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Healthy Lemon Squares

Healthy Lemon Squares: These might be the best lemon squares you’ll ever find.

Soft homemade lemon squares from @choccoveredkt that have been described by readers as being "the best lemon bar recipe of all time... healthy or not!" Full recipe here: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/05/07/healthy-lemon-squares/

So it’s a happy coincidence they’re healthy, too! My roommate, who is obsessed with lemon desserts, took one bite and declared these “the best lemon squares on the face of the planet, healthy or not.”

healthy lemon squares

healthy lemon bars

Be sure to stock up on the ingredients, as this is a recipe you’ll want to make over and over again!

Soft homemade lemon bars from @choccoveredkt that have been described by readers as being "the best lemon bar recipe of all time... healthy or not!" Full recipe here: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/05/07/healthy-lemon-squares/

Healthy Lemon Squares

Healthy Lemon Squares

Total Time: 1h
Yield: 12-16 healthy lemon squares
Print This Recipe 5/5
Healthy Lemon Squares
5/51

Ingredients

  • Crust:
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry or white flour (135g)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp powdered sugar or Sugar-Free Powdered Sugar (44g)
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (50g)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp water or more coconut oil
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp lemon juice (90g)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar or sf powdered sugar (linked above) (28g)
  • 1/16 tsp uncut stevia OR or 2 more tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 cup MoriNu silken-firm or lite tofu (This is not the same as the tofu in a grocery store’s refrigerator section. See “nutrition facts” link below for where to find this.) (240g)
  • zest of one lemon, optional but recommended for flavor
  • optional: a few drops yellow food coloring or tiny pinch turmeric, for color

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine crust ingredients, either in a food processor or by hand. (Make sure the oil is melted if combining by hand.) Press evenly into a well-greased 8×8 pan. (I used a piece of wax paper over the top, so it was easier to press down.) Cook 10 minutes, while simultaneously combining filling ingredients in a food processor or blender. After crust cooks, pour filling evenly on top and cook another 26 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then fridge uncovered for at least 2 hours (important, as this lets the custard set) before cutting with a sharp knife. If you’re having trouble cutting, leave out just a few minutes so the coconut oil softens. Makes 12-16 squares. These are best stored in the fridge.

View Nutrition Facts + Substitutions

lemon bars

These healthy lemon squares are so good, they have even me questioning my chocolate roots. But don’t worry; I’ve already made a chocolate version. I’m not a complete disgrace to chocolateness!

5/5 (1)

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Published on May 7, 2012

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

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344 Comments

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  1. Christie F says

    I’ll have to try making them, then, since my son and I (and my mother-in-law) LOVE most things lemon flavored. MMM. Did you HAVE to tempt me so early in the day??? 😉

  2. Amanda says

    Yes! Ask and you shall receive. Thank you for posting this receipe. I love, love, love lemon bars.

    • Karen says

      Yes, thank you! I voted for them the other day, and so of course I went straight out and made them this afternoon after seeing your post this morning. (Thank goodness I live close to a grocery store!)

      Katie, they exceeded even my hopes and dreams. I can’t get over the fact that they’re not full of butter and sugar and eggs!

      So custardy, and the perfect blend of sweet and tangy. You weren’t kidding when you said they were the best ever. My husband agrees and says to tell you “thank you” ;).

  3. Marissa says

    Lemon bars are one of my fave desserts! I’m going to have to try MoriNu. What makes shelf stable tofu so different from refrigerated tofu? Is it that much of a textural difference?

  4. Adele says

    I have actually never tried a lemon bar (or cake or whatever) i my life, but I am positive that this will be my first go. They look so fresh and tasty. Lemon bars are actually not that big of a deal in Norway 😛 Maybe this will change the matter. I also love you photos! Could you do a post on how to take good pictures of food? Or maybe you have already? Thank you for a fantastic and inspirational blog, Katie 🙂

  5. Jamie says

    i was SO excited about these until i found out they had tofu. (totally not blaming you, by the way, i read your nutrition link 🙂 ) the day i found out unfermented soy isn’t actually good for you might have been the worst day of my life (thanks, kimberly snyder lol), i love tofu in just about anything. do you ever worry about eating soy?

    • Sara says

      No need to fear tofu! The Asians have been eating it for centuries and they’re one of the healthiest cultures in the world! Look at Okinawans. They live into their 100s, eating tofu :).

      I’d rather trust history than some study that force-fed mass quantities of tofu to rats (which are different from people, and also if you eat mass quantities of anything you’ll get sick!)

      • Tia says

        She’s got it right. I’ve also done a lot of research into the safety of soy consumption and found numerous studies supporting the safety of soy eaten in moderate amounts. The few studies that link soy consumption to negative health results are controversial, use animals, and use ridiculously large amounts of soy. Also, the estrogen-like molecules produced by soy are no where nearly as strong/potent as the estrogen made by your own body. So if you can survive your own estrogen amounts, you should be able to survive soy. 😉

        • Shauna says

          I’ve also read that spraying is a big problem with soy beans, so I try to get organic when I can. But I guess thats an issue with most things now, so what can you do… :S

