Pucker Up Lemon Protein Bars @OmNomAlly

Pucker Up Lemon Coconut Protein Bars

Alison Murray Baking, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, High Protein, Paleo, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian 32 Comments

Pucker Up Lemon Protein Bars @OmNomAlly

Quick fact: These Lemon Coconut Protein Bars are actually a little little bit magical, no joke! Completely not on purpose, the combination of ingredients I used for these zesty and protein-rich protein bars helped them to create their own ‘frosting’ layer during baking! How awesome is that? (Answer: Extremely awesome)

Pucker Up Lemon Protein Bars @OmNomAlly

We’ve spent a bit of time at my Aunt and Uncle’s property on the Mornington Peninsula over the past few months. Lush and green, there’s fruit trees, free range chickens and until very recently a very cheeky pony. It’s always enjoyable to get away from the suburbs to spend time with family and the more we travel out that way, the more strongly a country lifestyle calls to us.

As well as the fabulous company and a dose of fresh country air, we always return home from a visit well fed and well loaded up with homegrown lemons (woohoo!). This last visit we brought home two bags bursting with sunny little lemons, ready for juicing, zesting and all manner of potential recipes that could benefit from a punch of lemon flavour. This was the citrus recipe I most wanted to make though – and these lemon coconut protein bars did not disappoint! Lip-puckeringly sour, I made these slightly more sour than sweet to cater to Kam’s palate – and he likes his lemon treats extra lemony! I have slightly scaled back the amount of lemon listed in the recipe ingredients for everyone else, but if you want to make it exactly like I did then go ahead and add the zest of one more lemon. Oooo-ahh!

Pucker Up Lemon Protein Bars @OmNomAlly

Making protein bars are one of my favourite baking adventures; both Kam enjoy having high protein snacks on hand for our workdays. A perfect pick-me-up for busy afternoons, one of these at 3pm fills me up until dinner and beats any cafe or store-bought energy bar. That’s because there’s lots of protein sources here –  eggs (or chia eggs), protein powder, almond meal and chia seeds. Naturally gluten-free and grain-free – feel free to use your favourite protein powder which could also make these lemon coconut protein bars paleo or vegan too!

Do you still need some convincing that this should be your next protein bar baking assignment? Well, I didn’t make these bars exclusively to enjoy the perfect flavour combo that is fresh lemon and shredded coconut (or that magical frosting layer). That’s because a little known benefit of lemon is that consuming it after a workout may aid metabolism. Combine that with the 15% medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) content of coconut flour and these bars may just aid calorie burning, increased fat oxidation and sensations of satiety. Are you ready to pucker up and bake some lemon coconut protein bars now?

xx Ally

Pucker Up Lemon Protein Bars @OmNomAlly

 

Edit: Some readers have been experiencing issues with excessive dryness or crumbling of these bars. This may be due to the thirstiness of the coconut flour/desiccated coconut and/or the choice or protein powder used and may require the addition of extra liquid to compensate.
This recipe has been adjusted with instructions on what to do in this situation, with the addition of coconut (or other) milk, added in 1 tbsp increments until the desired texture of a moist cake batter is reached.

Pucker Up Lemon Coconut Protein Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These lemon coconut protein bars are a little bit magical with a unique blend of ingredients that may aid calorie burning and sensations of satiety.
Author:
Recipe type: Baking, High Protein
Cuisine: Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Vegetarian. Vegan and Paleo depending on ingredient choice.
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup protein powder
  • ¾ cup almond meal
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 3 large biodynamic, organic or free range eggs (or 3 chia gel eggs for egg-free/vegan)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup freshly pressed lemon juice (including pulp)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (omit if using chia eggs)
  • ¼ cup coconut or dairy milk (optional, see instructions and notes for details)
  • zest from one lemon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 20x20cm square cake tine, put aside. Combine protein powder, almond meal, coconut flour and dessicated coconut in a large bowl and whisk until well mixed. Put aside.
  2. In another large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs until paled and creamy. Skip this step if using chia eggs. Add maple syrup, lemon juice, zest and chia seeds and continue to beat until all incorporated.
  3. Turn stand mixer to lowest speed, or mix in by hand the dry ingredients mixture and stir in gently until just combined. Batter should be the texture of cake batter. If too dry, add coconut or dairy milk in 1tbsp increments until suitable moist and thickened.
  4. Pour into prepared baking dish and smooth out with back of wooden spoon or spatula. Bake for 30min or until skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. llow to cool completely, then remove from tin and cut once horizontally and then cut each portion into 6 bars to make 12 bars total.
Notes
Some readers have been experiencing issues with excessive dryness or crumbling of these bars. This may be due to the thirstiness of the coconut flour/descicated coconut and/or the choice or protein powder used and may require the addition of extra liquid to compensate.
This recipe has been adjusted with instructions on what to do in this situation, with the addition of coconut (or other) milk, added in 1 tbsp increments until the desired texture of a moist cake batter is reached.
 

Comments 32

  1. I am curious Ally..which protein powder do you use? There is such a wide variety out there…some with fillers, some not. Would that effect the recipe do you think? I am loathe to use up a tone of powder if it is wont function ($$$$!)!! These look really yummy and I LOVE lemon!

