Nutree Lemon Bars

Posted on April 20, 2010. Filed under: Agave nectar, lemon, Oats | Tags: , , , , |

I love all flavors of Larabars, but I am addicted to their lemon bars in particular. I crave for their intensely lemony taste. A single bite of this bar can reverse the effects of a stressful day, and can make me as happy as 2 hours of shopping. BUT, they are not cheap, and which means I have to limit my indulgence. Plus, I don’t like the fact that they are mainly made out of dates, which although natural, are high in sugar. Wouldn’t it be so wonderful, if I can come up with a recipe that locks that exact lemon taste, yet subtracts some sugar, and add some more nutritional goodness? I have been thinking about recreating these bars for a while, and may I say I have a winner?
My friend, Ananya, was visiting yesterday afternoon. I thought some kind of bars would fit the bill, and would go perfectly with tea. I instantly decided to make some kind of lemon bars. Ananya dropped in, as I was getting ready to put the gently pressed tangy mixture in the oven. We waited anxiously until it baked and cooled. As I cut it in bars, and took the very first bite, I heard a drum roll in my head. Ananya approved as well. As far as comparing them with larabars’ taste, I think this recipe captures the true lemon soul of them. 

Nutree Lemon Bars
I have used agave nectar as a sweetener here, but I think honey should work well instead. I found a 50% less fat shredded coconut at the store few days back, so that’s what I used. feel free to use any unsweetened dry coconut. I wouldn’t skip it though, as it gave another layer of texture and a coconut undertone to the bars. While using lemon extract, seek out for the pure one instead of imitation.
2 cups oats
2/3 cups raw almonds
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
16 majdool dates
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp pure lemon extract
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven at 350 degree F.
Mix dates, and agave nectar in the food processor. Pulse until dates are broken into small pieces and are combined with agave nectar. You might need to scrape the sides couple times to get the desired puree. Add almonds and continue to pulse until they are chopped fine. Add olive oil, lemon juice and extract, salt and baking powder. Run the food processor till everything is combined well. Finally, add oats and shredded coconut. Pulse 5-10 times more.
Put the mixture in an ovenproof, rectangular dish that has been greased. Press the mixture evenly. It helps to dampen the hand with water before pressing. Bake for approximately 16-18 minutes in the top third rack of the oven. Cut into equal sized bars after 10-15 minutes.
Makes 15-20 bars.


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