Easy 4-Ingredient Meyer Lemon Coconut Squares

meyer lemon, coconut squares, blue background
Easy No bake lemon coconut squares. Nut free, dairy free, kid approved.

Attention coconut lovers! Today I am sharing a quick and easy recipe I developed using only 4 ingredients. It’s so easy even a monkey can do it, which is good because some days I feel like I live with a bunch.  Finding recipes that are nutritious AND delicious for kids can be enough to drive you bananas, but this one has been a real crowd-pleaser with my gang, so it gets a double “opposable thumbs up” in my book!

I love coconut.  I use it every single day in some form or another.  I even use coconut oil instead of butter in most of my recipes, as it can be substituted perfectly with no measurement adjustments to the actual recipe.  Another fave fact about coconut oil: it works perfectly to remove waterproof eye makeup! (More on that in another post.)

Anyhoo, the dullness of winter has me craving fresh and light flavours at present, so I bought a bag of Meyer lemons with the intention of working on some new recipes this past week.  I love that this is a “no bake” recipe too. It only takes about 15 minutes to make from start to finish which means you can feel accomplished and still have time to catch up on Netflix.  Keep them in the fridge for an easy snack – I’d say they should keep for a few weeks there, but I doubt they will last that long if you have coconut lovers around!  Anyway, I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as my family has – it was hard not to eat a few extra squares as I was taking the pictures!

Lemons and coconut squares

Lemon and coconut – such a bright and lively flavour combo!

Easy Meyer Lemon Coconut Squares

  • 1 Meyer Lemon (juice of and zest)

  • 1/4 tsp fine groundHimalayan sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2-3 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
  1. Grease small pan or dish (no bigger than 9×9) with a small amount of coconut oil.
  2. Melt coconut oil in medium saucepan over low heat.  Add salt and stir until dissolved.  Remove from heat.
  3. Add lemon juice and give a quick stir.  Slowly add 2 cups shredded coconut until blended and liquid is mostly absorbed.  Set aside to cool 5 mins.
  4. Check consistency of mixture.  If it appears to be too runny, add more coconut and allow it to absorb oil for another minute or so.  If a spoonful of liquid appears to be floating around the edges still it will be ok.
  5. Transfer mix to greased pan, and pat down gently but firmly.  Cover pan with plastic wrap and put in the fridge to cool for 30 mins.
  6. Cut into small squares and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Variations:

Keep in mind, that if lemon is not your thing, you could easily substitute lime, or perhaps a teaspoon of either vanilla or almond extract. I think these would also be great with a scoop of vanilla protein powder. If you want to cut out most of the sugar, substitute unsweetened coconut and add a few tablespoons of honey, maple or agave syrup instead.  Just check for sweetness as you go. Stevia would also work, but check your brand for recommended equivalence as many have varied concentrations.

Love coconut as much as I do?  Got an idea for a recipe?  Comment below and share away! Don’t forget to sign up for my blog newsletter as well.  I share lifestyle tips, recipes and stories all wrapped up in a workaholic’s sense of humour.

What Mom Really Wants for Valentines Day 

Last week (just before Valentines Day) I had a revelation.  I had one of those moments in which you suddenly see a bright light and hear angels singing.  No, I wasn’t having a stroke, but I admit that for a few minutes there I thought that I might be having a coronary.  This was something that I realized no amount of coffee, chocolate or alcohol was going to fix.  It is something that every parent experiences at some point and yet has no easy solution.  (Well nothing legal.)

For those of you who didn’t catch my video rant feel free to watch it here,  or read on and I’ll explain how this all got started.  It was a typical weekday morning in our house; everyone madly rushing around trying to get ready for school or work.  As anyone with children knows this seldom runs smoothly. At the best of times, it can resemble herding chickens.  Chickens that won’t put on their socks, can’t find their shoes and refuse to brush their teeth.

The Standoff
One of my favourite comics from dad and cartoonist Brian Gordon.
www.FowlLanguageComics.com

Most days I can handle it.  Sure, I gain a few more gray hairs and that subtle twitch in my left eye becomes less subtle each time, but I do my best to grin and bear it. This morning, however, I admit I lost it.   Discovering my daughter’s backpack was the last straw.

This was how my day started: unpacking and repacking my daughter’s lunch, throwing out perfectly preserved and untouched food which I was then replacing with freshly made versions of.

Again.

And best of all, it had been left for me to find right where she dropped it in the hallway the night before. Again.

Standing there tossing out yet another full lunch bag had me suddenly seeing red.  It was a Mommy Meltdown.  I felt my anger rising, put down my dishcloth, grabbed my coffee, and locked myself in the bathroom for a full-on Mommy timeout.

The Standoff

Why do kids do it? How can they refuse to eat and still grow? How do they survive all day at school on a pack of goldfish crackers and STILL not eat dinner?  Is she hiding her lunches and eating someone else’s?

I worry that the school thinks I don’t pack her lunches at all, let alone anything healthy. I put a lot of effort into making what I think are nutritious AND delicious lunches, but getting my kid to actually eat is more difficult than nailing jello to a tree. In fact, most parents would agree that getting a kid to do ANYTHING is a feat worthy of celebration.  Personally, I count it as a good day if I can get mine to do something with minimal repetition and eye-rolling from either of us.

While I love her to bits and do enjoy her company most days, I sometimes imagine what it would be like if we were on the same wavelength.  Following my first ever #Video Venting, most of the parents who shared their own stories with me this week have said similar things. This led me to think about all the things that drive me crazy about having a kid and what I’d like most from my child this Valentine’s Day.  It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment – we can try for one day (hell, I’d be happy if I got one hour without any of these!)

