Amy, a Whole Story reader, requested a healthier version of the traditional lemon bar that she loves. Traditional lemon bars contain a lot of empty calories in the form of white flour, butter and white sugar, so we decided to approach this request in a different way: how could we come up with a nutrient-dense lemon treat? We went back to basics and used whole foods—nuts, coconut and seeds for richness, and dates for natural sweetness. One of our readers has already become a big fan of these treats. Check out the comment myiatrou wrote on the recipe:
I was so skeptical... I mean, for someone who never touched a date before ... WOW! What a neat and easy treat to make! This is perfect for those "I need something sweet NOW" moments and you won't regret later. I added a little extra zest and used walnuts...You can check out our complete recipe, as well as leave comments and ratings, on our Lemon Treats recipe page. Did we mention that these treats happen to be gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan? Here’s how we chose the ingredients for our Lemon Treats:
- Dates provide several nutrients including protein, iron, calcium, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, potassium, and vitamin A, just to name a few. They are thought to aid in digestion and are rich in potassium but naturally low in sodium to support a healthy nervous system and blood pressure levels. This energy-boosting dried fruit is packed with fiber, natural sugar, and other carbohydrates that provide long-lasting energy. They are extremely sweet, so a small amount goes a long way.
- Did you know that sesame seeds are a good source of calcium and other minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc? And don’t forget the fiber and monounsaturated fats they contribute.
- Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C and lemon peel contains essential oils that add bright citrus flavor.
- Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Coconut adds not only a rich flavor and creamy texture, but also medium chain fatty acids which are more easily digested and absorbed.