lemon bars both tangy and creamy, and made with whole food plant-based ingredients, and a protein-rich short-bread crust, an easy recipe for a fresh citrus dessert. Also vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free. And these bars do not use tofu!
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. A tofu-free recipe.
And 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 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.
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 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 Healthy Lemon Squares?
I had to make them three times to get it right. (And we’ve made it dozens of times since!)
If you remember to stir for at least 15 minutes, and scrap the sides constantly, you should be fine. You can google how long to stir lemon curd but realize most people are making traditional lemon curd with eggs and butter so their experience will be different.
Also, just don’t add too much turmeric. I did that first time, and I needed sunglasses to take them out of the refrigerator, haha!
And, if I haven’t convinced you yet to try them, how does no-bake sound to you? Yep, to me too! I hope you enjoy my creamy lemon squares!
If you enjoy these lemon tarts, 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
- 1/3 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)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 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 F
- Blend or process ingredients for the crust, press into the pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Set pan aside while you make filling.
Make Lemon Filling
- 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 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 15 minutes, the mixture should be thick but runny. It will thicken in the refrigerator.
- Take off the heat and pour onto the crust. 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 a week 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 . 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. More about Dee Dine here.