Lemon-Ginger Coconut Bars

Today I needed a refreshing bite of lemon & ginger to balance a hot, muggy day. These bars have a zingy citrus flavor, plus they’re raw and alive with powerful anti-oxidant lemon nutrition. In Chinese medicine lemon is cooling — yes I get it. And ginger moves Qi, the vital force in the body — well, I definitely needed that. Super-easy to make, you don’t need any equipment for this recipe, although a food processor is a wee bit quicker. There’s no need to bake these bars, as high-protein, Omega-3 chia seeds hold them together. White chia seeds will give them a light color. Black chia seeds will make them dark, but they’ll tastes just as good. Keep these bars chilled, especially on a warm summer day, or the coconut butter may melt and they’ll become too soft. Sweeten to your own taste. I find people’s taste buds vary a LOT. I thought these bars would be too sour, and they’d make my mouth pucker up – but the lower sweetness level was rather nice. So you can decide for yourself, and feel free to add more sweetener if you like. Store in the refrigerator about 5 days, or up to 3 months in the freezer. Makes about 70 1-inch bars.

Lemon-Ginger Coconut Bars

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Ingredients

  • Coconut butter, 1 cup if soft, or 227 grams if hard. (If mixing by hand, soften it by putting the container in a bowl of warm water.)
  • 60 grams fresh ginger root diced, c. 3 inches. (If mixing by hand, grated)
  • Zest of 2 lemons (preferably Meyer’s if available)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons white chia seeds, ground
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Sweeten to taste. I suggest a minimum amount of 1/2 cup Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener, or 4 teaspoons PureLo Lo Han Sweetener by Swanson, or 1/3 cup raw honey. (I prefer the first 2 that are zero-glycemic and won't raise blood sugar, however any sweetener works.)
  • 2 teaspoons unrefined red palm oil (optional) for a lemon yellow color
  • 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut (add this last)

Instructions

  1. Line a 9 x 9 pan with parchment paper that hangs over 2 sides like handles.
  2. In a food processor or mixing bowl, add the coconut butter and ginger root. Mix well to a smooth paste.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients except shredded coconut: lemon zest, lemon juice, chia seeds, coconut oil, vanilla, and sweetener. Add red palm oil if using. Taste the mixture, add more sweetener if needed, and mix well.
  4. Pulse in the shredded coconut last, and very briefly so it remains chunky.
  5. Spread the mixture into your pan and press flat. Chill 2 hours. Remove the whole sheet of bars to a cutting board. Cut into 1-inch squares and serve.