Raw Lemon-Coconut Bars

Raw Lemon-Coconut Bars
These tasty bars are similar to Lärabars, but contain no added sweetener and are gluten free.
Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon almond meal OR 1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates OR 1 1/4 cups chopped dates or raisins
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
  • Zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Directions:
  1. If using chopped dates, cover them with warm water, let them soak for about 5 minutes, and drain. If using sliced or slivered almonds, put them in your food processor and whir them into meal.
  2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of almond meal evenly over the bottom of an 8-inch-square baking pan.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and whir until well mixed.
  4. Press into prepared pan.
  5. Chill for a couple of hours until firm, then cut into 12 squares, and wrap each in wax paper or store in an airtight container.
These will keep at room temperature for a month…if you can resist them for that long.
Makes 12 bars.
Variations: Don’t like lemon? You can substitute any nut, seed, or dried fruit in this recipe and change the seasonings to reproduce just about any bar out there. Here are a few tasty alternatives.
  • Cherry Pie Bars: Substitute 1 cup of dried cherries or cranberries for the coconut…or dried blueberries!!
  • Apple Pie Bars: Substitute 1 cup of diced, dried apples for the coconut, omit the lemon zest and juice, and add 1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon.
  • Chocolate-Cashew Cookie Bars: Use 2 cups of cashews instead of the almonds and coconut, omit the lemon zest and juice, and add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add ¼ cup of mini semisweet chocolate chips once everything else is well blended.
  • PB & J Bars: Use peanuts (or shelled sunflower seeds) instead of almonds, substitute 1 cup of dried cherries or cranberries for the coconut, and omit the lemon zest and juice.
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