When we think spring, we think fresh, light, citrus flavors - and these lemon bars are the perfect dessert to welcome warmer temperatures! We've adapted this recipe from Natural Sweet Recipes' Healthy Lemon Bars. They're a great vegan alternative to traditional lemon bars, eliminating the need for butter and eggs by using Earth Balance butter and a vegan-friendly 'gelatin.'
1 1/3 cups Organic White Flour
1/2 cup sugar or Xylitol
1/8 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup Earth Balance Butter
2 cups Water
1 package vegan lemon gel dessert (find this at your local health-food store)
1/4 cup sugar or Xylitol
1 teaspoon liquid stevia
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 drops Natural Yellow Food Coloring (optional, but makes color bright)
In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the earth balance butter and mix until a crumbled dough is formed. Place the mixture into a greased 8x8 pan and press gently to form a crust. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the crust for 20 minutes and remove to let cool.
Start your filling in a saucepan. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add gel dessert mix, whisking until fully dissolved. Turn heat to low and mix in sugar, stevia, cornstarch and lemon juice. Remove from heat, allow sugar to dissolve and add the vanilla extract and the food coloring if you're using it.
Pour filling over the crust and place in refrigerate for 1-2 hours, allowing the filling to set. Sprinkle powdered sugar or Xylitol on top of the bars, slice and enjoy!
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