Vegan Lemon Bars

Servings: 9 bars

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 cup  gluten free oats
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4-5 tbsp  coconut oil, melted

For the filling:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup coconut cream* (the hardened portion at the top of full fat coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (~2 large lemons)
  • 1 heaping tbsp lemon zest (~1 large lemon)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, plus more to taste

Instructions

  1. Add the raw cashews to a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 1 hour uncovered, then drain.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line an 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. In a food processor or high-speed blender, add the oats, almonds, sea salt, and coconut sugar and pulse until you get a fine meal. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the maple syrup and coconut oil (starting with 4 tbsp coconut oil and adding more if too dry). Mix to combine until a uniform, loose dough is formed. Mixture shouldn’t crumble when you squeeze it between your fingers. If too dry, add more coconut oil.
  4. Pour the crust into the parchment lined baking dish and, using your hands, press the crust into the dish, making it as level and compact as you can. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and you notice light browning on the surface. Remove from oven to let cool slightly.
  5. For the filling, place the soaked and drained cashews, coconut cream, arrowroot starch or cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and maple syrup in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust, adding more maple syrup or lemon zest/juice if desired.
  6. Pour the filling over the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges look slightly dry and center is giggly, but not liquidy. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, then place in fridge (uncovered) for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Slice and top with powdered sugar or shredded coconut, if you’d like. Store in airtight container in the fridge and enjoy within 4 days. 

Recipe and photo by Natalie Bickford