Baking

Lemon Coconut Bars

A couple weeks ago I checked out the book Superfood Kitchenby Julie Morris from the library. I saw a post about the book with a recipe over at Chocolate Covered Katie and was intrigued by a cookbook all about superfoods.

I casually read parts of the introductory chapters and then started perusing the recipes.  The first recipe I settled on was Lemon Coconut Breakfast Bars.  They caught my eye for two reasons – they did not require any crazy ingredients that I wouldn’t ordinarily buy and Benzo really likes lemon so I thought he would like them.

Luckily after I picked this recipe I discovered that is is posted on the author’s website!  Here’s the link:

Lemon Coconut Breakfast Bars

And here’s the finished product:

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This was the first time I made something with dates and chia seeds so I was excited to try out those two ingredients.  As I was putting together the bars though, I kept thinking “this is a lot of work!”  First I had to make the oat flour.  All I did was put 1 1/4 cups of oats in the food processor and process until flour-y.  It wasn’t completely fine like flour but it was close enough.  That amount gave me about 1 cup of oat flour.  Then I zested the lemon, which by the way I didn’t get anywhere near 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon zest before I got bored and gave up.  I probably had one teaspoon.  Then I squeezed the fresh lemon juice (one big lemon was enough).  Then I had to de-pit and finely chop the dates.  Finally I mixed everything together and got the pan in the oven.

After all that I thought, no way am I making these again!  But then we tasted them.  Wow are they delicious!  And completely guilt-free!  There’s no refined sugar but the bars are very sweet thanks to the dates.  I thought the lemon flavor was nice.  Benzo thought it could use more lemon.  They were also toddler-approved.  And mom-approved.  I felt good giving them to my son since they contain so many healthy ingredients.

So I think I will make these again after all, but I might try to take some short-cuts to make the process a little faster.  First I would make a double batch.  If I am going to that much trouble I need more of these little treats.  Second, I might make a whole bunch of oat flour in advance.  It was very easy to make and got me thinking about using oat flour in other recipes.  Finally I might chop the dates as well as mix as least the wet ingredients in the food processor.

A couple other notes on this recipe. First I could never just eat these for breakfast.  They are way too small.  I would need to eat about 5 of them to feel satisfied. I need a big breakfast to get me going in the morning!  So to me these would never be breakfast bars.  We ate them as snacks or as a dessert.  I had one right before a lunchtime workout and it was perfect.  They were great to throw in a container in the diaper bag.  Which brings me to my next point.  The coconut on top was a little messy, especially for toddlers when you are out and about.  Perhaps I just didn’t press it into the batter enough.  Regardless I think next time I’ll stir all the coconut into the batter to try to avoid little coconut crumbles everywhere.

I was very pleased that my first attempt at a recipe from Superfood Kitchen was such a success.  I have made two more recipes from the book since then which I will be sharing the results of later this week.

** I was not asked by the author or publisher to review this book, nor was I compensated in any way.  The opinions above are entirely my own.

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