These reinvented gluten-free lemon bars are bursting with bright citrus flavors and are perfectly balanced by a light, buttery crust. We've taken out the processed sugars and refined flour for our version of the classic lemon bar. Instead, you'll find a simple crust made from almond and coconut flours and a flavorful lemon filling without artificial or refined sweeteners. You can serve these at any function and no one will guess you've removed the inflammation-causing ingredients from the traditional version.
It's important to note that this recipe does contain eggs and ghee, making it a treat to enjoy outside of your 21-day cleanse. It is common to find gluten as an irritant post-cleanse, so we've kept this recipe grain-free. These gluten-free lemon bars are great for anyone looking for a less refined treat. More Cleanse-friendly recipes can be found in our recipe book Clean Eats.
Ghee is a form of clarified butter that is commonly used in Asian cooking and is rich in vitamins A and E. Since the milk proteins are removed from ghee during the clarification process, many dairy-sensitive people find that they can have ghee without issue. However, if you do find ghee does not work in your diet, coconut oil is a great replacement in this recipe. The consistency is similar, and coconut oil is also rich in vitamins and good-for-you fats.
A LEMON A DAY
Lemons have countless healing properties. This recipe is particularly potent with their benefits, as both the skin and juice are included. Lemon juice is often touted as a digestive aid - and for good reason, lemon can help increase peristalsis, the muscle movement that helps move food through our digestive track. In addition to their digestive properties, lemons contain antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory and fight free radicals (which can help to slow the aging process).
CURD INSTEAD OF BATTER
We've chosen to make a classic lemon curd (minus the refined sugar), rather than a batter that bakes in the oven. The result is a filling which is bright and refreshing rather than cakey. Since the lemon curd does have a pudding-like texture we recommend storing these in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.
1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ghee or coconut oil, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup ghee
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry crust ingredients with a whisk. Once dry ingredients are combined, stir in butter and vanilla. Cream together until everything is evenly combined.
Using your fingers, press batter into a 9x9 pan. Be sure to press evenly into the pan. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool. While crust bakes, make lemon curd.
Add one inch of water to a small pot. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to low (you want the water to be at a very low simmer during the cooking process). In a double boiler (or heat-safe bowl) place egg yolks, maple syrup, honey, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Place bowl, if using, over simmering water and whisk together.
Once the mixture is mixed, add ghee and continue whisking. Continue to cook mixture over water for 8-12 minutes, whisking constantly until mixture is thick and has the texture of pudding. Remove bowl from heat and let custard cool in the refrigerator until it is room temperature. Once crust and custard are cooled, spoon custard over crust and smooth evenly with a spoon. Bake lemon bars for 20 minutes at 300 degrees.
Let the bars cool in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. When you are ready to serve, cut into small squares. Sprinkle coconut shavings over the gluten-free lemon bars if desired.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble.