Vegan Lemon Bars

These vegan and gluten-free lemon bars have a cool silky texture atop a sweet, crumbly and buttery grain-free crust.  They skip the butter, refined sugar, condensed milk, egg yolks and heavy whipping cream for healthier vegan ingredients.  This dessert offers plant-based protein, fiber and healthy fats all while staying true to the sweet, tangy taste and creamy, airy texture you would expect from lemon bars.

FILLING

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice 
  • 2  Tbsp lemon zest 
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup 

CRUST

  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 5-6 Tbsp coconut oil 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.

Add raw cashews to a mixing bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let rest for 1 hour and drain.

Add oats, almonds, sea salt, and coconut sugar to a food processor/blender and mix until a fine meal is achieved.

Transfer oat mixture to a bowl and add maple syrup and melted coconut oil. Combine until a loose dough is formed. If too dry, add a bit more melted coconut oil.

Transfer mixture to parchment-lined baking pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 15 minutes, then increase heat to 375 F for 5-8 minutes more, or until the edges are golden brown and there is some browning on the surface. Remove from oven to cool slightly, then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F.

Once cashews are soaked and drained, add to a high speed blender with coconut cream, arrowroot starch, lemon juice, lemon zest, sea salt, and maple syrup. Mix on high until very creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.

Pour filling over the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Tap on counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until the filling is no longer liquidy, and the edges look dry. The center should jiggle.

Let rest for 10 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator to let cool completely (uncovered) – at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Slice into squares and enjoy!

Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, up to 4 days, though best within the first 2 days.