Who doesn’t love a good lemon bar?! Well, truth is… Not always me.
Let me be clear. I love all things lemon. Lemon is one of my favorite flavors, and always has been. Because of that, I always like the idea of a lemon bar. That citrusy bite is extra refreshing and reminds me of summertime. What I don’t like about traditional lemon bars, though, is the bread-y bottom.
I’ve talked about this before when it comes to pies. I’m not really a pie person, because I don’t like the crust. I have the same problem with lemon bars. The bottom crust is always just too… dry. And bland. What I do love, though, is the sweet, jelly-like top. I could eat that all day long.
There are a few other things I don’t like about most classic lemon bars. First, they’re unnecessarily high in sugar. I had an old roommate whose favorite dessert was a lemon bar, so I found myself making them for her all the time. I was always shocked at how much sugar went into most recipes. Lemon alone is naturally sweet, and I felt like all of the extra sugar made it too sweet. You could barely even taste the lemon – it was all sugar!
I also don’t like how much work it is to make lemon bars. Let’s be real…we don’t always have time for that. And that’s exactly what brought me to this recipe. Awhile back, someone asked me to create a lemon bar recipe. I thought, That actually sounds really good. But then I thought, That also sounds like a lot of work that I don’t really want to do right now when it’s so hot out… After that suggestion, though, I was craving that sweet lemon bar flavor.
It’s been extra warm here in sunny Los Angeles, and all of that heat has been putting me in the smoothie mood. One morning, I looked at the lemon in my fridge, and all I could think about was that I NEEDED a thick and creamy smoothie, and something extra refreshing like a huge glass of ice cold lemon water.
Instead, I decided to make a lemon bar smoothie. It was the perfect compromise. I was getting the flavor of a lemon bar without all of the hard work, without the heat from the baking, without the unnecessary sugar, and without the annoying bottom crust (sorry if you’re a crust person). This is even better. INSTANT LEMON BAR. IN SMOOTHIE FORM.
This smoothie truly does taste like a yummy lemon bar. Since lemon is sweet on its own, it doesn’t need any sweetener – especially when combined with creamy coconut. I wish I had discovered this combination before. Ever since nailing down the proportions, I’ve been obsessed. It almost tastes too good to be true!
This smoothie is the perfect breakfast, snack, or dessert. You can use fresh lemons, or you can use lemon essential oil. I am a huge fan of essential oils and love to use them in cooking, but I’m extremely picky about what essential oils I use. Unfortunately, many on the market are not pure, and therefore aren’t safe for ingestion. If I want to ingest or put essential oils directly on my body, I use doTERRA, and it’s also the brand I recommend to clients. doTERRA essential oils have changed my life! More on that in another post. If you want an extra strong flavor, you can even use a combination of fresh lemon and essential oils. Essential oils are great for cooking, though, because just a few drops are extremely powerful.
This smoothie recipe is the perfect switch-up from a typical green smoothie, but you still get your morning dose of veggies because of the hidden cauliflower! Frozen cauliflower is a great way to thicken any low-carb smoothie because it has such a neutral flavor. The flavor is completely masked by the lemon and coconut, which pair together like a dream. The coconut provides a richness to create that “lemon bar” flavor, without making the smoothie actually taste like coconut. This smoothie is a lemon-lover’s dream!
This lemon bar smoothie is paleo, keto-friendly, low-carb friendly, sugar-free, nut-free (I don’t consider coconut a nut…), soy-free, dairy-free, and vegan depending on what protein you use. If you have a sweet tooth and are having a hard time switching over to low-glycemic smoothies, give this one a shot! You won’t be disappointed. It’s thick and creamy, so you can make it a smoothie bowl or drink it out of a cup! This smoothie is the perfect way to instantly curb that craving for Grandma’s old lemon bars. Quick, easy, refreshing, and delicious.
Sugar-Free Lemon Bar Smoothie (Paleo / Vegan / Keto)
Total time: 5 minutes
- Juice from 1/2 large lemon or 8-10 drops of lemon essential oil
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp coconut butter
- 1.5-2 cups frozen cauliflower
- 1 serving Vanilla Coconut Collagen Peptides OR 1 serving regular collagen peptides / protein powder + 2 tsp vanilla
- Optional: 1/2 cup water if you want it thinner, 1/2 cup ice to make it thicker
- Toppings: Coconut flakes, coconut butter, whatever else you want!
- Add all ingredients except for toppings into a high-powered blender and blend.
- Add more ice for a thicker texture or more liquid to thin.
- Pour into a bowl or cup. Top with coconut flakes and/or coconut butter. Enjoy!
Be sure to tag me in a photo if you try this recipe out! Now that I’ve made this smoothie, I think it might be time to come up with an actual lemon bar recipe with a different kind of crust. Let me know if you’d like that!