What Mom Really Wants for Valentine’s Day
  • Hear me the first time. Stop making me repeat myself – especially if we had eye contact for the entire conversation which literally ended 2.6 seconds ago.
  • Please don’t tell me”I hate that!” before I finish explaining what it is in the first place. Be open to things – even if it’s just to let me finish my sentence.
  • Think before you act. (Some parents have it harder than others with this one.) I know that the average child brain has not progressed fully to the “What if” stage in processing possible outcomes but just once I’d like for mine to question her own logic before deciding to play soccer in the house.
  • Hearing me start the shower is NOT the time to raid the pantry; neither is hiding your ill-gained loot in the couch cushions and then forgetting it half-eaten. You will get burned on both accounts.
  • I am not your maid.  I am your mother.  Show me a little respect and consideration by not leaving a trail of dirt and grime and god-knows-what else for me to find.

I realize that many of these are things that have to be learned and the parent it is my job to teach them. I just wish the learning curve was a little better some days.

In short, I dream of a time in which I won’t have to repeat myself and threaten the use of a cattle prod to get results.  I dream of walking across my floor and not stepping on Lego or grapes. I long to be able to sit down and watch ANYTHING on TV that I want before 10:30pm. And I long to have a proper conversation on a deep and meaningful level about almost anything.

But most importantly, I want to STOP SOUNDING LIKE MY OWN MOTHER!

Every time I reprimand or correct my own kid, I hear the echo of my mother scolding me; and probably for the same things.  No matter how hard we try to avoid it, we can never truly escape the cycle.  This is very tough for most parents to cope with, as we desperately want to hold on to the belief that we are nothing like our own parents.  It is also the perfect opportunity for the grandparents to revel in some karmic backlash for all the abuse they put up with as parents themselves.  I believe the saying goes “grandchildren are the reward for not killing your own kids.”

So in the end, what I’d really like for Valentine’s Day is the same thing most parents want from their kids: respect and compassion.   Respect for the values I am trying to teach and the home I am trying to maintain for my family.   Compassion for the time and effort I put into doing this on a daily basis.

No amount of chocolate hearts can equal the knowledge that someone cares for you and respects you.  This Valentine’s Day, open up your own ears and heart and try to find a thoughtful way to show your love and compassion for those around you.  Remember – a little love can go a long way.

Now excuse me. I need to go hug my own parents and thank them for putting up with me as a kid.

The Super Bowl Bond

Super Bowl 51 is happening this weekend, and it’s time to get prepping! We North Americans will be consuming massive quantities of nachos, chicken wings, pizza and beer, not to mention chips and desserts.  Hey, we’ve been good (mostly) all month and sticking to our New Year’s resolutions, so Superbowl has an added feeling of festivity.  Its kind of like Thanksgiving meets a Frat Party.

For me, it’s all about the entertaining.  I admit that I look forward to Super Bowl mainly as another excuse to cook and try out fun recipes I find on Pinterest.  However, even if you’re not a big fan of sports it’s easy to get sucked into the hype.

Football wasn’t something I was into as a teenager. (I was more a fan of F1 racing than I was of football.) But I still enjoyed the pageantry and of course, the half-time show.  I just didn’t really understand the game until much later.  I admit I do like watching team sports now and then.  My personal preferences are hockey and football thanks to my dad.  Growing up, there was usually a game on the TV at some point over the weekend.  While I seldom sat still long enough to watch much, it still became part of the background noise to my childhood.  I find it oddly comforting, and I know that I will forever think of my dad when I hear or see a game on TV.

Growing Up Without Sports

As an only child and a girl at that, we didn’t connect much through sports. My dad was (is?) sort of a small-town athlete hero, and  I was constantly reminded of this growing up.  He held a mild form of celebrity status and in my early years I was often fascinated by – and proud of – how everyone seemed to know him.  Even when I was old enough to venture out on my own, I would invariably be recognized by someone as “His Daughter.”

I was more interested in the arts and music.  By the time I got to high school, this was pretty apparent.  I chose to attend the same school as both my parents, but I didn’t realize just how strong my dad’s reputation was still until I got there.  I still recall the crestfallen look on my high school guidance counselor’s face whose dreams of a legacy I had to crush.  When he asked me, “Do you run?” at the end of the personal tour he gave me, I tried to let him down gently.

So I kept to the art and drama rooms and left the gym to my athletically inclined peers.  Dad never questioned my choice and was always supportive in his own way.  While I got hooked on grunge music and wearing Doc Martins, he never gave me a hard time about it.  Even still, we developed a kind of truce: we tolerated each other’s preferences as long as we both kept the volume down.

Coming To Terms

It was in my adulthood that Dad and I finally started to bond over sports,and I think that football was a big part of it. I’m not exactly sure how or when it happened, but I suspect that I was, well, bored. Whatever the case, I finally sat down next to him and started asking questions.  I’m not sure who was more surprised: my dad that I asked, or me that he answered.

Now thanks to him I have a basic understanding of football and hockey.  I also actually enjoy watching a game now and then. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to either, but I have a better appreciation for the game.

The Saga Continues

The Super Bowl is THE one game I get to watch in my house.  This may shock some people, being that my own husband was an athlete. Yes, he was a rower – and (not to brag) a damn good one – but he just isn’t into watching sports. Of any kind. Especially football.

Lucky for me he understands and lets me have the family over on Super Bowl Sunday.  He knows how much this connection means to me, and how I want to include our daughter in it.  Watching sports can offer opportunities to learn about sportsmanship and the excitement of the game.  I wish I’d learned that when I was younger.  Now, I want my own daughter to understand this and I know my dad is a perfect person to teach her.  It took me far too long in my own life to find this bond with my dad, and I don’t want her to miss out on a chance to do so with her grandfather.