These vegan strawberry lemonade bars scream SUMMER. They’re made with just a handful of ingredients, including one surprise vegetable addition!
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: gluten-free, vegan
¼teaspoonfine sea salt
¼cupcoconut oil, melted
¼cuppure maple syrup
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
Strawberry Lemonade Filling
1cuppeeled and small-cubed (⅓-inch cubes) Yukon gold potato (about 1 medium potato)
1cupfresh hulled or thawed frozen strawberries
¾cupfresh lemon juice (about 3 to 4 large, juicy lemons)
½cupcoconut oil, melted
¼cupplus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2teaspoonspure vanilla extract
¼teaspoonkala namak (black salt) or fine-grain sea salt
For the Crust
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper (Double-check your pan size—a 9 x 9-inch pan won't work for this recipe).
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oat flour, coconut flour, and sea salt. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla, and stir well to combine. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. The dough will be soft and slightly spongy.
Scoop the dough into the lined pan, and use your fingers to press and spread it into an even layer. Just keep working it out toward the edges of the pan until you have a thin, even layer. Use a fork to poke several holes across the surface to vent.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges are just barely turning golden and the crust feels softly set but not yet crisp. Let cool completely in the pan.
For the Strawberry Lemonade Filling
The potato needs to be measured precisely, so make sure you have exactly 1 cup of small-cubed potato, and steam it in a steamer or steamer basked for 20 to 25 minutes, or until fork-tender. (Avoid steaming in the microwave.)
Add the strawberries to a food processor and process until puréed.
Once the potato is ready, add it to the food processor along with the lemon juice, arrowroot, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and kala namak. Process for 2 to 3 minutes, or until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
Transfer to a large saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the filling thickens and becomes slightly translucent. Be careful not to overheat.
Pour the filling over the crust. Loosely cover the pan and chill in the freezer* for 3 hours. Then, transfer to the refrigerator and chill for another 3 hours, or until the filling has set well enough to slice. The filling will continue to firm up and thicken the longer the bars are refrigerated, so keep this in mind if you prefer a denser, thicker filling.
Gently lift the bar out of the pan. Slice into 16 small squares. If desired, sift a bit of powdered sugar over top.
Return the bars to the parchment-lined pan and keep chilled. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
*If you don't want to mess with transferring between freezer and fridge, you can simply chill in the refrigerator overnight. The freezer step is merely there to expedite the chilling process.