Lemony goodness.  I had a request from Mara a little while back for a lemon recipe.  The funny thing is, I’ve made some, but I seem to have bad luck–I forget to write down the baking time, or I misplace the entire recipe that I wrote.  Yup. I even misplaced the recipe for this insane lemon poppy seed ricotta cake.  lemon poppyseed cakeWhen life gives me lemons I make awesome stuff, and then life takes away the lemon recipe.  But not this time! I think I’ll have to attempt to recreate this cake again…but for now, I give you TOTALLY GUILT-FREE LEMON SQUARES!

Creamy, delicious, smooth, and sugar-free. I have to warn you that some people who tasted these detected the stevia, and some didn’t.  So it’s up to your tastebuds and how you feel about stevia.  You could definitely experiment with another sweetener.

lemon squares stacked

This crust is pretty exciting. I used goji berries in !  Lemon is so tangy already, that I’m not sure you can really taste them..but they ad some antioxidant punch, and I think they do add a little zing.  That said, if you don’t have any goji berries on hand, I’m sure could replace them with more flax seeds, or even flour.

Why lemon squares do your body good:

  • lemons are cleansing for you body, and alkalinizing (we want that)
  • the crust is full of super awesome fiber
  • brain food ingredients!  (in chia and flax seeds)
  • source or protein!

These would actually be perfect to eat after a workout.  You actually need protein AND carbs after a workout. The carbs replenish you glycogen stores.

These do have a few fancy nutritionist style ingredients.  Sorry!  This is one of those recipes where I had a few interesting ingredients on hand that I wanted to experiment with.  If you don’t have these in your pantry, you can probably pick them up at a health food store. 

I don’t love jello.  I used coconut flour in these to give them a more smooth creamy, as opposed to overly gelatinous texture.

Now the colour is subtle. You’ll notice that I used a pinch of turmeric to up the colour. I think you could add more without tasting it, but I was conservative.

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Lemon Squares
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, snack, post-workout
Cuisine: clean eating
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • CRUST:
  • ⅓ cup goji berries, ground in a coffee grinder
  • 1 and ¼ cups flour (I used spelt)
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 T stevia powder
  • ½ cup ground flax seeds
  • ⅓c chia seeds
  • FILLING:
  • 3T agar powder (vegetarian gelatin)
  • 1 and ⅓ cups water
  • ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3T arrowroot powder
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
  • optional: pinch turmeric for colour
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 3T stevia powder
Instructions
  1. Mix all dry crust ingredients, and combine well with coconut oil. Press into a 9x13 inch pyrex or other pan. Poke a few holes with a fork.
  2. Bake for 5 minutes at 350, until crust is just barely golden. Set aside
  3. In a pot, combine water and agar powder, and heat on low/medium. Cook about 5 minutes, until it gets a nice gooeyness to it. Then stir in lemon juice and almond milk.
  4. Remove from heat and fold in all other ingredients.
  5. Pour over crust, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  6. ENJOY!
  7. Whisk in all other ingredients.
 

What lemony recipe would you like to see next?   I think I need to recreate this craziness. I don’t remember if I used artificial colour in this one.  Sadly, I think it’s likely.

P1015771

I do love lemon poppyseed!

 

Lauren Breuer

Author Lauren Breuer

More posts by Lauren Breuer

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Kristin says:

    This recipe didn’t work at all! The coconut oil (1 whole cup are you sure you got that right?) made the dough like watery. I’ve been baking it for 20 minutes now and it’s just bubbling.

    Bummed at the waste of pricey ingredients! Maybe I did something wrong but I’ve gone over the recipe 10 times.

    • Lauren says:

      Hi Kristin, I’m so sorry this didn’t work for you! I just gave it another read myself, and I don’t think anything is wrong with the crust recipe. There seems to be an ok ratio of wet to dry ingredients. Were you flax seeds ground? Again, so sorry for the trouble and the wasted ingredients. When I made this I mixed the dry crust ingredients together, then cut the coconut oil in, as you’d do with pastry. Let me know if you have any other thoughts. I’d like to give this a whirl again when I have time to make sure I didn’t screw anything up on my end.

      • Claudia says:

        Hi Kristin,

        Did you measure 1 cup coconut oil when it’s melted or did you measure 1 cup when it’s solid. Here’s the thing: I find when I measure it as a solid (scrape it out of the bowl) and then melt it, it ends up being less than the solid. For example, one cup solid will end up being about 1/3 or 1/2 cup liquid.
        My tip to you is to measure it as a solid. So fill up 1 cup of the solid coconut oil, then melt it and put it into the crust.
        I tried making this crust when the oil was a solid because I figure it would all blend – um, no. That did not work. So I picked out the little coconut oil chunks, put them in a small bowl, melted it and put it back into the crust mixture and I finally got something that would stick together. 🙂
        I really hope this helps. I know it’s such a bummer when thing don’t work out, epecially since coconut oil doesn’t come cheap.

