Happy Friday. So far, I have to say that my favorite thing about doing yoga at 7am two to three days a week is that it gives me so much more flexibility with my evenings. Granted, I get home late from work, but it is so very nice to have a little bit of time to bake or unbake, as the case may be. I have had lemon on the mind lately – it started with Ricki’s Lemon Poppyseed Bars, and intensified when I saw these lemon thumbprints by Linda. So I decided to make Ricki’s lemon bars one night, but realized I did not have poppyseeds. And then I started thinking about Elana’s Almond Power Bars, which I made when I adopted Elana a few months ago.
Long story short, I ended up making the bars below. I thought they were lemony, yet complex and buttery. They are very versatile too – perfect with a cup of tea (hence my submitting them to this month’s Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten-Free, which has a tea-time theme, see below), but also a great post-yoga snack as they are full of dense nutrients and energy.
Lemon Carob Bites (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free, Sugar-Conscious) – Makes 12 -16 pieces
For the base:
- 1 cups almonds (raw or slivered)
- 2 Tbsps flax meal (flax seeds ground in a coffee grinder)
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup raw almond butter
- 1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
- 10 drops vanilla stevia
- 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- zest of juice of 1 lemon (about a tsp zest and 2 Tbsps lemon juice)
For the carob glaze:
- 3 Tbsps extra-virgin coconut oil
- 10 drops vanilla stevia
- 3 Tbsps roasted carob
Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap (in the alternative, you could use a 7×5 pan for slightly thicker bites). Place almonds, flax meal, chia, shredded coconut, almond butter and salt in food processor. Pulse briefly. Melt coconut oil and add stevia, agave, vanilla extract and lemon zest and juice. Add coconut oil mixture and briefly process until you have a thick paste. Press mixture into prepared pan. Chill for a minimum of an hour. While the base is hardening, melt the 3 tablespoons coconut oil and add the vanilla stevia to combine. Add the carob and then spread mixture atop the lemon base. Return to fridge until glaze has hardened, at least half an hour, but preferably longer (I left the bites in overnight). Cut with a sharp knife into squares.
Note: My friend Katie of Quick Cook Rice tried this recipe but skipped the glaze and made the lemon layer into balls. She said it worked perfectly. So if you would like to try this variation and make these snacks more portable, that option has been tested. Thank you Katie!!
As I mentioned above, the theme for this month’s Go ahead honey, it’s gluten-free, created by Naomi of Straight into Bed Cakefree and Dried and hosted by Rajashree of Flip Cookbook, is garden tea party. The lemony buttery shortbread texture is perfect for tea-time, and especially so in a garden in springtime.
I am also submitting this recipe to the Sweet or Savory Kitchen Challenge which is focusing on carob this month and hosted, as always, by Kimm of Affairs of Living and Ricki of Diet Desserts and Dogs.
In addition to the above monthly events, I am submitting this recipe to the following weekly blog events:
A new-to-me blog event also hosted by Flip Cookbook called Sugar Free Sunday, which includes sweet and savory dishes made with non-refined sugars. I use agave and stevia in this recipe.
Update June 5, 2011: I realized lemon is a seasonal ingredient (to me it is kind of a year-round ingredient) so I am submitting this recipe to today’s Real Sustenance Seasonal Sunday.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers