If you’ve been reading my site for some time, you likely know that I do not label the way I eat. I don’t follow any particular diet or identify with any particular eating strategy. I eat whole/real/nourishing foods the majority of the time but I also eat things that don’t fit these descriptors when I want them…I don’t exclude anything from my diet unless I don’t like it. This moderation approach works really, really well for me.

Recently my friend/writer extraordinaire Peter Barrett interviewed me about my book for a local publication called The Chronogram. He really captured what I am about- he called the piece The Moderator!- and I could not be more pleased with the article. I encourage you to read it here.

lemons | www.healthygreenkitchen.com
lemon bars | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

In other news, January was a rough month. It was cold and filled with a lot of bad news. I am hoping for warmer, happier days in February, and these Meyer Lemon Ricotta Bars symbolize that hope.

lemon ricotta bars | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

If super tart is what you seek in a lemon dessert, these may not be for you (try these lemon bars instead). Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons and the ricotta cheese “mellows” these bars, so they won’t make you pucker up. They are bursting with lovely citrus flavor, though; you can find the recipe I used for inspiration over on food52. (The easy crust recipe comes from One Bowl Baking: Simple, From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts.)

There is sugar in this recipe and as Peter wrote in the Chronogram article, my stance on sugar has really softened in recent years. Though I wrote in my book that it is best avoided, I currently eat sweet foods, such as these lemon bars, without any guilt or worry. Do I eat 5 of them at a time on an empty stomach? No. I cut them very small and eat one or two at a time after a meal. This is moderation in action. You can find my current thoughts on sugar in this post, if you’d like more clarification on this topic.

I sure hope your February is as lovely as these Lemon Ricotta Bars :)

lemon ricotta bars | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Recipe for Meyer Lemon Ricotta Bars

Yield: 20-40 bars, depending on how big you slice them

I made these airy, creamy lemon bars with Meyer lemons. You may use regular lemons instead but you may wish to increase the sugar if you do so. After you blend everything, give the filling a little taste. If it's not sweet enough for you, simply add a bit more sugar: I'd start with 1/4 cup, then blend, taste again, and add a little more, if necessary.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

*2 cups all-purpose flour (I used Jovial Organic Einkorn Flour
*3/4 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar, organic if you can fine it
*1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
*12 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, preferably organic

For the filling:
*1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, store-bought or homemade
*1 cup sugar (I used organic, fair-trade sugar)
*4 eggs, preferably organic and free-range (I used eggs from my chickens)
*3/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (from about 6 Meyer lemons)
*1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used organic Einkorn flour)
*Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
*1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
*confectioner's sugar for dusting the finished bars

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Make the crust: Combine the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and mix until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. (You may need to dip your fingers into a little flour or confectioners’ sugar to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers.) Bake for about 15 minutes until golden, then set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

3. Make the filling: In a blender, combine the ricotta cheese, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, flour, lemon zest, and salt. Blend until smooth, then taste to make sure it is sweet enough for you.

4. Pour the filling over the baked crust and bake for about 30 minutes longer, until the filling is just set. Allow the bars to cool, then cut into squares and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

meyer lemon ricotta bars | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

More of my lemon dessert recipes:
Gluten-free Triple Lemon Pie
Meyer Lemon Cream Tart
Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Meyer Lemon Curd and Meyer Lemon Frozen Yogurt

*This post contains Amazon.com affiliate links. When you make a purchase via one of my links, I make a small commission on the sale. This helps to support my blogging activities…thank you for your support.

 

31 Comments

  1. 1

    Meyer Lemon Ricotta Bars | Ad Free Stuff — February 5, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

    […] Winnie If you’ve been reading my site for some time, you likely know that I do not label the way I […]

  2. 2

    Joyti — February 5, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

    I hope your February is as bright as the lemon bars too :) January is always a tough month, even without bad extra things to deal with.

    The bars look delicious!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

      Thank you…this month is looking up already!

  3. 3

    Andie — February 5, 2014 @ 4:13 pm

    Hooray for einkorn!!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

      I love baking with it so much!

  4. 4

    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — February 5, 2014 @ 4:23 pm

    Winnie – these look absolutely lovely! A bright lemon dessert is just the thing to help us out of a cold winter rut! Wishing you a happy February!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

      Thank you Amanda!

  5. 5

    Erin — February 5, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

    Yummy! These look amazing. Definitely pinning.

    XOXO,
    Erin

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

      Thanks Erin!

  6. 6

    Lizthechef — February 5, 2014 @ 9:18 pm

    Winnie, our Meyer lemon tree is covered with fruit and I can’t wait to try these. Read the article and enjoyed it a great deal.

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

      Thanks Liz! So jealous of your lemons. I tried to grow a Meyer lemon tree here once but it did not work out :(

  7. 7

    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — February 5, 2014 @ 9:35 pm

    I’ve been baking as many things as I can with Meyer lemons from my tree. These bars are gorgeous, love the ricotta!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2014 @ 10:13 pm

      Thanks Laura!

