Ina Garten is my chef idol and wannabe best friend/mom/roommate. You get the point… LOVE her! Growing up, her lemon bars were one of my favorite summer treats. Tart and sweet, these bars are light, refreshing and delicious.
Unfortunately, like most of Ina’s baked goods, these traditional lemon bars are full of sugar, flour and butter…high quality butter of course (only the best for Ina). As soon as I began experimenting with reinventing many of my favorite treats in a Paleo version, I had to try to healthify my beloved lemon bars.
I first made these in the Hamptons, and fresh strawberries are everywhere! I love my local farm stand there because it is filled with only in-season and locally grown fruits and vegetables. As soon as the farmer told me about these strawberries (and let me sample!) I knew I had to make a strawberry-lemon hybrid dessert.
I added pureed fresh strawberries into the lemon bar recipe and out came these strawberry lemon bars! They are sweet, fresh, and tangy and have a bright pop of color! By adding the strawberries I could also reduce the amount of honey. These are definitely a staple in my summer dessert repertoire now.
Strawberry Lemon Bars
For the Crust:
¼ cup Honey
½ cup Coconut Oil at room temperature, it should be soft but not melted!
1 cup Almond Flour
For the filling:
¼ Cup Honey
3 tsps almond flour
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut oil and honey
3. Stir (or mix with your hands- my favorite tool) until a dough forms
4. Press the dough evenly into a greased 8x8 baking pan
5. Pre-bake the crust for about 8 minutes until golden brown
6. Remove the crust from the oven and lower the temperature to 325 degrees
7. While the crust is cooling, place the strawberries in a food process and blend until you have a smooth strawberry puree
8. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, lemon juice and strawberry puree
9. Add almond flour to slightly thicken the strawberry lemon mixture
10. Pour the topping over the cooled crust
11. Bake for 25 minutes. When you remove the bars from the oven the center will be slightly jiggly but not completely liquid
12. Chill in the fridge for 6 hours. The longer these chill the better!
13. Cut the bars into squares