I’ve never been a big fan of packaged energy bars. I see them in a utilitarian kind of way, useful and convenient when there is absolutely nothing else to eat. I always pack them when I’m hiking, but I do my very best to avoid eating them. Example: there is a Cliff Bar in my pack right now that is at least 2 years old, I’m guessing it’s a bit past the expiration date! Things have sure changed since I started making my own, starting with the Chocolate Chip Brownie version a couple of weeks ago. They’re so much fresher and full of flavor, I actually have to hide them in our basement freezer to make them harder to get to!
Even though I’m a die hard chocolate fan, I’m really crazy about this new lemon version. It’s got me thinking about extending my energy bar recipes to include carrot cake and chocolate chip cookie dough next – the possibilities are endless now that I LOVE energy bars!
I made this recipe with Grade A maple syrup to preserve the lemon yellow color and because it doesn’t interfere with the flavor, however, you can substitute honey or dates as well.
I reserved 1/2 cup of the big flake coconut to put in right at the end to add texture. After the mixture begins to form a dough, add the remaining coconut and pulse until your desired texture is reached. I find it’s easiest to use plastic wrap to line the pan when you’re forming the bars. This dough is a little sticky at first (it firms up as it sits), so it’s best to use a spatula to smooth it out in an even layer.
Once you cut your energy bars into serving sizes, you can individually wrap them to freeze for a longer shelf life.
Even though these aren’t super sweet, they definitely satisfy my sweets craving as a mini dessert!
- 2 cups raw cashew pieces
- 1 + ½ cups big flake coconut
- ¼ cup maple syrup, Grade A
- 3 Tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ Teaspoon sea salt
- Reserve ½ cup of the big flake coconut to add later.
- Place all the ingredients, except the reserved coconut into a food processor and pulse until the mixture starts forming a dough.
- Add the remaining ½ cup coconut and pulse until your desired texture is reached. I like to stop when there is still visible pieces of coconut.
- Line an 8"x8" baking pan with plastic wrap and pat/smooth the dough evenly into the pan.
- Holding the corners of the plastic wrap, lift the bars out of the pan and cut into 12 bars.
- Serve within a few days, or wrap and freeze for later.
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