  8. 8

    Liren — February 5, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with the Moderator approach. But I will admit that I would struggle from inhaling these beautiful bars. Sorry January was rough. Here’s to a better February! And more sunny lemons.

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2014 @ 10:13 pm

      So jealous that you live in California…we got over a foot of snow yesterday!

  9. 9

    Daphne @ Veggiestyle With Daphne — February 6, 2014 @ 4:46 am

    I just read you long sugar post. So glad I did! After restricting my diet in multiple ways for a couple of years I’m now slowly getting used to a moderate but omnivore diet of mostly whole foods but with treats as well. I feel a lot better and people notice too. I’ve put on some weight, my skin isn’t so pale anymore, I feel warmer and I feel happier and don’t feel so ‘zoned out’ anymore. Not all people might agree with this, but I think that by chosing this earthly life as a soul I also chose to experience earthly stuff like the occasional sugary treat. Only to enjoy it to the fullest and feel happy right then and there! It’s part of loving life for me. And being happy equals being healthy for me. Thanks for the great post (and these gorgeous meyer lemon treats ;-)

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2014 @ 10:13 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment, Daphne :)

  10. 10

    Karen — February 6, 2014 @ 8:36 pm

    Winnie, I loved Peter’s article on you. I’ve been reading your blog for a while, so was thrilled to turn the page of my Chronogram and find you there! If you’re ever up here in Hudson, I’d love to give you a tour of Hawthorne Valley Farm -especially our creamery and lacto-fermentation cellar.

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

      I would love that, Karen!

  11. 11

    Fiona — February 7, 2014 @ 10:28 am

    Great post, and I think you read my mind as I have been thinking about lemon bars recently! :) I also try to eat healthy/in moderation/without restrictions. I love sweets and chocolate, and while I certianly don’t label them as “evil”, they can be something that I struggle to keep in moderation. Though I embrace eating sugar when I want to, I do think it can be addicting for me personally! However, I believe that if you commit to making the majority of sweets yourself and from scratch, you can rest assured knowing exactly what you are consuming and get the added benefit of making healthier substitutions/reductions if you want. Thanks for all your insight and posts!

    • Winnie replied: — February 8th, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

      A lot of people definitely struggle with moderating sweets, Fiona…you are not alone :)

  12. 12

    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — February 8, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

    My problem is that I do eat 5 on an empty stomach. :( Doesn’t matter what it’s made out of. If it’s sweet, I can’t stop myself.

    That’s so neat that you were interviewed! Going to check it out.

    And I’m sorry to hear that January was full of bad news. I hope everything is okay!

    The bars look delicious, by the way. :)

    • Winnie replied: — February 8th, 2014 @ 5:06 pm

      Everything is ok, Erin…looking better this month, for sure. Thanks and I hope you give these a try.

  13. 13

    Suzanne Collier — February 8, 2014 @ 4:11 pm

    I just made these and they are perfect! I would probably add more zest next time, but we have certainly enjoyed every bite. I garnished with a fresh strawberry and the blend of flavors is fabulous! Very satisfyingly sweet and a little tart, all at the same time!

    • Winnie replied: — February 8th, 2014 @ 5:06 pm

      I am so happy you liked them, Suzanne! I agree more zest sounds like a good plan. My kids are begging me to make them again so I will try them that way ;)

  14. 14

    JoAnn — February 9, 2014 @ 5:47 pm

    I’m definitely going to try this recipe soon! I’m in California where we have access to these wonderful lemons, although we live in the North where we had to pick all our fruit earlier this winter when we had a hard freeze. I loved the article and your commonsense approach to health. I’m enjoying your book so much, I just ordered copies for my friends who are also trying to live a healthier life style. Moderation seems like such a lost concept, it’s refreshing to find someone who teaches and lives it!

  15. 15

    Garage Gyms — February 10, 2014 @ 4:38 pm

    omg I want to try this. I actually have a meyer lemon tree that I think should produce it’s first fruits this year. I hope so, I’ve still never tried a meyer and they don’t sell them at my grocery store =/

  16. 16

    The Wimpy Vegetarian — February 10, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

    I’ve had my eye on these lemon ricotta bars since I saw them on F52. They look and sound so perfect. Thanks for the reminder – I’m definitely making them now :-)

  17. 17

    Suzanne — February 12, 2014 @ 1:18 pm

    Congratulations on the book, I just ordered it and can’t wait to read it. I follow similar eating philosophy myself. I remember this recipe on Food52 it is wonderful, I really like the crust you use. The lemon bars are great!

  18. 18

    Lemon RIcotta Bars — July 7, 2014 @ 9:56 am

    […] We used a gluten free baking mix in place of the flour called for in the original recipe. No problem! This recipe originates and is adapted from Winnie at Healthy Green Kitchen (here). […]

  19. 19

    A dessert of lemon and ricotta, nutrition included | INTERESTING FOOD RECIPES — January 3, 2015 @ 11:26 pm

    […] We used a gluten free baking mix in place of the flour called for in the original recipe. No problem! This recipe originates and is adapted from Winnie at Healthy Green Kitchen (here). […]