  • Claudia says:

    I made these and they turned out amazing! I didn’t use Stevia though, in the crust or the filling. For the crust I used 1 tbsp organic cane sugar and then a tbsp honey in the filling and it was perfect. I’m against Stevia because I’ve just heard too many bad things about it, so I’d rather use natural sugar like date paste, honey, agave nectar, or organic cane sugar. I’m surprised you’re using Stevia, actually. I’d like to hear your thoughts on it if you wouldn’t mind sharing.

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe, these are definitely going to put in a regular appearance in my home. And my bf just LOVED them. 🙂

    • Lauren says:

      I’m so glad they were a success!! I don’t use Stevia all time time, but sometimes I just really want to cut down on sugar, and I’ll use it. The reason I shy away from it more often than not is the aftertaste, which can be a little bitter. I also try to use dates a lot as a sweetener, but sometimes they can make things a little heavy. I haven’t grown stevia myself, I’ve been told it grows really fast. You can actually buy powder that’s green so it’s not overly processed, it’s literally the ground leaf. What have you heard?

      I’m so happy these will be a regular in your home! If you don’t mind sharing the measurements of what you used, that would be great. I’m wondering what you put in the lemon section.

      • Claudia says:

        I’ve done a little more research on stevia since posting that, and you’re right, as long as you get a good, pure form of it, you should be fine. Just like anything else, you don’t want to use high quanities on a regular basis… but that doesn’t really seem like an issue here. I only used it once so far and even though it was a tablespoon and a bit, it was WAAAYYYY too much. The mix itself was probably a cup and a half or 2 cup of other ingredients, so I’m thinking I should have used 1/2 or 1/4 tsp of it. I have SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener plus…and my eyes literally watered and I almost gagged from the sweetness when I just opened the container and sniffed it. I blame the damn container as it said “2 tablespoons = 1 cup sugar”. Lies! More liek 6 cups!…I made these brownies with it and the texture was amazing but then after, you got this bitter, and then artificial sweetener taste that just overwhelemed everything else. I tried to cover it with PB but it just wouldn’t work. Had to throw them out, how I hate that.
        As for the modified ingredients to make these squares, I’m sorry, I didn’t write them down, but I will try to make them the same way again and will write it down that time.
        I actually tried making this recipe again using strawberry puree (frozen strawberries & almond milk) & guar gum and it was a bust. At first, I used 1.5 TBSP of guar gum and mixed that in, then later added 1 cup of the strawberry puree. I tasted this and it wasn’t flavourful enough so I added another cup of the puree, or a cup and 1/4, and finished the recipe and put it in the fridge to set. I was encouraged by the texture when I was mixing everything in because it seemed gooey and pudding-like. I left it in the fridge for over 2 hours, even put it in the freezer a bit and it was still a pudding texture. Damn. I am so heartbroken because it’s rare that recipes don’t work out and I hate wasting good food. I tried adding more xanthan gum to the mix the next day …so I scraped the mix off the crust, put it all into a bowl, added the xanthan gum (another 2 tbsp) and then heated it up in the microwave so it would dissolve and I could mix it all up again. After doing all this, I put it into the freezer for about 2 hours, and it seemed pretty okay, but I put it into the fridge to see if this would hold up. Sigh. In the morning, it was the same pudding consistency. So I’ve thrown it back in the freezer. I’m too stubborn to throw in the towel, but I’m thinking it might be time. I blame the stupid boy at the health food store that told me to use xanthan gum instead of the vegetarian gelatin (they were all out). I asked him specifically if it would make everything jello-like, because last time I used gelatin and that’s what the squares were like. Argh.
        Any advice? I’m hurtin’

        • Lauren says:

          Hi Claudia! I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you, and props to you for experimenting with a strawberry version. Adapting isn’t always easy! Sometimes when you try to make squares that just don’t get solid it’s best to just be happy with a pudding creation. And sometimes this is how happy experiments take place. Maybe throw it into some popsicle moulds? Sorry, I know my comment is probably a little late to help you on this one. I’m definitely not an expert at using xanthum gum, and I think you have to use it in the first mix…not add it later. Anyhow, don’t give up 🙂 Maybe making a strawberry reduction would be good to keep the flavour intense but not make the end product too watery.

  • Laura says:

    Hi! These recipes look fabulous and interesting! I am new to clean eating and am looking for some lower fat desserts. I still have 30 pounds to lose and am calorie conscious! Do you happen to have the nutritional information for these? If not, no biggie, I can calculate!

    Wonderful pictures!

    • Lauren says:

      Hi Laura! Thanks for stopping by. It’s great that you’re trying to be healthier–but don’t stay away from all fats–healthy fats (like coconut oil and avocado) will actually help you lose weight, and they’re super important. Cut out sugar as much as possible, and anything refined, and focus on delicious nutrient-dense food. I don’t usually calculate calorie content of my recipes.

      Do let me know how it turns out. I hope you enjoy it!

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