I have been having fun with my tangy lemon curd! It inspired this recipe, Lemon Curd Bars! I love the contrast between the nutty, slightly salty base, and the zippy lemon curd on top. It’s a wonderful combination.
This is a bit of a cross between a power bar-because the base is high in protein as it’s made from nourishing nuts and eggs-and a lemon bar, because it has a delectable lemony topping. Not only is the bar, dairy and gluten free, it’s also grain free! High in nutrients and flavor, low in allergens.
Lightly sweetened with honey, I can easily imagine it acting as a power bar after a workout, but we eat it as dessert around here.
This last Saturday my older sister and her toddler came with our little family to a large farmer’s market in the city. We had a wonderful time buying vegetables, fighting the crowds and eating wonderful food. But we were still a bit hungry on the way home, so we brought out some of these lemon curd bars and snacked on them on the way home. It was the perfect way to end our trip.
And we hope you enjoy them too.
Lemon Curd Bars
Nuts are best when soaked and dehydrated, but I’ve used both raw and soaked nuts with good success in this recipe.
1 recipe of tangy lemon curd (Save extra zest for the the cookie base).
1 cup of raw almonds
1 cup of raw cashews
1/4 cup honey (These are very lightly sweetened. If you want the bars sweeter, you could up this amount)
1/2 cup of melted virgin coconut oil
2-4 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon sea salt
1-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and make the lemon curd. Place the curd in the refrigerator to cool.
2- Place the almonds and the cashews in a food processor. Grind them into a medium fine “flour”. You don’t want to turn it into a nut paste, so don’t over do it. There will still be little chunks here and there.
3-Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined.
4-Evenly spread the nut batter into a greased 8 by 8 pan. Place in the middle of the hot oven. It will take between 15 to 18 minutes to cook. It may puff up as it cooks, but don’t worry, it won’t stay that way once you take it out of the oven. When the top is lightly brown, and a toothpick comes out clean when stuck in the middle, it’s done.
4-Cool completely, then spread one recipes of lemon curd on top. Let set in the refrigerator for at least several hours. The curd will continue to set, and we liked it even better the next day. When ready to serve, take them out and cut into squares (16 bars worked well for us), and serve.
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MMM! will have to try these for sure!
Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS
My goodness, these look good! Since we’re off any sweeteners for the month of May, I may try these with some stevia. I love lemon!
Great suggestion to use stevia. I plan to make these for my husband on the Body Ecology Diet. He will appreciate this, as he’s very limited on anything that even resembles sweetness. Also, I plan to make these raw in the dehydrator. Yummy!! Thanks so much!!
These look so yummy! Thank you for posting!
Looks delicious. And I just planted my lemon tree 🙂
my year without
Those look so good. I have been craving lemon flavors lately, so I will give those a try. They look very easy to make, too, which is always a big plus!
This sounds so good-the lemon curd sounds especially tempting!!! So perfect for the summer 🙂
That’s great! I love lemons, so I would love to have a lemon tree. 🙂
My Year Without and Sweta,
There is something about lemon that is so satisfying when the weather warms up. I just love it.
Thanks so much for sharing! I just discovered your blog, and look forward to browsing through your other recipes 🙂 These bars sound great.
What a great looking recipe, Kimi! I want to try making these.
It’s also legal for the GAPS diet.
Did you soak your raw nuts to reduce the phytic acid?
Thanks for the comment and welcome to my site!
Thanks for reminding me about soaking nuts, as I meant to include a link in my post about soaking and dehydrating nuts. Oops! I used just plain raw nuts the first time because I didn’t have any soaked ones on hand, then used soaked the second time.
By the way, nuts don’t contain much phytic acid, but enzyme inhibitors. Sally Fallon answered this in a Q & A post.
“Q. When soaking nuts, why is the salt needed?
A. The salt helps activate enzymes that de-activate the enzyme inhibitors. For grains, we soak in an acidic solution to get rid of phytic acid. Nuts do not contain much phytic acid but do contain high levels of enzyme inhibitors. The method imitates the way the native peoples in Central America treated their nuts and seeds–by soaking them in seawater and then dehydrating them.”
I will go ahead and add that link in now.
Hi! These look GREAT!! I love lemon curd and I can’t wait to try this out. I think my family will love this. Thanks!
I can tell these are going to be my new favorite sweet. Thanks Kimi
gfe-gluten free easily
Beautiful, they’ll be great for so many things … a girlfriends’ tea, camping, every day treats, etc. Thanks so much, Kimi!
Do these bars need to be kept refrigerated? Do you mind if I contact you off the blog? We are going to be on the west coast next month a week and I am trying to find good farmer’s markets. I plan on taking some things back on the plane if possible.
Once again thank you so very much for the wonderful recipes!!
They do much better when kept cold, so when we bring them out with us, we pack them with a ice pack. And yes, feel free to contact me! I will send you my email address. 🙂
Cook 4 Seasons
OH MY GOSH. Do I have to wait until tomorrow to make these??
Thank you so much they look absolutely delicious!
Can I use 100 % almonds or another nut to substiute the cashews sine I am allergic to these ?
These look and sound great. Will let you know how they turn out!
This recipe looks fabulous.
On another note I was wondering if you had time if you would be interested in giving a review of the new documentary “A Delicate Balance”. It is a movie about how we all need to be vegetarian/vegan to “save the planet”. I know that it is a bunch of propaganda from animal rights activists but thought you might have some good insight. Is being vegetarian/vegan really better for the environment? You can watch the movie here. http://adelicatebalance.com.au/media.html
Yum! I made your lemon curd earlier this week and ate almost the whole thing myself. These look great – and a good substitute for the lemon Luna bars I used to love before getting rid of most processed food.
