Raw Vegan Coconut Lemon Bars (+ fingers and blender does not get along)

 

Initially I wanted to upload this recipe yesterday but I had a bit of an unfortunate situation occur that kept me occupied for the day. The situation I am referring to involved a hand blender and my finger… Yes, I did the unspeakable and accidentally turned my hand blender on full speed while my finger was trying to scoop out the mixture that was stuck inside. The result was half of my fingernail gone, my finger bleeding like a stuck pig (horrible expression, I know) and blood all over the kitchen counter. I learned my lesson though. Cooking is a dangerous hobby. Might even give it up altogether… OK, not really.

 

Raw Vegan Coconut Lemon Bars (+ fingers and blender does not get along)

Note to self: never under any circumstances place your finger inside a hand blender, unless you want your finger properly mangled.

 

This is the blasted tool that was responsible for my wounded hand. It was completely it’s fault and it clearly did not happen due to my idiocy.

 

Raw Vegan Coconut Lemon Bars (+ fingers and blender does not get along)

 

Granted, it could have been a lot worse. Luckily I am not even remotely squeamish about blood and open wounds. Heck, I even wanted to be a vet as a child and spent the majority of my childhood watching operations on Animal Planet (not as disturbing as it sounds). And this is far from the first time I have injured my fingers. In fact I have had the exact same finger almost bitten off by a Northern pike fish (I am a vegan, aren’t they supposed to love me??) and stuck in a door. I decided against going to a doctor since it looked as if my nail took most of the beating this time meaning I most likely will not need stitches and simply patched myself up (and did not mention this to my mother since she has a habit of freaking out when I hurt myself (which is far too often). If you read this, sorry mom!). Now, five hours later, the bleeding has finally stopped and the throbbing has slowed down. I would include pictures of my mangled nail but that would probably not be very decent of me. Now that I have thoroughly grossed you out, shall I move on to talk about the recipe perhaps?

 

Raw Vegan Coconut Lemon Bars (+ fingers and blender does not get along)

 

If my finger had to suffer for a recipe, I am happy it was at least a good one! There is hardly a more fitting dessert for spring than lemon bars. I have wanted to make a recipe like this for ages, but had not gotten around to doing so before now. Cynthia Bai again inspired when she tagged me in her Instagram photo (if you want to follow her, check it out here). Thank you so much for sharing!

 

Raw Vegan Coconut Lemon Bars (+ fingers and blender does not get along)

 

Raw Vegan Coconut Lemon Bars

makes 16 squares

Ingredients:

for the crust:

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • a pinch of maldon salt

for the lemon filling:

  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup homemade coconut butter (or read other option below) *
  • juice and zest from 3 lemons
  • seed from 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla essence)
  • a pinch of maldon salt

Optional garnish ideas:

  • additional lemon zest
  • shredded coconut

 

Directions:

1. Start by making the crust. Add all the dry ingredients together in a food processor and process until crumbly. Now add in the dates as well and continue processing until you have a sticky dough. Press this into a medium-sized square pan (I used a pie pan for these pictures, but I would not recommend it!) and store in the fridge while making the filling.
 
Raw Vegan Coconut Lemon Bars (+ fingers and blender does not get along)
 
2. Add all the ingredients  for the filling, except for the coconut cream/butter, into a food processor/high-speed blender and process the mixture until completely smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add in the coconut cream/butter and continue processing until it has a creamy consistency. Pour this over the crust and flatten the top using a spatula. 
 
Raw Vegan Coconut Lemon Bars (+ fingers and blender does not get along)
 
3. Transfer this into the freezer and let it sit overnight to set. Remove from freezer the next day and cut into squares. Let let the squares sit at room temperature for 1-3 hours before serving (any longer than that you should place it in the fridge!). Store any left-overs in the freezer and it should keep for up to a month. Enjoy! 

 

Raw Vegan Coconut Lemon Bars (+ fingers and blender does not get along)

 

Additional notes (*):

  • I made two versions of this, one fully raw and one simple no-bake version. The only difference lies in the coconut butter used for the lemon filling. Instead of using 3/4 cup coconut butter you can use 2 cups coconut cream (see next point), provided you use 1/2 cup less almond milk. Depending on what brand of coconut cream you have, you might have to add in 1/2 – 1 1/2 cup raw cashews for it to reach the right consistency  The batter should be thick enough to spread with a spatula. If you use coconut butter, the end result will be a bit more ice-cream like, whereas if you use coconut cream, the filling will be light and frothy. I preferred the latter version but you can choose for yourself. The pictures in this post is made with coconut butter.
  • Coconut cream is essentially just full-fat coconut milk that has been stored in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (preferably over-night). Take it out of the fridge and scoop out the hardened coconut cream that you find on the top of the can. The reason for doing this is to allow the added water and coconut mass to separate. All of the water will have gathered at the bottom of the can, which is not going to be used when a recipe calls for coconut cream.

 

Raw Vegan Coconut Lemon Bars (+ fingers and blender does not get along)

 

Enjoy!

