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Healthy Lemon Squares

Sometimes, it feels like health-conscious parents can’t catch a break.

Sometimes, it feels like health-conscious parents can’t catch a break.

Just when you’ve managed to get past all of those Halloween treats (and the accompanying sugar highs), Christmas candy canes show up.

And when you’re done with those, Valentine’s chocolates start appearing.

Then they make way for eggs, chocolate bunnies and cream-filled chicks. I’m really looking forward to a few months without a treat-oriented holiday in sight.

Meanwhile, I’m selling my kids on the idea of spring-themed treats as a replacement for excess chocolate eggs. These lemon squares might just help me to convince them.

If you can find Meyer lemons, they really are worth the extra expense. Not as sour as regular citrus, they’re vibrant tasting and very easy to juice and zest. But any lemon will do. The addition of the wheatgerm to the crust gives it a nutty flavour, which is a nice foil for the lemony-ness of the squares.

This is a recipe with lots of opportunities for kids to get involved.

They can help with pressing the crust into the pan, cracking eggs, grating the frozen butter.

And, of course, they can do what they do best: Scarf back the resulting delicious treats.


  • 2 cups (500 mL) all purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) wheat germ

  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) icing sugar

  • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt

  • 2 sticks frozen butter


  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) all purpose flour

  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon rind

  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) lemon juice (about 4 Meyer lemons)

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 egg yolk

  • Icing Sugar


1. In a bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, icing sugar and salt. Grate the sticks of frozen butter with a cheese grater into the flour mixture. Toss the frozen butter curls into the flour mixture until you have a mealy texture. Press the loose dough into 13 x 9 inch (3 L) baking dish and use your hands to flatten it. Refrigerate for the dough for about 15 minutes.

2. Bake the rust in a 350 F (180 C) oven for about 15 to 18 minutes or until it’s just beginning to turn golden.

3. Filling: In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, lemon rind and juice, eggs and egg yolk. Whisk until ingredients are well blended. Gently pour the filling mixture onto the hot crust. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the filling has just set.

4. Allow to cool completely before slicing into squares. Dip your knife in warm water before each cut to ensure clean cuts.

Recipe courtesy of Sweet Potato Chronicles.

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