I will SO enjoy these! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I can’t wait to try them – I love lemon.
Jenny @ NourishedKitchen
What a fantastic recipe! It reminds me of the lemon bars of my childhood which are decidedly NOT healthy!
For Those Who Asked,
Yes, I am sure that all almonds would work really well! If you try it, let us know how it turned out. 🙂
I will check it out. Thanks for the link. 🙂
That’s great! I think I’ve had Luna Lemon Bars before (probably about 5 years ago now). I bet this would be a great substitute.
My family loves lemons and nuts. What a great combination! Looking forward to baking them.
Thanks for the recipe.
I made these today and had a small piece earlier just to try it. It is deliciously tangy. It’s in the frig getting nice and cold for a healthy snack time tonight. Thanks Kimi!
P.S. I used a mix of almonds and walnuts.
I made these lemon bars today for a potluck and they were a hit! Thanks for the delicious recipe. I gave you a shout out on my blog today. 🙂
Love the lemon curd and love it on these bars!!
I just remembered that I made two changes to the bar part:
1) half almonds, half pecans
2) I soaked the nuts overnight in salt water, BUT did NOT dehydrate them
I left them to drain for over an hour while I did other things and then I used a little less honey to compensate for remaining moisture (and then some stevia to boost the sweetness). It all worked out great and I just wanted to mention it in case someone else was lazy (about dehydrating), but wanted the nuts to be soaked. 🙂
YUM YUM YUM!
Thanks for sharing that Whitney! I am one of those lazy ones :)) although not proud! Will make these soon with just soaked nuts! hurrah! I dont own a dehydrator and can’t leave my gas oven on for 24 hours!
Thank you for these lovely receipes. I am so excited to try many of them. I am gluten free and try to use limited sweeteners. I do use stevia and some raw homey. God bless you as you are blessing many. Love in Christ, Andrea
wow, they look delicious. The challenge I think would be to make them eggless for those who can’t eat eggs. When I write for a magazine for people w/food allergies & intolerances, I have to make recipes I create w/the option of an egg substitute of some kind. What do you prefer to use in baking in that case?
We really love this dessert! I used chia seeds as a binder for a while in baked goods when my daughter seemed to be a little sensitive to it. It worked pretty well. It definitely holds things together well, but the baked goods were more dense. This is already so dense, I don’t know how much of a difference it would make in this case. It would be worth a try for sure! The other option, which I have been playing around with is making an unbaked version (of the bottom part). This wouldn’t have eggs in it.
I made these yesterday and they are fantastic! Thanks for the great recipe.
My 2-year-old son says they’re “Too lemony” and doesn’t like them! I’m thinking of making some with your chocolate icing and maybe putting some cocoa powder in the “bar” part to make them brownie-like for him.
Just made those delicious bars today, finally!…little bit of changes…just used walnuts instead of almonds and used agave syrup instead of honey, only had tasmanian leatherwood honey and that has quite strong falvour, so i didnt want to overpower the flavour…and one more…just to make th elemon curd easier…i didnt strain the curd after cooking, but instead strained the lemon juice when adding to the mix and at the end of cooking (after it got quite thick) used metal whisk to make it smooth…easy:)…thanks kimi for your great ideas!
Oh, I wondered about nuts and phytic acid! It didn’t make any sense for phytic acid to be in the “food” area of the seed. Thank you so much for posting this. I had introduced my daughter to “health bars” as a substitute for candy when she was smaller and now I can’t see giving her all that soy. This is a great alternative, and probably cheaper per unit than Lara Bars. 🙂
Made these today – but made the base raw (I’m a believer in the benefits of raw foods). Turned out really nice! Thanks for the recipe, especially the frugal lemon curd.
What else could you use besides coconut oil?
Made these last night using blanched almond flour. They are perfectly lemony and not too sweet. Delicious! Thank you for sharing.
These look amazing! I have been looking for ways to “healthify” many of my favorite deserts, and lemon bars are one of them. I can’t wait to try this!
OH MY GOODNESS!!! These are amazing! I think I like them way better than the traditional lemon bar. Not overpoweringly sweet, just the right amount of lemon curd. 🙂 So tasty. I highly recommend this to anyone! I’m gonna share this recipe with all my friends. 🙂 Thank you!
What about using peanuts instead? My son is allergic to tree nuts. Thanks!!
My kids are allergic to all nuts but can have seeds. Any suggestions?
I would say find a recipe for a regular shortbread crust (gluten-free) and bake it ’til it’s golden, and once it’s cooled put the lemon curd on top. I don’t know why that wouldn’t work! You could also try substituting seeds, or sunbutter for the nuts. Let us know how it turns out!
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Wow. I love that there are no flours or starches in this recipe. It’s easy and delicious. I only had my crust in the oven for 12 minutes though and had to pull it out otherwise it would have burned. I was afraid it would crumble but it didn’t, it was perfect in every way. I used raw and unsoaked almonds and cashews. I will be trying it with Splenda next time. <3
Oooo AND I used Myer Lemons because they are irresistably in season right now!
Kimi, thanks so much for the recipe! I just used the nut crust and then paired it with my favorite lemon bar topping–the result was a thick, luscious lemon bar with zero grains. Exactly what I was looking for. (I put in 1 1/2 cups almonds and 1/2 cup walnuts, replaced the coconut oil with butter, and omitted the lemon zest.) I am thrilled.
Sounds so delicious! Have you ever tried it with almond flour that is already made? If so, how much would you use? We buy it in bulk so I have a ton of it to use up!