 

Tagged with:
 

54 Responses to Raw Vegan Coconut Lemon Bars (+ fingers and blender does not get along)

  1. Rach_the_vego says:

    Wow these look fantastic……can’t wait until life gives me lemons…..I won’t be making lemonaide this time!!! Sorry about your OHS issues with the stab mix…..ouchies!! Incidentally I just enjoyed a peanut butter / choc / caramel slice from your recipe – they are superb!!!! Incidentally I read a post somewhere about frozen dates / peanut butter and decided to split some dates and fill with a mix of crunchy natural peanut butter and cocoa…..pop in freezer and voila frozen snicker tasting snacks……too easy.

    • I hope you like it once you try it! Also I am so happy to hear you liked the peanut, caramel and chocolate slices ;) And the stuffed dates sound amazing. Over the past few days my sister and I have been completely addicted to doing something very similar actually. We just remove the pit, add in some crunchy peanut butter and place it in the fridge. Such an addicting snack!

  2. Meg says:

    I can’t wait to make these! Very yummy! Lemon bars are a perfect spring treat!! Love your blog! :)

  3. Lisa Petr says:

    OMG glad you are okay!

  4. Yay! I’m so glad i found your site! This looks AMAZING :) Greetings from California :)

  5. hej solveig :)

    håller dessa lemon bars en hel dag i lunch lådan? jag funderar på att göra dessa å ha med mig till skola i höst som snacks förstår du :)

    • Hvis de har vært oppbevart i frysen helt fram til morgenen, burde de holde fint i 3-4 timer uten noe problem. Lenger enn det vil være å presse hellet, men kan veldig godt hende det går fint! Disse er noe fastere om du bruker kokossmør istedenfor kokoskrem, så avhengig av hvilken du bruker kan de holde lengere eller kortere! Håper du liker det! :)

  6. Laura says:

    Hi Solveig :) This looks amazing and I’m really looking forward to try it out! I have a general question, do you have dessert every day? You mentioned a couple of times that you are not a huge fan of high fat amounts and i noticed that i feel better when i eat less fat. But does this contain nuts as well? Is it too much fat when you have a dessert like this everyday? Best wishes, Laura

    • I do not eat dessert every day (but totally could have). Most of the desserts I make store really well in the freezer, so what I will do is serve it to whoever wants something sweet right away and then store the left-overs in the freezer until the weekend or for when we are hosting guests. I do limit the amount of nuts and coconut I eat due to the high fat content, but one serving of any of my desserts hardly contains enough fat to make me feel heavy and worn-out (which I always feel after eating too much fat). I also have 2-3 days a week where I have a small detox and only eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables (and drink plenty of juices and smoothies), which has helped me keep my health on top. But in theory you can easily have a serving of any of my desserts without experiencing any negative symptoms, provided you have eaten healthily for the other part of the day.

      I hope this helped clear up the question and I also hope you enjoy the lemon bars! ;)

  7. Solveig! You are so talented in the kitchen :)) These look amazing. Gorgeous food photography, as usual!

  8. Rachel says:

    mum delivered some lemons today from a friend so guess what I will be making as soon as there is room in the freezer? Just a question….do you think I could sub either soy milk or a combo of soy milk and the coconut water leftover from the coconut cream if I use this. Have run out of homemade coconut butter and scared my food processor may not last the distance on another batch. Other option is the bought coconut butter – I wonder if I could use part coconut butter and part desiccated coconut (probably more DC volume than the difference though)…..perhaps a combo of coconut cream and bought coconut butter may work?

    • Hiya there,

      You can most definitely use either soy milk or the left-over coconut water instead of the almond milk. My experience with store-bought coconut butter is however non-existent… If it has the similar consistency as the homemade version, I suppose it should be fine. Provided the consistency is the same, you might have some luck playing around with using a combination of coconut cream and coconut butter! Another option you can try out, is adding as much coconut butter as you can get your hands on along with a couple handfuls of raw cashews to thicken the mixture.

      Be sure to let me know how it works out! ;)

  9. Sunny says:

    Oh my gosh, that sounds so painful! That’s why I always put out the cord before scraping out the rests. You should be careful next time, haha :)

  10. Omg, glad to see you’re okay! These lemon bars look delicious!! I’ve been dreaming about making raw lemon bars. I’ll have to try your recipe though. Hope to hear from you soon! :)

  11. dayna louca says:

    I did the EXACT same thing with the EXACT same blender making coconut butter a little while ago! It was on the highest setting too, so lucky to have my finger. Glad you saved yours too! Can’t wait to try this recipe!!

  12. Misty says:

    We tried the recipe this weekend and the measurements and or there is an ingredient missing from the lemon filling, because it was very watery, not spatula material, it poured out of the blender. We love your recipes – we’ve tried many of them and we love that you don’t add sugar to the recipes. :)

    • Hmm, that is weird! Did you guys use coconut butter or coconut cream? It sounds as if you perhaps used coconut cream, which depending on brand can be more watery. Still, it should have the consistency of whipped cream. Did you remember to use 1/2 cup less almond milk? Another option is to gradually add in raw cashew nuts until it reaches a thick consistency!

