Normally we don’t really “do” Valentines Day… I guess for a number of reasons, partly because it seems a bit commercialised, predictable and clichéd (don’t get me wrong – I say this now but as soon as I have children I’m going to be all over Mother’s Day! ;) and also because it’s our anniversary on the 12th, so we usually do something then instead. This year, we are going to a new restaurant here in Hobart for dinner and a few wines. Though we don’t really celebrate Valentines Day by doing a particular activity, I do like to bake a little something special, and especially after seeing my Instagram feed pop up with dozens of delectable images (case in point: these raw chocolates) I knew I needed to make my own sweet, love-filled creation to mark V day.
When I asked B what sweet treat he wanted me to make for Valentine’s Day, he thought for a minute before reeling off a long list – “beer snacks”, Cadbury chocolate, Red Rock Deli chips, and so on. He obviously misunderstood “sweet” in there, as well as homemade. I prompted him again and he thought for a minute then responded “lemon slice”. He paused for a bit and then responded “with lots of sugar”.
So this here is B’s lemon slice, aptly renamed with a Valentines-appropriate monkier. My friends would all think I’m mean for not just making him the “normal” lemon slice that he requested (ie the “lots of sugar” part), but because I love him, because I care about him and his health, (and because of this), I made him a healthier version. Its raw, vegan, gluten/grain (bukwheat is technically a seed)/dairy/egg/soy/refined sugar free. It’s filled with fresh, nutrient dense ingredients, and of course – a whole lotta love. Awwww!
Note that these bars work best when the lemony filling is made in a high powered blender like a Vitamix. Otherwise, the filling may be slightly grainy. I learnt this the hard way… But it meant I got to make a second batch ;) (Note the pictures are of the first batch, I couldn’t be bothered re-shooting sorry! Too busy eating lovely lemony deliciousness… !)
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 2/3 cup shredded coconut
- 10 medjool dates
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Lemon layer;
- 1 1/3 cup cashews, soaked overnight (or at least 4 hours)
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp raw honey
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp grated lemon rind
- To make the base, add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until well combined and starting to come together. The mixture should stick when squeezed together between two fingers.
- Press into a lined slice tin and place in the freezer to set while you make the lemon layer.
- To make the lemon layer, drain and rinse the cashews, then place all ingredients in a high-powered food processor (eg a Vitamix) and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour on top of the base and place in the freezer at least half an hour before eating.
- Store up to a week in the fridge or freezer
jaime : the briny says
aw! how’d you know i was just craving lemon bars? i haven’t had one in ages. this looks like the perfect sweet for any cherishable day, especially in contrast to the many sugar-laden, heavy things floating about in recent days. and that last picture is stunning! enjoy your lemon bar for me, k? :)
Ah, perfect timing! :) Thank you lovely, and I’ll definitely enjoy one for you x
valentina | sweet kabocha says
They are so beautiful!! This year I decided cooking nothing for S. Valentine and I’ve reserved a table to a vegan Syrian restaurant :P My boyfriend loves to much chocolate – and I almost hate it!
Thank you Valentina! Enjoy your dinner out :)
Katie @ Whole Nourishment says
Ha, I love that you ask him what he wants then proceed to make your version. I do that too, poor guys!! ;-) These lemon bars look gorgeous and I like the buckwheat flour in them. Happy Valentine’s!
Haha, yes poor thing, I think he would have been happier with a block of chocolate from the shop ;) Happy Valentines Katie x
sustainable and the city says
loved reading about how you came to make this slice! i used to love a lemon slice back in the day but haven’t made a raw one yet… will definitely have to change this sometime soon.
Thanks – it really is yummy!
Happy Anniversary lovely!
Me and Johnny don’t do Valentines day either – so much pressure on one day to be perfect and loving haha.
I love that you managed to make a dessert without real sugar too – good old natural sweeteners :)
Thank you Lauren! Yes, totally agree, and plenty of opportunities to celebrate those special relationships at other times any way :)
In the lemon layer, the 1/2 coconut cream, is that meant to be 1/2 cup? As in skimmed off of a can of coconut milk? The recipe looks delicious, I just did not understand that one ingredient amount. Thanks much!
Hi Sheila – good pick up! I have just amended the recipe to read “1/2 cup” which is what it is supposed to be. And yes, you can scoop the solids off the top of a (cold) can of coconut milk, as this part is the cream. Hope you like the bars, they are such a lovely treat!
Appreciate your quick and helpful response! Looking forward to making them and thank you for such a wonderful, innovative collection of recipes that you take the time to develop and share!
Wow I have to make those!!
Just one question, I only have a blender (vitamix) and not a food processor. I tried to use the vitamix as a food processor to make doughs from dates, nuts etc. which doesn’t work. it overheats quickly and then switches of.. Do you think this base layer could be done with a vitamix instead of food processor?
Thank you so much!!
Hi Anna, I’m not sure about doing the base layer in the Vitamix, I think you might have the same problem with it not quite working and overheating.
You could try blending the coconut and buckwheat flour together, and then using a fork to mash in the dates… You may need to soak them in hot water first to make sure they are extra-soft. Not sure that this would work, but worth a shot!