Gluten-Free, Keto Lemony Lemon Bars

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It may not sound like the coolest pastime, but adapting recipes really is a hobby of mine.

Growing up cow dairy-free and gluten-free (before it was mainstream) was a struggle. My mom and I constantly found ourselves experimenting, testing, retesting, and making adjustments in order to fit with our dietary preferences.

Now it’s like a game for me. Each recipe a new challenge.

So when LeBraun and I were over at Cameron + Hunter Premo’s last week and they told us they’ve been following a Keto Diet recently, my mind was already working on a plan.

In case you don’t know, the Ketogenic (Keto for short) Diet essentially forces the body into a process called ketosis, burning fats instead of carbs for use as energy. The diet consists of consuming high amounts of fat and protein, and low amounts of carbs. (ie. Cheese, avocados, and eggs are in while grains, beans, and bananas are out!)

Note: They both have been enjoying the Keto lifestyle, but have found there to be some cravings for the sweeter things in life. I’m talking desserts! The cookbook they were using did have some “sweet” options, just more of the peanut butter - dark chocolate variety.

As someone who definitely craves something sweet after each meal (even something as small as 3 chocolate chips), I completely understood. So to the kitchen I went!

And with Easter right around the corner I knew I wanted to make something bright, fresh, and bursting with the goodness of Spring. The result….drumroll please…Gluten-Free, Keto Lemony Lemon Bars!

Fresh, tangy lemons create a smooth, dreamy filling, held up by a sweet, almond flour crust. Then lightly dusted with a confectionary sugar substitute (n1).

Lemon bars are a fab combination and in my opinion a bit underrated as sweets go. Alas no more!

Sadly for Keto-ers, fruit is naturally high sugars (fructose), leaving a limited list of low-carb options; however, according to Ruled.Me lemons contain 6.52 net carbs (per 100g) which is equivalent of about 2 lemons (n2), so Keto-approved.

I can’t imagine being restricted on fruits. They’re my go-to snack. Just remember—with whatever your diet may be—fresh fruit is always better. Typically canned or processed fruits contain tons of added sugar.

Notes: n1. Confectionary Swerve, a zero-calorie powdered sugar substitute that utilizes erythritol, which sweetens using sugar alcohols. n2. https://www.ruled.me/best-low-carb-fruits-avoid/

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GLUTEN FREE, KETO LEMONY LEMON BARS

Ingredients

For Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Swerve Sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For Filling:

  • 3 medium lemons
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup Confectionary Swerve (or powdered erythritol)
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (Rumford brand is carb free)
  • 1/8 tsp of salt

For Dusting (optional, but recommended):

  • Additional Confectionary Swerve (or powdered erythritol)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Pulse the crust ingredients in a food processor until the mixture becomes coarse crumb-like.
  3. Press the crust mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake 10-14 minutes or until crust edges begin turning golden, remove from oven and increase the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. In medium bowl, zest one lemon before juicing all three, removing the seeds as necessary.
  6. Add the remaining filling ingredients and whisk until well combined.
  7. Pour the filling onto the crust and bake for 23-28 minutes or until set.
  8. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  9. Carefully lift the bars out of the baking dish by the parchment and allow to cool completely on wire rack or on the counter.
  10. Using a sifter, lightly dust the top, slice, and serve.