      • Update: I reread the post and saw that I had forgotten to add in the note about the cashews!
        I am so sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused. Just wanted you to know that I fixed it now :)

        • Misty says:

          We did miss the part about using less almond milk if using the coconut cream. It didn’t turn out too bad – it was more like an ice cream. We tried again last night and it turned out perfectly. :) Love the simplicity of your ingredients, the basics and nothing more.

  13. Rachel says:

    Well I made them and they are every bit as good as I thought they wd be. I used the homemade ccn butter (made a new batch without killing the blender). Only trouble I had was the filling – I should have done dates first and then added the liquid or just done it in the blender instead of the food processor. I don’t think the foodprocessor likes having liquid in it even with the splatter guard lots kept coming out…..still enough to spread in the dish though. I used soy milk rather than almond but other than that followed the recipe.

  14. Kate says:

    Hej jag undrar om du har en blogg på norska ? Varför använder du cup? istället för deciliter?

    • Fordi jeg skriver hele bloggen på engelsk og jeg har aller flest lesere fra USA velger jeg å bruke den amerikanse måleenheten cups. Med en gang jeg får fikset matvekten min skal jeg også oppgi ingrediensene i gram! Det skulle ikke være for vanskelig å omgjøre 1 cup til deciliter.
      2,35 dl = 1 cup. Hvis du har et desilitermål så er det bare å tenke at den slutter på 2,35 dl, så har du teoretisk sett 1 cup. :)

  15. lilivee says:

    I’m sorry for your finger :/ But the exact SAME thing happened to me a few months ago. My finger, a hand blender, some raisins and a nail gone :D It wasn’t funny but I learned my lesson and now unplug the blender before trying to clean it.
    And those bars really look delicious. You seem to be very happy (and succesful!) to try out new things. So I hopee you keep up the great work! :)
    Best wishes, Lara

  16. Kathleen says:

    Interesting recipe, but my batch doesn’t look anything like your picture. if you;re blending dates for the filling, why is your picture so blonde looking – why isn’t it brown like mine?

    • Well, like you see in my pictures there are small specs of black/brown from the dates. But the coconut butter and almond milk (or coconut cream, cashews and almond milk, depending on which version you made) is supposed to even out the colour, giving it a light beige appearance with a hint of yellow.

      May I ask which version you made, as it makes it easier to determine the reason behind it?

      • Kathleen says:

        Hmmm – I used the coconut butter version but I still used cashews. I also split the batch of dates as I didn’t have enough, so I used a combination of half dried plums and half dried dates. Not sure that would make a color difference though. PS I should mention they are delicious!

        • Yeah I agree, using half and half of dried plums and dates should not really make a colour difference. Perhaps it is due to the extra cashews, so next time you can use additional coconut butter if you think the batter should be thicker! That is really the only explanation I can think of..

          I am happy you liked it anyways though! ;)

  17. Steph says:

    I just made this, can’t wait to taste it tomorrow, I also made the guilt free cookies so yum thank you!

  18. Oh, they look delicious! They are in the freezer as I type and they’re coming out after dinner. Thanks for your site! I LOVE all your recipes. Also, this must be a pretty dangerous recipe. LOL! I sliced my finger while zesting the lemon. Ha ha! At least it wasn’t as bad as your injury.

  19. Lucia says:

    This just became my fav. cake ever!! I did it and I just can’t stop eating it…the good thing: I don’t get sick even if I eat a lot of that! oh I love vegan food!! Next time I d love to try with fresh strawberries juice instead of lemon. What do you think? Have you tried with other juices? Thank you so much for sharing!!

  20. Laura Dickason says:

    I just made these and they are absolutely delicious! It’s the first recipe of yours that I’ve tried and I’m so impressed! Your blog is amazing, all your recipes look great and you really are an inspiration! Thank you :)

  21. Jessica says:

    Hi do you think I can use coconut milk yoghurt in this recipe instead of coconut butter and almond milk? I figure using the yoghurt would be like using the milk and oil parts because of the oil and cream in the yoghurt. What do you think?

  22. These were amazing! I used one lemon and two limes because they were on hand. The coconut butter was easy enough to make in the food processor. I had never heard of whipping coconut milk, but will try that version too! :-)

  23. Lauren Brown says:

    I did the exact same thing to my finger recently, it’s still recovering from numerous cuts!
    I’m glad I found your site, I’m a raw vegan, and I’m 17!
    I love that you’re anti-oil and anti-gluten as well, I presume sugar-free too, which is great because I am all of those!
    Thanks for blogging!
    Lauren

  24. Zakara Gharibyar says:

    I made these last night and absolutely love them. I’ve already eaten two slices. Quick question, in your crust recipe it doesn’t say to add dates but in your pictoure it does, so I added some dates to the crust. I did your second version with coconut cream and the batter was pretty watery, but it did set well overnight. I added 1.5 cup soaked raw cashews. I even tried to do my pic like yours and will be posting it on my IG soon @veganista_Q8.. Would love for you to check it out. Thanks again for sharing your awesome recipes with us.