Luscious Lemon Bars (gluten free with low carb, paleo, AIP, and vegan options)

A GREAT Gluten-free Lemon Bars Recipe that is also sugar free and with grain-free and egg-free options to make them AIP and vegan. The perfect refreshing dessert that's not too sweet.

Since I am a super busy mom like many of you, I don’t have time to do much baking–but I do love to treat my family to healthier versions of baked goods when I can. These Grain-Free Cookies, Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, and Egg-Free Macaroons are some of our favorites.  Lemon Bars are another treat that I loved when I was younger, so I was thrilled to be able to develop a healthier version for us to enjoy.

I pulled this recipe together in the summertime, which isn’t the best time to bake, of course, but two weeks ago, the temperature “dipped” down into the 70’s and so I grabbed the opportunity to do some quick baking (I made my simple Oat Bran Muffins) and try out a new recipe.  And boy did we get a winner!  Luscious Lemony Goodness!

The inspiration for these bars are the Lemon Coconut Bars on Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.  I showed them to my son and well, both of us were inspired to give them a whirl!  In fact, he jumped up and down with the sweetest smile on his face, so I just had to bake them.

The only problem was, my oldest has a life-threatening allergy to eggs, so I just had to create two versions and then bake several batches with eggs and several without so that my oldest wouldn’t be left without a special treat :-).

Well, even with all of those batches, these taste soooo good, that they were gone in a flash!

By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

A GREAT Gluten-free Lemon Bars Recipe that is also sugar free and with grain-free and egg-free options to make them AIP and vegan. The perfect refreshing dessert that's not too sweet.

Here is the Egg-free Version.  Still yummy but not as yellow.

Sugar and Gluten Free and Vegan Lemon Coconut BarsEgg-Free Version

Notes:

The egg-free version doesn’t look nearly as pretty and the filling pretty much soaked into the crust, but they were still quite tasty.

Also, if you use a gelatin egg, you might end up needing to blend the filling in a high powered blender to get it to be pourable.

I try not to be a gluten-free flour purist.  I do, however, like using sweet brown rice since it adds a bit of “hold togetherness”.  Too much buckwheat doesn’t taste great, though, so be careful if you choose to bake with this!  Use almond flour for a low carb option.

Any nut or seed would work for the crust’s low carb option.

Stevia extract comes with a small 1/32nd tsp scoop.  This post has helpful tips for how to use stevia.

I LOVE Dream Foods International’s lemon juice and that is what I linked to.  Buy the huge bottle at most Costco stores for a great deal.

Luscious Lemon Bars (gluten free with low carb, paleo, AIP, and vegan options)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Desserts - Cookies & Bars
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Low-Carb, Vegan, Paleo, AIP
 
Lemon Bars are a light dessert. This version is gluten-free and sugar-free with an egg-free option so you can indulge without the guilt!
Ingredients
Crust:
Filling:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan (I use coconut oil to do this.) You can also use 2 8x8's with not much difference in the end result.
  2. Place the flour, sunflower seeds, and gelatin in the bowl of a food processor and process until the seeds are finely chopped.
  3. Add the coconut oil and sweetener and pulse until the mixture is crumbly meal, similar to a pie crust. Be careful not to over-process.
  4. Press the mixture into the prepared baking pan(s).
  5. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until crust is lightly browned.
  6. While the crust is baking, start preparing the filling.
  7. Put the eggs (or egg substitute) in the food processor and pulse until the yolks are broken. Add sweeteners, arrowroot (or cornstarch) lemon zest and juice, and milk. Pulse several times until combined.
  8. When the crust is finished, pour the lemon mixture over the crust (no need to wait for it to cool).
  9. Sprinkle shredded coconut or sweetener evenly over the top of the bars.
  10. Bake 15–20 minutes, until the filling is set. Cool completely. Cut and serve. Store in the refrigerator (especially the ones with eggs in them :-))

 

Other “Healthier” Desserts

“Almond Joy” Bars
Homemade Chocolate / Carob Chips
Almost “Reese’s” Candy
Chocolate Chunk Coconut Macadamia Cookies
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your gluten-free version of lemon bars. I love lemon bars and it’s nice to know that people with dietary restrictions can enjoy them as well. Thanks for linking up to Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  2. I haven’t had lemon bars in ages! Thanks for giving all of the options for their needs.

    Thanks for sharing at the hearth and soul hop last week.

  3. I just love lemon bars, but haven’t made any this summer. Great job on making an egg free version for your son!

  4. wow, sooo yummy! Would love it if you came and shared this recipe with us at Tasty Tuesday! http://nap-timecreations.blogspot.com/2011/08/summer-corn-salad-and-tasty-tuesday.html

  5. I am impressed with this bar free dairy, gluten and eggs. You must know a lot about combining ingredients to get the flavor without these. Kudos. This is being featured this week. It is truly worthy of the honor.

