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I know this makes me a little weird, but my favorite dessert flavor is actually lemon. Chocolate is nice and all, but I would take a tangy and tart lemon square over a piece of chocolate cake any day of the week. No question. When I was eating fairly high carb, I loved to make this one lemon square recipe all the time out of The Vegetarian Cookbook for Teens. That book was my go-to for recipes when I first went veggie at 11-12. The lemon square recipe was basically a shortbread crust with a tofu lemon topping, and it was sugary and delicious. My goal is to try and approximate that lemony feeling with a low carb vegan version.
So, right off the bat, my old standby used tofu, which I try to avoid using in recipes to make them as accessible as possible. Lots of people are soy free, so I figured tofu wouldn’t be the best base here. I also, obviously, eliminated the copious amounts of sugar, and the gluten-heavy crust. Basically, this recipe looks nothing like the one from my youth, but the spirit is there in this vegan keto lemon square. This new version just happens to be sugar free, nut free, gluten free, soy free, egg free and dairy free, but DELICIOUS. I really hope you enjoy, and if you make these, I’d love to hear in the comments!
Notes on Making Low Carb Vegan Lemon Squares:
- If you don’t have a 1/2 cup of coconut manna/butter, you can absolutely use 4 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) of unsweetened shredded coconut, and attempt to blend it into oblivion in a high powered blender. Just know that this will take an actual eternity and be on the frustrating side. I’ve done it, though. It can be done, just very slowly.
- I loooooove lemons, if you don’t feel quite the same way, and don’t want the uber tanginess of the 1/2 cup of lemon juice (from 2 lemons), you can certainly reduce the amount to 1 lemon + zest, and 1/4 of water.
- I like to use liquid stevia here in place of a granular sweetener, because I think this yields a much better texture, but you do whatever makes you happy.
- To make this extra lemony, you can add in another lemon. I actually do this sometimes, just be aware that it does add in some more carbs!
Low Carb Vegan Lemon Squares
For the Crust:
- 6 tbsp coconut flour
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- 1/4 cup water
- pinch of salt
For the Filling:
- 1/2 cup coconut butter/manna also called "creamed coconut"
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- Juice & zest from 2 lemons about 1/2 cup juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- stevia to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line/grease a brownie pan, or cake round. Or, do what I did and just use a 9" silicon baking round.
- Mix together salt, flaxseed and coconut flour in a mixing bowl. Stir in the coconut oil until everything is combined, and the mixture looks like wet sand.
- Add in the water and stir until the liquid is absorbed, and a dough forms.
- Press the dough into the bottom of the baking round, and poke a few holes in it with a fork (called docking), to let steam out when it's baking.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking it for doneness every minute after 20.Be sure not to let it brown too much!
- Once out of the oven, let it cool, and transfer it to the fridge or freezer, so it's completely cooled when the filling is done.
- For the filling, combine ingredients in your blender or food processor and let it hum along happily until everything is smooth and combined. If it's chilly and the coconut oil and manna are super hard, slowly warm them before blending.
- Pour the lemon mixture over the chilled crust, and chill for an hour until everything sets up.
- Slice and enjoy! I store this in the fridge for best results, but the freezer is fine, so long as you thaw these before serving!