Recipes » Desserts » Lemon Bars
T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

Reprinted from PlantPure Comfort Food (BenBella Books, 2022).


  • 2 large Japanese sweet potatoes (about 1 pound each), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not quick oats; gluten-free if necessary)
  • ¾ cup walnuts
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, divided
  • ½ cup pitted dates, soaked
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 (13-ounce) can lite coconut milk
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup lemon juice


  • 1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and boil for 15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and let cool.
  • 2. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
  • 3. Combine the oats, walnuts, ½ cup of the coconut flakes, dates, lemon extract, and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely ground and has a sticky consistency. Add the applesauce and continue pulsing until the mixture sticks together. Press the mixture evenly into the lined baking pan.
  • 4. Combine the sweet potatoes, coconut milk, maple syrup, and lemon zest and juice in the food processor and process until creamy and smooth.
  • 5. Spread the filling over the crust and smooth the top. Place in the freezer for 3–4 hours or until completely frozen. Remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15–20 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup coconut flakes over the top. Cut into bars and serve. Store leftover bars in the freezer.

Cooking Tips

  • 1. You can substitute the maple syrup with date paste.v

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