Healthy grain-free lemon bars made with an almond flour and coconut flour crust and a naturally sweetened custard filling made with fresh Sunkist® lemon juice, eggs, maple syrup, and coconut flour. They’re the perfect sweet and tart dessert!
Let me start out by saying I LOVE lemons. I used to slice them up and eat them like oranges when I was younger. So it might not come as a surprise that lemon bars are one of my all-time favorite desserts.
It’s about time my favorite summer treat got a Nourished by Nutrition upgrade. I’ve been testing this healthier recipe for weeks in order to get it perfect. I wanted to make sure I tested various filling ratios and thickeners just to be sure I’m giving you the best. I’m happy to report, (after six rounds) I finally nailed it!
This recipe turns your classic sugar-heavy lemon bars into a better-for-you dessert. This healthy grain-free lemon bar recipe is refreshingly sweet and tangy. The perfect lemon bar in my opinion!
Healthy Grain-Free Lemon Bars
Yes, a grain-free lemon bar recipe is a little untraditional. But don’t let that deter you from making them. These healthy lemon bars are made with just a few simple ingredients and are naturally sweetened with maple syrup or honey!
Almond and Coconut Flour Crust
The grain-free crust is adapted from my almond flour sugar cookie recipe. The combination of nutty almond flour, coconut flour, honey, and coconut oil, creates a soft cookie-like crust that perfectly supports the luscious lemon filling.
Tart Lemon FillIng
The lemon filling is the perfect balance of sweet and tart without leaving you in a sugar coma. The key to making a low-sugar lemon custard that doesn’t taste sad is using maple syrup or honey instead of refined sugar. Since these liquid sweeteners are slightly sweeter, they require you to use less overall.
The bright lemon flavor comes from fresh Sunkist® lemon juice. I recommend using fresh lemons in this recipe as the flavor is far better than any lemon juice you can buy. If you don’t already have a citrus juicer, I highly recommend getting one. I use mine daily!
To set the filling, this recipe calls for eggs and a touch of coconut flour. I have tested it with arrowroot flour and tapioca flour also. These work great and are less likely to crack. That being said, I wanted to streamline the recipe and use coconut flour in the filling since it’s already in the crust. Egg and egg yolks help the curd thicken and set, so there is no replacement for eggs in this recipe.
Nourished by Nutrition Facts
This small yellow citrus is known for its tart, refreshing taste. Lemons add a lovely flavor to foods and beverages but they also add a nutrition boost. They’re packed with numerous health benefits!
One medium Sunkist® lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C, containing at least 25% of the daily recommended value. It also contains fiber and small amounts of B6, folate, calcium, and iron. (1) While there isn’t a ton of these nutrients, every little bit counts adding to your overall nutrient intake throughout the day. Lemons also contain numerous antioxidants that can have powerful health benefits.
The main antioxidant compounds include citric acid, hesperidin, diosmin, and d-limonene. While each of these compounds has its unique properties, there have been links to lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer, and kidney stones. (2) (3) (4)
I recommend having lemons on hand year-round! Their tart, tangy flavor and bright, floral aroma add a lovely addition to recipes. Plus, adding lemon juice or lemon zest is a great sodium-free way to add flavor to meals. Some of my favorite ways to use lemons are in baked goods, salad dressings, squeezed on an avocado toast, in homemade hummus, or flavoring soups!
If you like this Lemon Bar recipe, you’ll also enjoy…
Grain-Free Lemon Bars
Healthy grain-free lemon bars made with an almond flour and coconut flour crust and a naturally sweetened custard filling made with fresh Sunkist® lemon juice, eggs, maple syrup, and coconut flour.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 35 min
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 12 bars 1x
For the Crust:
1 ½ cups blanched fine almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
3 tablespoons melted and cooled coconut oil
For the Filling:
⅔ cup freshly squeezed Sunkist® lemon juice (from about 5 Sunkist® lemons)
Zest of 1 Sunkist® lemon
½ cup maple syrup or honey
4 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon coconut flour (3 tablespoons of arrowroot or tapioca starch )*
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. (If using a glass pan make sure to turn the temperature down by 25°F)
Make the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk the egg. Add in the coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix together until smooth. Add in almond flour, coconut flour, and salt. Mix together until a dough forms.
Place the dough into the prepared pan. Using a spatula or your hands, press dough evenly into the pan making sure the dough comes up the side of the pan ½-inch. Press the top edge of the dough into the side of the pan to close any gaps. This is important in order to prevent the filling from seeping over the edge and baking underneath the crust. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is slightly golden. (Mine took 18 minutes)
While the crust bakes, make the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolk until completely smooth. Sift in the coconut flour and stir until smooth. If using tapioca or arrowroot, make a slurry by taking ¼ cup of the lemon juice and mixing it with the starch to let it dissolve, then add it to the eggs. Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and maple syrup. Whisk together until smooth.
Remove the crust from the oven and turn down the temperature to 325°F. Push down the center if it’s risen, and press any of the crust on the side back into the pan to seal off the edge. Quickly pour in the filling. You want to do this when the crust is hot so start cooking the filling quickly. This prevents separation from the crust.
Bake at 325°F for 18-22 minutes, or until the filling is still slightly jiggly (like Jell-O). Overbaking will cause the lemon bars to crack when cooling as the heat continues to cook them once they’re out of the oven. If this happens, it’s okay. they still taste amazing!
Let the lemon bars cool completely on a wire rack then refrigerate for 2-4 hours to firm up bars before slicing. While powdered sugar looks pretty, it melts into the bars after a few minutes. sift powdered sugar over the bars and slice. I recommend just leaving them plain or placing a sliced lemon on top for decoration.
Store the bars covered or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
I’ve found the lemon bars are more likely to crack with coconut flour. However, I prefer to use coconut flour since it’s also used in the crust. If you have arrowroot or tapioca flour on hand, you can use 3 tablespoons in place of the 1 tablespoon of coconut flour in the filling.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
I’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #nourishedbynutriton and #SunkistSummers. You can also find this recipe on Sunkist.com/recipes/grain-free-lemon-bars/
This post was created in partnership with Sunkist®. As always, I only partner with brands I love and use. I share them because I want you to love them as much as I do. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that keep Nourished by Nutrition going!