5 Anti-Inflammatory Lemon Baked Good Recipes That Are Perfect for Breakfast (or Any Time)

Photo: Stocksy/Ina Peters
As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade (or a platinum music album if you’re Beyoncé, that is). And although we wish we could be as talented as Queen B, at Well+Good, you’ll likely find us using lemons to make delicious, healthy baked goods recipes loaded with fruity, refreshing citrus flavor.

No matter the occasion, we’ll have you covered with these five bakery-worthy recipes like sweet and sour lemon bars or decadent lemon rosemary olive oil cake from our healthy baking series Alt-Baking Bootcamp. And while we can’t resist the lip-puckering taste of lemons, it’s not the only reason it’s our main squeeze ingredient. Why so?

According to registered dietitians, they’re one of the best anti-inflammatory foods to eat for longevity. The Mediterranean is home to not one but two Blue Zones (Ikaria, Greece, and Sardinia, Italy), where some of the longest-living people on the planet reside—and lemons are an everyday staple in the diets of these regions. So it comes as little surprise that this form of citrus is packed with health benefits that make us want to squeeze a bit onto just about anything and everything.

For starters, lemons are a great source of vitamin C, with about 50 percent of the recommended daily amount in a single lemon and about 20 percent of the recommended daily amount in just two tablespoons of lemon juice. Of course, we know by now that vitamin C can help support immune health; however, it’s also a powerful antioxidant that can fight inflammation, as well as protect your skin from free radicals and visible signs of aging. Talk about a one-two punch. Plus, don’t sleep on the peels, either. Lemon peels are packed with calcium, potassium, and gut-healthy fiber, not to mention loads of punchy flavor.

5 protein-packed lemon baked good recipes for breakfast

1. Lemon Bars

In this episode of Alt-Baking Bootcamp, chefs Mia Rigden and Jenny Dorsey share a recipe for lemon bars that is light, tangy, and not as sweet as the traditional treat. The cooking duo makes better-for-you substitutes like honey in place of refined sugar. Unlike most lemon bar recipes, this one has shredded coconut, and believe us when we say we’re not mad about this special addition. On the contrary, the nutty fruit adds texture to every bite and about four grams of fiber per 100-gram serving. We’ll take two slices, please.

Get the recipe: Healthy Lemon Bars

2. Lemon Chia Bread

Combine two of the things we love most—lemons and bread—and you’ve got, *drumroll please*, this delicious gluten-free lemon chia bread recipe that you’ll want to eat for breakfast every morning. The recipe is made with fiber-rich flour to promote healthy digestion and keep you energized throughout the day. Plus, it’s packed with longevity-boosting omega-3s, thanks to a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds that add crunch and support proper brain and cardiovascular function. Besides that, chia seeds also contain about four grams of protein per two-tablespoon serving—a win-win.

Get the recipe: Gut-Healthy, Gluten-Free Lemon Chia Bread

3. Lemon Meringue Pie

Although this recipe has several components (meringue, crust, and filling), it’s well worth the extra steps when you take the first bite. Between the crunchy almond flour crust, the tangy lemon curd filling, and the ethereal toasted meringue, this recipe is the golden trifecta of desserts sent from the pastry gods. The recipe calls for six whole eggs packed with protein and a great way to eat the choline-rich ingredient that’s good for brain and nervous system health.

Get the recipe: Low-Sugar, Gluten-Free Lemon Meringue Pie

4. Lemon Raspberry Tart

What’s sweet, sour, and filled with loads of antioxidants? If you guessed this lemon raspberry tart recipe, you’re today’s winner. This simple recipe is made with a gluten-free crust, but the real magic is what’s on the inside: Lemon curd topped with plump, fiber-packed, and polyphenol-rich raspberries. The sweet filling is made with four whole eggs and four yolks, which basically means it’s the perfect excuse to munch on it for breakfast (and dessert, too).

Get the recipe: Gluten-Free Lemon Raspberry Tart

5. Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Just when we thought cake couldn’t get any better, we were gifted this recipe. To make this lemon cake, Mia Rigden adds olive oil into the mix. Although initially, it may sound like an odd combination, the decadent oil adds complexity and depth to transform a simple cake recipe into a restaurant-worthy one. Plus, olive oil is filled with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and, frankly, is the perfect addition to any cake recipe. Okay, maybe not more than sprinkles.

Get the recipe: Gluten-Free Olive Oil Cake

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