    • Wow. Thanks so much. I must say that necessity is the mother of invention. My oldest is deathly allergic to egg whites and dairy. Off gluten due to autism. But still loves to eat 🙂 (Takes after his mom and dad :-)!)

  6. New follower from the foodie mama hop. Got to it a bit late. Love this recipe. Your blog is wonderful. Great recipes.

  7. Your site is fantastic. I very recently began a low-carb, no sugar diet to hopefully help with some PCOS symptoms. I have been having trouble with not being able to appease my sweet tooth, nor find any real good sounding recipes for doing so. Love it. We also live right across from a field where the city dumps and spreads sewage waste and I find it impossible to find like-minded folk to be concerned with these sorts of things going on right under nose. Ignorance is bliss – no truer saying.

    • Oh Rebecca. I am sorry about what you are struggling with. I hope you stick around. You might be interested in the protocol that I am doing to remove toxins and metals. I would love to be of any help that I can. Please email me through my contact me page if you would like any more help. The sugar thing is hard, but it can be done – if I can do it, anyone can. Really. :-).

  8. These look great! My dairy allergic son would probably love these. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  9. That looks so super yummy! I would love it if you shared this, and/or whatever else you want, on my bloghop – Makin’ You Crave Monday, over at MrsHappyHomemaker.com!

  10. Yummy! Lemon bars are one of my favorite desserts. These look delicious! Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  11. Wondering if you have tried making these with coconut flour? And, if so, how did they turn out??

    • Hello Shannan. I haven’t tried them w/ coconut flour. It absorbs more liquid so perhaps you could try it and add some liquid to the crust? I really haven’t tried converting recipes from GF to coconut flour, but maybe try adding 1/4 cup liquid per cup of flour converting? I’d be interested in hearing how they turn out if you try them 🙂

  12. I made these this past weekend and they were yummy. I did have the problem of the custard soaking into the crust.

    Did you ever come up with a solution? Also they weren’t lemony enough for my family. Do you think if I added more lemon, I’ll have to add more thickener too?

    I also substituted ground almonds for the sunflower seeds because i didn’t have the latter.

    I really appreciate all your efforts on your website and blog.

    • Hi Kelly. Did you change anything at all? I’m assuming you made the GF version, right? I haven’t found a solution but I think adding a thickener like gelatin or agar agar would take care of it. The eggs are basically coagulating the mixture and keeping it from soaking in.

      I think adding a tad more lemon wouldn’t mean you need much more thickener, but since it’s already kind of runny you probably should. Just adjust it proportionally to how much liquid you are increasing the whole recipe by. I don’t think the almonds would make too much of a difference but I think they are typically more dry than sunflower seeds so they might soak up more moisture. Hope that helps.

  13. Great to find another blog focused on rethinking our diet!
    Just wanted to share some thoughts on replacing the eggs (and gelatin). Have you tried agar? It is completely tasteless and similar in finished texture to gelatin, but softer, and used frequently in candy. I think adding that would help keep the pie filling from soaking in so much and make it look more like a ‘proper’ lemon bar. It is fairly expensive in health food stores, but cheap in asian markets (it is a kind of seaweed).

    Another favourite egg replacer of mine is psyllium husk or powder. Not sure how that works with your son’s allergies (my total sympathies), but it is a fantastic binder! Mixed up with water it takes on a mucous like texture, which is gross but makes cookies super chewy! The added benefit is that psyllium helps keep things moving along in the bowels (it’s the main component of Metamucil).
    Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    • Thanks! I have used agar and I also have been working with glucomannan recently — I started using them later so I should possibly redo the recipe – thanks!

  14. LaDonna Lateadah says:

    What would be a vegan gelatin option? I always have trouble with that.

  15. I love how you recreated this recipe, Adrienne! I am always inspired by the way you work so hard for your kids. You are incredible!
    xo

    • Not incredible, Amy….but thanks so much. And baking has been more on the back burner these days :).

      • Hi Adrienne! Please never negate yourself!!! You are a wonderfully contributive person!!!! Look at it like this… if you had a friend who does all you do, would you invalidate their incredible-ness? I would guess not 🙂 soooo, no invalidating yours!! Don’t neglect yourself as a friend!

  16. In the oven as I type….I only made one change, we do not tolerate sunflower anything, so I used pumpkin seeds instead. It looks like it will be just fine. Can’t wait to taste it. Will post when I am enjoying them.

  17. I just wanted to point out that this recipe is neither vegetarian or vegan as the Great Lakes Gelatin is an animal product. Great Lakes has 2 varieties of gelatin. They have a beef variety and a porcine variety which is derived from pork.

  18. Makes me wish I liked sweets! I love lemon!

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