These no-bake coconut lemon bliss bars are citrusy, sweet, and surprisingly healthy! They’re so addicting, it’s hard to believe they’re packed with nutrients like protein, collagen, and heart healthy omega 3’s.
I spent a good chunk of my time last week developing recipes for bliss balls. BALLS. Not bars. You read that correctly. I decided to salvage a failed attempt by turning it into bliss bars, instead. I topped them with a quick berry compote and the result was even better than I expected, so I had to share with you guys!
Bliss bars (balls, whatever) are basically healthy treats packed with nutrient dense foods such as nut butters, seeds, or dried fruit and are generally free of ingredients like refined sugar and dairy. These are both dairy and refined sugar free, as well as gluten free. Even the berry compote, which is pretty sweet, has no refined sugar and is packed with heart healthy omega-3’s from the chia seeds! A little kicker I picked up from Minimalist Baker. I love the texture of the seeds, plus it’s a good way to sneak in some extra fiber and protein.
So back to last week’s bliss ball misfortune. I’m actually super impressed with how quickly I adapted after realizing the mixture was too crumbly to work with. I looked in the fridge for some inspo and saw a box of untouched strawberries and voila—enter compote idea. I had never made a fruit compote before, but I knew it was easy and that I could use it to add some natural sweetness to the bars while keeping the integrity of their nutritional value. Plus, berries and nuts go together like PB&J (literally), so I knew it would likely be delicious. And that’s how bliss bars were born.
Very Top Chef-esque of me, right?
I guess watching all those cooking competition shows are paying off! Lol. Every week, my brother and I get together to cook and eat and watch all our favorite foodie shows. It’s serious. If you follow my Instagram stories, you probably already know about all our cooking ventures. Also, this is going to be a bit of a tangent, but speaking of food competition shows—I have now run into two Master Chef contestants randomly while living in LA. That doesn’t happen everywhere, okay?
When I first moved out here in 2013, I waited on Dara Yu (girl with the big bow) from Season 1 of Master Chef Junior. She came in for brunch with her family shortly after the finale aired (yes, she was wearing a bow) and they told us our food was too salty. So that was a cool experience.
And then earlier this year, I got the joy of working with Olivia Crouppen—an amazing food stylist and personal chef who was on Master Chef Season 6. I got to assist her on a couple shoots that I helped conceptualize content for. It was really fun to observe her at work. She has a natural way of making things look beautiful and effortless at the same time. Which is the goal with food styling, so it was definitely a very inspiring experience. And she didn’t tell me my food was salty, so that was cool.
Living in LA can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but I’m very grateful for all the opportunities it has brought me. I also got to meet David Schwimmer. Ross from Friends. #BLESSED
Okay, anyway. In addition to being good for you, these bars are f*king delicious. The bar itself is nutty and slightly citrusy from the lemon. I added some crushed up freeze-dried strawberries to the mixture because, initially, I wasn’t going to be covering them in berry compote. But the flavor ends up getting overpowered a little by the compote, so it’s totally optional!
I made a blueberry and a strawberry compote because 1) I wanted to create a trippy galaxy look with the two colors and 2) strawberries can be super sweet, so I wanted to balance it out with a little tartness. Which is also why I made the blueberry compote with lemon juice, instead of orange juice.
This way, not every bite is the same. Some are sweet, some are tart, some citrusy, and some are a delicious balance of all three. What I do know is that every bite is addicting, so good luck eating just one!
Coconut lemon bliss bars + quick berry compote
For the bliss bars
- 1 1/2 cups desiccated (or shredded) coconut
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 tbsp coconut butter
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1-2 tbsp honey
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp aloe vera juice (or coconut water or water)
- 1/4 cup freeze-dried strawberries, crushed (optional)
For the strawberry and blueberry compotes
- 2 cups strawberries, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice (I used a blood orange)
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp chia seeds (optional)
For the bliss bars
If using freeze-dried strawberries, pulse food processor to create a dust/crumb mixture. Make sure coconut butter is softened and oil is melted. If solid, place jars in a sauce pan with a couple inches of water over low heat to loosen. Stir coconut butter well to combine.
Line an 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. Add all ingredients for bars to a food processor and pulse to combine. Process mixture until everything is well incorporated and starts to stick together.
Dump mixture into baking dish and spread out evenly. Press the bottom of a measuring cup against the mixture to flatten the top. Cover and store in the fridge.
For the berry compotes
In a small saucepan, combine the strawberries and freshly squeezed orange juice. In another saucepan, add the blueberries and fresh lemon juice. Turn both to medium heat until mixture starts to bubble. Mash fruit with a wooden spoon and lower the heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, mashing the fruit every few minutes.
Remove compote mixtures from heat and transfer to separate jars to cool. If you’d like to add chia seeds to either compote, now is the time. I found the blueberry compote slightly tart, so I also added 1 tbsp of honey and a pinch of cinnamon to balance it out. Adjust to taste.
Top the refrigerated bliss mixture with berry compote and cut into bars with a sharp knife. I like to create a sort of galaxy look by adding random globs of each compote by the spoonful and then swirling them together with a spatula.
Store bars and extra compote in refrigerator to use on toast, pancakes, waffles, or ice cream.