Lemon Coconut Bars

May 9th, 2014 at 5:05 am

Lemon Coconut Bars | DailyBitesBlog.com

It’s almost Mother’s Day, which means it’s time we start talking about sappy greeting cards and dainty lemon bars.

Believe me, I love my mom, but when it comes to Mother’s Day I’ve learned that less is more with her. She’s not one for fancy brunch buffets or extravagant bouquets of flowers. A simple note from the heart and a healthy homemade meal are much more her style.

But no Mother’s Day meal is complete without a beautiful dessert! Which brings us to the lemon bars.

These in particular are so healthy you could even add them to a brunch menu without guilt. The original recipe appeared in my first cookbook, The Pure Kitchen, which includes 100 recipes free of gluten, dairy, soy, and refined sugar. (A great gift for any food-loving mom, by the way.)

Most lemon bars are tooth-achingly sweet and guaranteed to spike your blood sugar. That’s no way to honor Mom! Instead, my zesty lemon bar recipe offers plenty of citrus flavor without all of the refined sugar.

Lemon Coconut Bars | DailyBitesBlog.com

This weekend I’ll be preparing my mom whatever she wants on Mother’s Day. I do the same thing on Father’s Day and the occasional birthday, too. There’s no better gift than that of a nutritious meal made with loving hands, right? I know it’s cliche, but I really do think that food tastes better when it’s made with love. :)

I was planning to write an entire post on things I’ve learned from my wonderful mom over the years, but once I started I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop. There are way too many lessons to fit into one post. So I thought I’d share the short version of my list with you instead. All the credit goes to Mom for teaching me these things!

  • Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.
  • Take good care of what you’re entrusted with.
  • When in doubt, add lipstick. (Preferably red.)
  • Never leave home without a few dollars in your pocket.
  • And never—ever—leave home without Kleenex in your pocket.
  • Don’t be shy about asking for help. Most people love helping other people out.
  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  • Your home should be a reflection of your personality.
  • Respect your gut feeling. It’s usually right.
  • Let your yes be yes and your no be no.
  • Sometimes you really do have to fake it until you make it.
  • Safety first.
  • A life well loved is a life well lived.

My family is probably the biggest blessing in my life. I have a mom who is one of the most honest, loyal, kind, wise, intuitive, and authentic people I know.

The saying goes that children are a gift. But my oh my, so are parents. I don’t even like to think about who I would be today if it weren’t for the mom (and dad) who raised me. My mom is not only one of my greatest influencers, but also one of my best friends. Most of the time, she feels more like a longtime companion than a parent.

I’m so grateful to have been given such a beautiful gift!

Now let’s make some lemon bars.

Lemon Coconut Bars

Yield: Makes 12-16 bars

Most lemon bars are tooth-achingly sweet and guaranteed to spike your blood sugar. These zesty bars offer plenty of lemon flavor and sweetness without all the refined sugar.


For the crust:

1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons honey

For the lemon layer:

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled (plus more for greasing the pan)

1/4 cup honey

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with coconut oil. Set aside.

Make the crust: in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the oats, coconut, baking soda, and salt to form a coarse meal. Add the applesauce and honey. Process until a dough forms. Press the dough firmly and evenly into the bottom of the greased baking dish. Bake for about 12 minutes until lightly golden.

Make the filling: whisk together the lemon juice, coconut oil, honey, and eggs in a medium bowl. Pour the lemon mixture over the hot oatmeal crust and return to the oven to bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the shredded coconut.

Cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting into bars and serving. Store leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



  1. Ahhhh what a sweet post for your Momma! I hope I get to meet her one day Hallie! My Momma loves your recipes and I’m quite sure she’d love this one too!

  2. Beautiful recipe and post Hallie! I hope you both have a wonderful day celebrating together, please wish her a Happy Mother’s Day from me!

  3. Diane Fuchs said on May 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

    When you said that this is in your cookbook, I went to look it up and was surprised to see that it calls for agave nectar, which is now on the “bad for you” list. Then I looked more closely at the recipe you posted online and saw that you replaced the agave with honey. I may have missed it, but did you have a post about not using agave anymore? Also, whenever agave is used in your cookbook, I presume I can just substitute honey? Thanks so much for your “sweet” posts! (double meaning there!)

    • Diane: Yes, I’ve moved away from using agave nectar. I don’t have a post up yet about it, but it’s on my list to write one soon. :) Honey is a great substitute, much more true to nature in my opinion, and usually what I have on hand.

      • Is agave “bad”? I am diabetic and have had more success controlling my blood sugars after consuming agave vs consuming honey. Love your site Hallie, thanks for all the great info and recipes!

  4. Amethyst said on April 2, 2015 at 7:36 am

    My crust floated to the top of the pan. :/ new to this type of baking. Did I not grind the oats enough?

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In Hallie’s cookbooks you’ll find gluten-free, dairy-free recipes made with whole, natural foods.

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About me

I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.