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Brace yourself, I finally created lemon bars without processed sugar!
Now I’m not going to sugarcoat this (although I kinda did… literally). Just because these are clean doesn’t mean you can chow down. They are high in fat and calories, so adjust your eating plan accordingly for special occasions. (Eating one of these bars/squares is about the same as eating 1 Lara Bar.)
The truth is, I had to make this three times. The first time, the filling didn’t set at all, and I essentially has a lemon syrup over cashew crust. Mini Chef lovingly refers to it as my “lemon disaster” (which he ate a bunch of… oh, to have a 6-year-old metabolism!). The second one turned out pretty well, and the third one never gelled as much as the second one. So I went back to the recipe for #2.
I will tell you that these are pretty soft in the middle. They do not set like a traditional lemon bar. But they do set enough to get them cut and plated, and boy, are they delicious! The cashew crust gives them some chew, and the lemon juice flavor comes through nice and tart. It’s a fantastic combination!
And now that I’ve finished this recipe, I have to say I will never make these clean-eating lemon bars again. Not because I don’t love them, but rather because I do, just a little too much. I could eat the whole pan! It’s a good thing I’ve met a few people in this town, or I’d really be in trouble. I have to give this stuff away, or I’ll never reach my goals. But for special occasions, this dish is fabulous!
And if you’re really concerned about the nutrition data, you can always cut them a bit smaller. It was a totally worthy sacrifice as far as I’m concerned, and I’m happy to have given it a try!
Note: These can be frozen for up to 3 months if wrapped well. Allow them to thaw on the counter for 30 minutes before serving.
More Bar Cookie Recipes
Lemon Bars Recipe Card
- ¾ lb. raw cashews
- 8 large Medjool dates (pitted)
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup Sucanat (blended until fine – coconut sugar works too)
- 2 medium lemons (juiced)
- ⅓ cup whole wheat pastry flour (OR white whole wheat flour)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a food processor, grind the cashews for approximately 20 seconds or until you have a coarse nut meal.
- Add in the pitted dates and honey and blend further for approximately 1-2 minutes or until everything is well blended.
- Empty the mixture out into an oiled 8 x 12 casserole dish (a dish that is slightly bigger is fine too.).
- Spread the mixture out evenly over the bottom of the casserole dish and then press down firmly to create a firm crust.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all the filling ingredients. Mix well to get rid of any clumps from the flour.
- Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 25 minutes.
- Cool enough to be able to set it in the fridge, and then chill in the fridge overnight. Cut into squares and serve.
- Note that when you take it out of the oven, the filling will still have some jiggle to it. This will go away as it chills.
Recipe from the Gracious Pantry archives, originally posted 6/24/14.