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      Author

      Great question Tessa! I tend to use 100% grass fed whey protein most often when baking, but often sub in vanilla flavoured yellow pea protein as well if I’m making snacks to feed others who might have intolerances or other dietary needs. When choosing protein powders, always get the most natural as there really isn’t any need to spend more on those with sweeteners or nutrient fortifications. It won’t really affect the recipe itself, but these inclusions usually seem to make the protein powders even more expensive!

  2. Hey Ally. I tryed to do them and failed 🙁 mine were very dry how do you think that happend? is the amount of wet ingredients realy sufficient?

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      Author

      I’m sorry to hear they were dry 🙁 Did they hold their shape or were crumbly/brittle?
      The issue here is more than likely with the coconut flour, as it’s a very thirsty flour of which some brands can absorb more liquid than others. What consistency was the final batter before baking?

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      Author

      The amount of lemon juice is measured by volume, so it could vary depending on the size/type of lemons used. I tend to use whey protein when baking (very similar to what you linked to), so I’m still leaning towards a very thirsty coconut flour being the culprit here 🙁 The batter needs to be well moistened after mixing, if it’s brittle and dry going in it’s definitely going to come out worse! Sorry for the bad baking experience 🙁

      1. Coconut flour is slow to absorb liquid and it needs to sit for a bit (up to 10 minutes) to get fully hydrated. Even if you live in a dry area, there should be enough liquid in this recipe for a moist batter. If not, add a tablespoon of water.

  3. Hi there! These look delicious! Random question though – what recipe plug in do you use for your site? I like the layout here and need to decide on one for my own site. Thanks!

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      Author

      Lime sounds amazing Lindsay 😀 I’m totally going to do that!
      I’ve had a couple of people with either too thirsty coconut flour. If you have any issues, add a little more liquid (either more lime juice or some coconut milk etc) until it resembles a thick cake batter.
      Let me know how it goes!

  5. Hi.. I love lemons and all things sour and can’t wait to try this recipe but I’m not crazy about coconut 🙁 I can do flour and oil but not the pieces 🙁 What can I use as a substitute? Or can I omit it all together? I don’t want to ruin the consistency.. Thanks!

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      Author

      You could omit the dessicated coconut, but as a recipe these flavours were used for balance so I’m not 100% sure what it will taste like if you take out all the coconut ingredients. My best suggestion would be to take out the dessicated coconut and use a little more almond meal. Be aware that it will change the flavour as well as the texture, not sure sorry 🙁

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      Hi Jessica, glad to hear you’re excited! I don’t have any nutrition information sorry, as I am not in the habit of calorie counting or etc. I recommend putting the ingredients into a website like ‘Calorie Count’ for the best estimates 🙂

    1. Post
      Author

      You can definitely freeze these Erin, that’s exactly what I do to enjoy later 🙂 Freeze after cutting – either snap freeze on a baking tray, or wrap in cling wrap or aluminium foil then bags, label and freeze for up to 3 months.
      Then either defrost portions in the fridge overnight or pop straight into lunch boxes/bags to enjoy it at room temperature at lunch time.

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      Hi Tania, you can definitely use whole wheat flour instead. You might need to experiment a little with the liquid volumes to get the consistency right but it will still taste delicious 🙂

  6. Mine turned out really dry too, and I followed the recipe exact. I even took them out of the oven 5 minutes earlier. The mixture was very gooey and moist going into the oven so I’m not sure where this recipe is going wrong. The smell of the kitchen was Amazing, but these were far too dry and because of that the flavour wasn’t there.

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      Author

      I’m definitely going to have to troubleshoot this recipe, I’ve made it a few times as it’s written in the post and it always comes out perfectly for me 🙁 I’m going to experiment with another brand of coconut flour I think and check my oven calibration as one of those things should explain the issues

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  8. Hi Alison, mine too came out really dry – more like a crumbly biscuit that a formed bar such as yours. I’ve used Organic Fair Trade coconut Baking Flour from Tiana Organics. I also used Garden of Life Raw Protein (sprouted brown rice) protein powder, which I think might also be very thirsty. It was a very dry mix going in (more like a crumble topping that with slightly too much butter). What texture of mixture should we be aiming for (cake batter?) and how deep should the mixture be when baking? Thanks

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      Author

      Hi Sarah, I’m sorry to hear about how dry it came out, it definitely should have been more like a cake batter going into the oven so I can see that you definitely needed more liquid in this instacne. I’ve been testing this recipe over and over every time someone has an issue and unfortunately using my ingredients at home I’m still not having the same issues 🙁 I can definitely see it would be extremely frustrating though!!
      The texture should be like a wet cake batter and the depth is approximately 2cm within a 20x20cm baking tin. I have added a couple of notes to the recipe a few days ago for how to reach the right consistency, I’m sorry that I added it too late to help you with your bars though 🙁

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  10. These sound great. Wondering if you’ve done a nutritional analysis and I’m just not seeing it? If not, I can do it myself. Just looking to avoid reinventing the wheel.
    Thanks!

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