        • Trish @ MyBigFatBundt says

          Not everyone is the same. I used to consume ‘moderate’ amounts of organic, non-GMO soymilk and tofu, and it triggered low thyroid disease and estrogen dominance in my body over time. I’m not here to argue against soy, in fact I WISH I could eat the tofu that Katie puts in her pies because they all look so luscious. And not everyone’s body is sensitive. But I had no prior issues with any of this until I started including soy in my diet. I do not follow ‘mainstream research’ because everyone has their own agenda. I sought the advice of a medical doctor who only deals with women’s health and primarily hormonal health and would only treat with natural therapies, alongside a Chinese herbalist…and I learned A LOT of many of cannot tolerate even moderate amounts of non-fermented soy. Also read the book ‘Sexy Hormones’ by Lorna Vanderhaeghe. It REALLY opened my eyes. I also have raw, vegan chef friend who is dealing with an auto-thyroid immune disease, and one of the first things her doc did was yank the soy out of her diet. I felt so much better when I cleaned mine up and then got on the appropriate Chinese meds to re-balance my body. Now I feel great, and if I go near soy or too much sugar it throws me off balance again.
          Again, not here to argue…but just be aware that not all ‘research’ covers all kinds of people, and many researchers have special interests, and not every body is the same. And while soy has been a part of Asian cultures forever, it has only been ‘recently’ introduced into the American diet, which of course can cause issues for people. I realize that most soy sources are cheap and GMO…but mine were not. Everything I consumed came from my local health food store…all organic and non-GMO. Just my experience!

    • Vane says

      I’m with you Jamie.. Fermented soy is safe but I’ve heard bad things about processed soy. The Okinawans do eat soy but not as most people do, as a meat substitute; they eat it the fermented kind and mostly as condiments. Also 90 percent of soy is GMO and heavily sprayed.

  6. Rosie says

    Yummmmmmmmy!!! Can’t wait to try these!!
    I’m from the UK and lemon bars aren’t that big a deal either. HOWEVER, we do have flapjacks (thick, chewy, soft, oaty bars made with golden syrup). But I heard there’s no US equivalent!!

    Flapjacks can be fruity OR chocolatey. Chocolate>Fruit but Oaty>EVERYTHINGEVER 🙂

  7. Rana says

    I just made some kick-butt good lemon squares, but they were all old-school and full of butter. Which I’m not complaining about really, but with your recipe I can have them MORE often! Thank YOU! Good work!

  8. Tia says

    So, what is the box equivalent to one cup of the Mori-nu tofu? I buy it all the time but I’ve never blended it up and measured it so I don’t how many boxes it would take to make one cup. 🙂 Is it just the equivalent of a box?

  9. kim says

    Is there an option to print your recipes that I am missing ?will copy and paste onto word for now. Looking forward to making these lemon bars!!!!.

  10. Barb says

    are there any substitutions for coconut oil in your recipes? i have a hard time finding it, and it would be great if there were substitutions I could use without having to go out searching. Thanks!

  11. Sarah the official CCK drooler says

    Um, chocolate desserts all the way! Though, fruit desserts are nice in the summer. But chocolate is all year round. Is there a possibility I could use agave instead of all the sugar? And maybe gf flour?

    p.s.- i’m waiting for the strawberry cheesecake fruit dip recipe. And I’m VERY impatient. so don’ keep me waiting 🙂

    • Samantha says

      Good morning Sarah –

      I was thinking about your agave question because by nature I think powdered sugar has more of a thickening element which would probably matter in a more “gel like” recipe. Generally you can’t even really substitute white sugar in for powdered (depending what the recipe is).

      So I was looking a lot at how to use agave since I am fairly new to using it myself. I found references that pretty much straight out say you can’t substitute agave for powdered and I can see why given the properties of powdered. I have no doubt that someone out there has tried. 🙂 I would guess that somehow you would have to deal with thickening it (more arrowroot) in addition to the reduction in amount as a ratio to sugar? Maybe today will be an experiment day for you. 🙂

      Have a great day!

      • Sarah the official CCK drooler says

        I was thinking that the powdered sugar probably did have a thickening effect! But maybe today should be an experiment day…. I mean it’s a Monday, best day of the week (seriously)! Maybe if I used agave and skipped the crust I could make a lemon pudding? I’ll be back soon with the results!
        Thanks Samantha! 🙂

      • susanna says

        i tried this recipe with a little less than 1/4 cup white sugar in the crust (i know brown sugar is better, but white sugar helps with crunch), put it in the food processor with whole wheat flour. i believe the crust can get away without powdered sugar. for the filling i made it with 1/4 cup agave and cut back on the lemon juice, although after tasting it i realised maybe i should have cut back on the agave to make way for the lemon juice.. it wasn’t lemony enough! (in fact, too tofu-ey).but i’m a bit like katie in that i don’t have a massive sweet tooth. since you put cornstarch anyway, it will definitely thicken up fine without the powdered sugar. or actually, don’t cut back on the agave either and add just a tad more cornstarch… no matter what, it’ll be liquidy when you put it in the pan but after baking it will firm up a bit.

  12. Kelly says

    Definitely chocolate desserts. I’m not a big “fruit dessert” fan! But these are very pretty (:

  13. Ashleysh22 says

    Fruit desserts or chocolate ones? You seem to be missing two very important options. Vanilla desserts and ice cream, which are my personal favorites.

    I actually have all these ingredients already except the coconut oil and the “MoriNu silken-firm or lite tofu”. I think the latter might be tricky to find as I do most of my shopping at Walmart. But I might have to make a drive out to whole foods to locate such a thing just to make these.

    Is the 45 calories per a square only if you use the sugar free powdered sugar?

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