Lemon Carob Bites

by Valerie on May 28, 2011 · 13 comments

lunch and lemon bars 021

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

Adapted from Ricki’s Lemon Poppyseed Bars and Elana’s Almond Power Bars

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.


Slightly Indulgent Tuesday with Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.


Gluten-Free Wednesday with Linda, the Gluten-Free Homemaker


Real Food Weekly with Diane of The WHOLE Gang

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.

seasonal sunday

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Healthy Hipster May 28, 2011 at 4:00 am

These look delicious! And what a unique combination! Can't wait to give em a try :)


2 Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty May 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm

These sounds really fabulous!!

For the 10 drops of stevia, how much agave would that equal? I'm not a huge fan of stevia!

Thank you!!!!!!!


3 Ricki May 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm

They sound fabulous. I would never have imagined that combination of carob and lemon, but it sounds great! There's actually a very similar lemon-coconut bar in my desserts ebook–I think lemon and coconut is such a natural pairing. I love the carob glaze here, too–will have to try it on other things! Thanks so much for submitting this to the SOS this month. :)


4 Faye @ RawLawyer.com May 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I just bought a cast iron skillet for your pizza (which I have to make tomorrow because I overlooked soaking the quinoa) and I'm making this dessert this afternoon. Keep 'em coming! :)


5 gfe--gluten free easily May 28, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Valerie, those look amazing! Don't you love how so many different recipe ideas can come into play in your mind, and then actually become a wonderful recipe? 😉 Great addition to the tea party!



6 The Healthy Apple May 29, 2011 at 1:51 am

This looks fabulous; what a great recipe. Just found your blog and love it! So great and love your recipes and posts. I too live with food allergies and it's great to connect with a fellow blogger. So happy to have found you!
Enjoy your weekend.


7 Jacqueline May 29, 2011 at 12:05 pm

These look lovely and I do love all things lemon flavoured.

Yoga, how I need to start practising. I cannot begin to tell you how stiff I am after having Cooper and doing no yoga since. 8 years down the drain!


8 Valerie @ City|Life|Eats May 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Thank you everyone for the lovely comments :)

Jessica – I would substitute the vanilla stevia with a half tablespoon vanilla extract and half to a full tablespoons agave to start with, and see if that is sweet enough for you.

Jac – thanks for stopping by. I do think if you practiced yoga for 8 years, you body will still "remember" its flexibility – maybe not at first, but pretty quickly thereafter. That has been my experience at least after long hiatuses.


9 Wendy @ Celiacs in the House May 30, 2011 at 12:04 am

I'd come to your tea party. Good job winging it with what you had on hand. It was great to meet and share a cupcake with you and Diane before Eat Write Retreat.


10 Eryn @ Pumpkin's Pantry June 1, 2011 at 1:48 am

Lemon and Carob, what a great combination. I love how you adapted this. I also love things that taste like buttery shortbread, but don't actually contain butter (since I can't have it :) Can't wait to try these!


11 Amy @ Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free June 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm

There's so much good for you stuff in these, Valerie. What a fabulous recipe. :) Thanks for sharing it at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday!



12 Sarah June 12, 2011 at 3:33 am

Yum. I just made these and they were fantastic! I subbed 1 cup of almond flour and 1/3 cup of hazelnuts for the almonds/nut butter. So fantastic! :)


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