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When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemon Bars

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemon Bars - 
(You’ll be grateful that life handed you lemons!)

When you think “lemons” what happens? Your mouth immediately starts watering, and you think of something that’s slightly sour, and very refreshing. Meyer lemon trees are quite common in Las Vegas backyards, and there seems to be a never ending supply of fresh-from-the-tree Meyer lemons. But what are you supposed to do with all those lively little lemons? Well, let’s see….You can add sliced lemon to your water bottle for a little flavor boost in your daily hydration. You can use the zest and a few teaspoons of the juice to make your own salad dressing with an olive oil base. You can slice them up and stuff them in a roasting chicken or lay slices on top of a salmon filet before cooking it. The possibilities are endless, and those are all lovely ideas.  
But what do I really want?  Dessert!! 
Initially when I saw this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen, I read the title “Healthy Lemon Bars gluten free, dairy free & paleo!” I skipped over it because, come on, that just doesn’t sound like the recipe for a dessert that would taste luscious and yummy and slightly sinful and lemony! No disrespect meant,  but that sounds like the description of a nice square of cardboard. 
What made me come back to the recipe were the pretty pictures.  Really. Then I noticed that it used very few ingredients, and was simple to follow.  The crust uses almond flour and coconut flour, and has a shortbread taste and texture without the butter! The lemony filling contains 4 simple ingredients, and the entire recipe takes just 40 minutes to create from start to finish. (And less than that to disappear down to the last crumb!)
I’m planning on making another batch of these and bringing them to my co-workers at Elevate. Come in and hang out with us sometime….bring your lemon bars to share! We’ll thank you, and you’ll thank you!!

HEALTHY LEMON BARS (GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE & PALEO (and they don’t taste like cardboard!)

INGREDIENTS for the crust:
• ¼ cup melted & cooled coconut oil
• ¼ cup coconut sugar (or sub 2-3 TBLSP honey or maple syrup)
• 1 egg, at room temperature
• ¼ tsp almond extract
• 1 cup packed fine almond flour (don’t use almond meal)
• 3 TBLSP coconut flour
• ¼ tsp salt
INGREDIENTS for the filling:
• Zest from 1 lemon
• ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2-4 lemons)
• ½ Cup honey
• 4 large eggs
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 TBLSP coconut flour sifted (or sub tapioca flour or arrowroot flour)
TO GARNISH:
Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar, and top with lemon zest.

INSTRUCTIONS:
• Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
• Line an 8x8 cake pan with parchment paper. (Don’t use glass because it will likely cause the bottom of the crust to burn.)
• Make the crust first -  In a medium bowl, mix the coconut oil, sugar, egg and almond extract together until smooth. Add the almond flour, coconut flour and salt. Mix again until a dough forms, and press the dough evenly into the  prepared pan with your hands. Using a fork, prick the crust in a few places to prevent the crust from bubbling during baking. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes.
• While the crust cools, make the filling. 
• Make the Filling – In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, eggs, egg yolk and coconut flour. Pour over warm crust. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until filling is set and no longer jiggles. 
• After baking, cool completely on a wire rack then refrigerate for at least 4 hours to firm up bars. Once ready to serve, use a sharp knife to cut into 12 bars. 
• Garnish with sifted powdered sugar and lemon zest.
• Taste test
• Smile! 
• Share. 

As always, when you try this recipe, leave a comment or a picture for us!!
Happy healthy dessert eating from the staff at Elevate Sports Performance and Chiropractic! 

Thanks to ambitiouskitchen.com for this fabulous recipe!