These healthier lemon-blackberry bars are a perfect balance of tart and sweet. They’re also gluten, dairy, & refined sugar free!
When life gives you lemons, make some yummy LEMON BARS!
I’m a lemon person. Like, I really LOVE lemons! Lime’s okay too, I guess, but if a silly scenario ever occurred where I had to choose only one or the other to eat for the rest of my life, lemon would win, hands down. To imagine a life without lemonade, lemon poundcake, lemon poppyseed muffins, or lemon wedges to squirt onto my seafood, is kind of depressing. And what about lemon bars?! It’s only one of the greatest lemon desserts EVER! It’s the dessert I always seek out at baby showers and tea parties. It’s that quintessential lemony treat that mixes the perfect amount of tart and sweet.
So, needless to say, lemon bars were one of the desserts I had to find a way to make a little healthier so that I could make it guilt-free for my family. I mean, I wouldn’t want to have to wait until the next person had a baby to hopefully have a piece;-)
I wanted the ingredients to be simple, using stuff I already had in my pantry. I understand occasionally needing a specialty ingredient, but I love finding ways I can make something out of the stuff I already have (My husband thinks I make way too many trips to the grocery store, so he would be happy to hear me say that:)
Some of these ingredients can be substituted if you don’t have the particular one I used. I’ll include some of those substitutions in the recipe.
Gluten, dairy, and refined sugar free, these bars contain healthy doses of:
- coconut oil
- raw almonds
and lemon, of course! Make sure to use fresh lemon juice…none of that plastic lemon squirt stuff, please.
I used coconut flour as a thickener in these bars. If you don’t have this flour or are not gluten intolerant, 1/4 cup of regular all-purpose flour can be used instead.
I had blackberries on hand to use in these bars, but blueberries or raspberries would be delicious in these too!
I love the combination of lemon and berries. I recently posted a recipe for a Green Tea Raspberry Lemonade With Chia and it is totally addictive!
I will not admit to the amount of these lemon bars I’ve eaten in the last couple of days..I obviously enjoyed them and I truly hope you do too!
If you are looking for an egg-free, grain-free, or vegan version, try these Vegan Lemon Raspberry No-Bake Bars!
- 1 cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats (make sure to use certified gf, if you need it)
- ½ cup Almonds or another nut of choice
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar/regular sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons melted Coconut Oil (melted butter or another oil will work too)
- 2-4 tablespoons cold water (start with LESS, add more if needed)
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup honey/pure maple syrup (I used half and half. Agave can be used instead)
- ½ - ⅔ cup lemon juice (2-3 lemons, depending on how tart you like it)
- 3 tablespoons Coconut Flour (add ½ tbsp if you use ⅔ cup of lemon juice)*
- 1.5 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
- pinch of salt
- 1½ cup fresh blackberries (blueberries or raspberries can be used instead)
- *1/4 cup regular all-purpose or a good gf all-purpose flour can be used instead of coconut flour.
- Preheat oven to 350F. To make the crust, combine oats, almonds, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Blend until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add oil and then add water one tablespoon at a time, blend just until mixture comes together. It should easily press together, but not be overly wet. Sometimes it may only take 2-3 tablespoons, so it's important not to add all of the water at once.
- Press mixture into the bottom of a parchment paper lined or well greased 8x8-inch pan. Bake in the 350F oven for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool while you make the lemon filling.
- In a blender or processor, add eggs, honey/maple syrup, lemon juice, coconut flour, lemon peel, and salt. Blend until smooth. Carefully pour mixture over the oat crust and sprinkle berries evenly over the filling. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges are golden brown and the filling in the middle has set. Remove and let cool before placing in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Cut into squares and serve chilled. Store remaining bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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