Creamy Lime Bars with Coconut Almond Oat Crust

So chia seeds have really found a place in my kitchen, especially for desserts. They're a great thickener for many sweet dishes such as puddings and “cheesecake”, as well as an easy, dairy-free & healthy way to thicken & texturize dressings and sauces. These tiny, nutrient-dense seeds are loaded with fiber, protein, and omega-3s. The fiber content alone really helps to fight off hunger pangs and to quiet cravings. And it’s an easy ingredient to cook with as it doesn’t require a lot of work to incorporate into a recipe. Chia seeds are versatile and take on the flavors you’re cooking with. As always, please share your photos & comments and enjoy!!


Chef’s Notes: When you make the crust it should have a moldable, sticky quality that will stay together as you press it into the pan. Use your judgement if more oil needs to be added (if it’s too dry) or if more flour needs to be added (if it’s too wet). As for the garnishes: I personally sprinkled unsweetened coconut into the filling before it set (because I love it). But you can add your garnishes (lime zest or coconut) as the dessert is setting in the fridge or afterwards. Then after it’s completely set and you cut the bars, you can add lime slices or whipped coconut cream. That’s an easy recipe I’ve posted before. (Basically all you need is a refrigerated can of coconut cream, a dash of vanilla, a few teaspoons of honey and a mixer and you’ve got a delicious whipped cream.)


Ingredients-

For the Crust:

* 3/4 cup almond meal

* 1/4 cup instant oats

* 1/3 cup coconut flour

* 2 Tbsp honey

* 1 egg (beaten)

* 1/4 cup solid coconut oil


For the Lime Filling:

* ¾ cup lime juice

* 1 Tbsp lime zest

* ½ cup honey

* 1/2 tsp salt

* 3 whole eggs

* 3 egg yolks

* ½ cup coconut oil

* 1 Tbsp chia seeds


For Garnish (options):

* Lime slices, halved

* Lime zest

* Unsweetened shredded coconut

* Whipped coconut cream


Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9x9 square glass baking pan with parchment paper.

2. For the Crust: In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond meal, coconut flour, honey, egg, and solid coconut oil together. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the mixture is crumbly. With the back of a large spoon, press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Then bake it for 15 minutes (or until the surface of the crust is golden brown.)

3. For the Lime Filling: While the crust is baking, make the filling. Combine the lime juice, lime zest, salt, honey, eggs, yolks, and coconut oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Using a whisk, stir well for a few minutes until combined. Next, pour this mixture (which will still be liquidy) through a strainer, or mesh sieve, or a chinois, into a medium pot, to remove any lumps.

4. Heat the filling liquid in the pot over medium heat, while whisking it continuously for approximately 5 minutes. When it begins to thicken, turn off the heat but continue whisking for another minute. The filling should now be thick and curd-like.

5. Add the chia seeds to the filling mixture and stir to distribute them evenly.

6. For the Bars: Pour the filling on top of the crust and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Then place the pan in the refrigerator for at least three hours to chill, until the top is firm to the touch. By gently lifting the parchment, remove the whole dessert from the pan and cut it into bars or small squares. Garnish each square with a small lime slice, extra lime zest, unsweetened shredded coconut, or even whipped coconut cream, if you wish.


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