Luscious Lemon Bars from Whole Food Energy Cookbook - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Luscious Lemon Bars from Whole Food Energy Cookbook

raw lemon bars | pamela salzman

My friend Elise Museles over at the blog Kale and Chocolate recently released her cookbook, “Whole Food Energy,” and I couldn’t wait to dig into it.  I don’t normally say that about a cookbook, but hers is loaded with recipes for nutritious, energy-boosting snacks, which is where I sometimes fall short on a wide variety of good homemade options. I am a very busy mama, but I still want to incorporate nutritious whole foods into our daily lives, or at least as much as possible.  The theme of the book is keeping your body nourished throughout the entire day, including between meals.  Elise encourages her readers to think outside of the 3 square meals a day and listen to their bodies.  The book is very easy to navigate since Elise color-codes each recipe and puts them into categories: Energize (to kick-start your system), Sustain (to keep you going), and Replenish (to wind down and restore) and each recipe has ingredients carefully selected to fit those descriptions.

raw lemon bars | pamela salzman

What I love about her book is that not only does she offer up great basic recipes for smoothies, juices, bars and the like, but offers several variations of each, which provides inspiration and will keep you coming back for more each time to experiment with all of the different flavor combinations.

The book also offers a lot of other information too such as what tools will help you with executing all of the recipes as well as how to stock your pantry with whole foods that will aid you in your venture to a healthy lifestyle.  She even includes detailed information about what each product does for the body and why you should be incorporating it.  It really is just a wealth of information with gorgeous, amazing recipes to boot!

raw lemon bars | pamela salzman

Though it was hard to choose from the pages of delicious looking breakfasts, snacks and treats that are all my absolute dreams come true, I narrowed in on these Luscious Lemon Bars, and I wanted to share the recipe with you!  These are a completely raw, grain free bar that come together quickly and just need a quick 1 hour chill in the refrigerator.  I love traditional lemon bars, but I never make them since they are loaded with refined sugar.  These are absolutely delicious and even better and more satisfying than the “normal ones.”  And lemons are in season right now so that’s an extra bonus!

raw lemon bars | pamela salzman

Even though these feel like a treat to me, Elise places these bars under the “Sustain” category, since they are loaded with complex carbs, protein and good fats to help you last until your next meal.  I think they would be a perfect portable snack for traveling or for after a workout.  With wholesome ingredients like cashews, dates, lemon and coconut butter, this is a truly good tasting and good-for-you snack.  I can’t wait to try the Fudgy Brownie Version of these!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Luscious Lemon Bars from Whole Food Energy Cookbook
Serves: makes 8 bars
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut plus 1 Tablespoon for sprinkling on top
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place cashews in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, with some small chunks remaining. Add the remaining ingredients except for 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut for the topping. Pulse until the ingredients start to stick together. Do not process until smooth, as the texture helps hold the bars together.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan and use a sheet of parchment paper on top to press and flatten evenly using the palm of your hand. Sprinkle the coconut on top, then cover the pan with parchment paper. Place the covered bars in the refrigerator for 1 hour before slicing into 8 individual bars.



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  1. I’ve been on a lemon kick lately. I love how healthy these lemon bars are in comparison to the sugary recipes that are out there. These were delicious and will make again.

  2. Hello! I would like to make this for my teenage son, who is vegan (all plant based, nothing processed, no oils, etc). He will not eat the coconut butter. What can I use instead? Thanks!

    • Hmmmm, if you can’t sub oil for the coconut butter, what about raw cashew butter? Is that too processed?

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  4. Do you think the vitamix would work for this one? I love a lemon bar!

    • Hmmm, the Vitamix doesn’t pulse the way the food processor does so I am afraid it would get too smooth, which is not what you want. But I’m just guessing here. Let me know if you try it!

  5. Can you substitute coconut oil for coconut butter if you dont have the butter on hand? or better to replace with almond butter? Thanks!

    • Coconut butter is much firmer when refrigerated than almond butter. So I think coconut oil would be a better sub, but there’s so little of it in this recipe that I have a feeling either would make an acceptable substitute. Just warning you that I haven’t tried either, so I am just guessing.

  6. Made these luscious bars today and my husband and I have sampled them tonight. They have a cool, creamy consistency, yet with texture and there is just the right amount of balance between the tart lemon flavor and the sweet dates. Although I followed the recipe exactly as presented, I wonder if you can substitute almonds instead of cashews.

    • I asked Elise and she said she thinks almonds would work well. In my opinion, raw cashews are a little creamier than almonds, but I think almonds would be great.

      • Thanks. Now this is a great excuse to try the bars with almonds.

  7. I made these last night and they are fantastic! Another winning recipe – thank you! I’d like to add berries to the top next time… I’m off to cut myself a 2nd square now.

    • You know, adding blueberries crossed my mind. I agree, I think berries would be delish here! Thanks, Joan!

  8. Can’t wait to try this! And thank you for the detailed pictures…brilliant! xo

    • Let me know if you do!

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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