Dreamy Lemon Coconut Bars!
Summon spring with the bright and fresh flavour of sweet lemony coconut!
My friend Talia made a delicious dessert for New Year's Eve with the base being similar to this lemon-coconut blend. I wondered how dreamy it would be to fill it with nuts and seeds (texture, yyaasss), and I am oh so glad I wondered. Soo yummy!
I love that this is so chock-full of super healthy fats (three cheers for balanced blood sugar!!!)- the base being creamed coconut, then loaded with nuts and seeds of your choosing! Also, there is no sugar, yet it still satisfies the sweet tooth. And it takes no time at all.
I would recommend that you buy raw nuts and seeds when possible, as when they're roasted:
- they are often coated with an inflammatory oil like canola oil, etc.
- the roasting process oxidizes (i.e. destroys) some of their good fats.
- the roasting process also leads to destruction of some nutrients and antioxidants.
Second best would be to find dry-roasted and not coated with anything- check the ingredients and make sure they don't have the oil added, nor weird preservatives/flavouring agents. Note that some nuts, such as peanuts, should not be consumed raw- the best option would be to buy raw and roast yourself (as the longer roasted nuts are stored, the more oxidized they become).
The *ultimate* way to consume nuts and seeds would be to sprout them. Even I'm not here yet, as it requires investment in a dehydrator to keep them longer than a week (but I think I'll be there soon, as I think about it every time I look at my nuts/seed shelf). It's definitely the best way to unlock all the goodness within the nuts/seeds, ensure their proper digestion/absorption, and to get rid of any anti-nutrients. See details here. You can only do this with raw nuts/seeds.
A note about coconut products: they're straight-up confusing. There are so many different types and names, and half the names mean the same damn thing. So, for the purpose of this recipe, I used what my jar called "Creamed Coconut". But this is also the same as coconut butter. Which is also the same as coconut manna. Listed in ascending order of price. Yes, they're all the same (essentially pulverized dried coconut flesh), sold at vastly different prices. Oh, packaging. Furthermore, please note that coconut cream is a different product! Repeat: creamed coconut is NOT coconut cream. So. Confusing.
Oh, and you can make your own creamed coconut! Simply put unsweetened shredded coconut in your food processor and let it run until smooth. Easy as (coconut) pie.
Alright, less talk, more dreamy bars (yeah I called them bars because bark sounded weird and I didn't know what to call them, but I know, they're not really bar-like. Whatever.):
Dreamy Lemon Coconut Bars Recipe:
- 1/2 cup creamed coconut/coconut butter/coconut manna
- Rounded 1/2 tsp of lemon extract (try slowly adding this, in case lemon extracts have different potencies!)
- 10 drops of Sweetleaf vanilla stevia (vanilla extract and liquid stevia could substitute here)
- 1/2 cup of nuts/seeds of your choice (pepitas, walnuts, hemp hearts, chia seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, etc.- chopped if they're a larger size, like walnuts. You could also add things like cacoa nibs, puffed quinoa, shredded coconut, etc.).
- Pinch of salt
1. Make double-boiler (boil water in a pot or pan and place heat-resistant vessel inside while simmering) and add creamed coconut to the inner vessel until melted.
Alternatively, heat it up in the microwave.
(If you just made your own creamed coconut, it should be warm and ready to go, so skip this step.)
2. Remove from heat and add lemon extract, salt, and stevia, stir.
3. Add nuts/seeds, stir.
4. Flatten the mixture out on a plate or pan, then freeze for 30 minutes or more.
Store in fridge or freezer, as it will soften at room temperature.