Tuesday, March 29, 2016

IIFYM Lemon Bars

What do I mean by IIFYM (if it fits your macros)? I mean that these bars are not high in any one macronutrient, therefore they're low in calories and can easily become a part of your diet without blowing your macro goals for the day. I adapted this recipe from one I found here, and made it more flexible dieter friendly. 

They're easy to whip up and a guaranteed crowd pleaser! Who doesn't like cheesecake? I made two batches and took them with me to two different Easter brunches this weekend. The fresh lemon is tart and delicious without being overpowering and the coconut palm sugar adds just enough sweetness to be refreshing but not leave you feeling icky. You know, that gross feeling after eating a doughnut or a heavily frosted cupcake? Using erythritol (like Swerve) instead of coconut palm sugar could save you even more calories. This recipe serves 12. 



  • 6 full sheet graham crackers, made into crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted (or melted coconut oil)


  • 6 ounces (168g) light whipped cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (181g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar 
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)2
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest2
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides to easily lift the bars out of the pan before cutting. Set aside.
  2. Make the crust: Mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together in a medium bowl until combined. Evenly press crust into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Make the filling: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until completely smooth, about 1 minute. On medium-high speed, beat in yogurt until completely combined. Then beat in the egg white and egg yolk until combined. Finally, beat in the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract until everything is combined and no lumps remain.
  4. Pour filling onto the crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center of the bars no longer jiggles (remove from the oven and gently wiggle the pan to check). Allow the bars to cool at room temperature set on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 3-4 hours or even overnight.
  5. Once chilled, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into 12 squares. For neat squares, I use a very sharp knife and wipe it clean with a paper towel after each cut. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  6. Make ahead tip: Prepare the bars 1-3 days in advance and store covered tightly in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Macros for one bar:
Calories: 115
Fat: 5g
Carbs: 14g
Protein: 3g
Sugar: 8g


  1. Looks good!

    When you count carbs, are you subtracting out the fiber? Or are you listing total carbs?

  2. 3 Studies SHOW How Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    The meaning of this is that you literally burn fat by consuming coconut fat (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from big medical magazines are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world upside down!