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Level 6: Soft & Bite-Sized Lemon Coconut Balls

Lemon Coconut Balls

These Level 6: Soft & Bite-Sized Lemon Coconut Balls perfectly fit the soft & bite sized dysphagia diet!


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When life gives you lemons

When life gives you lemons, what do you make? For me, it’s ALWAYS lemon bars. I’m talking about 30 batches of lemon bars in a year. I love the sweetness and sourness that’s combined in one bite. 

In Southern Arizona, we have a huge citrus growing season. Yes, we have lemons and oranges here too…it’s not just California. My neighbors have giant trees and they’re always putting boxes of citrus out in their yard, free for the taking. I take advantage of this act of kindness. 

This year, I told myself I was going to branch out and make something other than lemon bars. It was a sad transition at the beginning, but I’m glad I did it. I found so many lemon desserts that I liked – from lemon pound cake, to lemon curd, to lemon cheesecake. And then I decided to come up with a ‘healthy’ recipe. 

There may be some ingredients in this recipe that you don’t have in your pantry, like almond flour and coconut flakes. It might be an excellent investment to make because I’m a believer it will help keep your dysphagia diet versatile. That way you won’t get bored with always eating the same things. 

This recipe is EXTREMELY easy. You’ll need a food processor, but I bet you could make it in a ninja if you have one. Just add the coconut flakes and blend them until they’re a fine powder. Then add all the other ingredients and blend until you have a smooth paste. You’ll need to taste and adjust for more acidity and/or sweetness as needed! 

Shape them into 1.5 cm balls, roll them in powdered sugar and coconut flakes and Voila, you’re done! Just be sure to do the fork test to ensure it’s the correct consistency.

My lemon balls are a bit larger than they should be for the sake of a photograph. Please make sure yours are small, bite-sized pieces to fit the Level 6: Soft & Bite-Sized requirements.

Level 6: Soft & Bite-Sized

Level 6: Soft & Bite-Sized is appropriate for individuals who have good tongue control and force and can manage chewing. At this level, the size of each bite is predetermined, and can be appropriate for individuals with some pain or difficulty chewing, or those who may not choose appropriate bite sizes without help.

Food pieces can be no larger than 15mm square for adults or 8mm square for children. Foods must have no separate thin liquid, but should be soft and moist. The pressure from a fork or spoon must be able to mash the pieces easily; this is called the Fork Pressure or Spoon Pressure Test. In these tests, the utensil must be able to easily cut through or break apart the food using only the side of the utensil. When mashing the sample to test, only use as much pressure as causes your thumbnail or fingernail to blanche white. After mashing, the food must not return to its original shape. We recommend watching IDDSI’s Youtube video of the Fork Pressure and Spoon Pressure Test before you cook as well as during the testing of your final modified portion.

Always test your food before serving to ensure that it meets all the IDDSI testing guidelines.

Lemon Coconut Bars

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Lemon Coconut Bars
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Level 6: Soft & Bite-Sized Lemon Coconut Balls

These Level 6: Soft & Bite-Sized Lemon Coconut Balls perfectly fit the soft & bite sized dysphagia diet!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Soft & Bite-Sized
Servings: 4


  • food processor


  • blended coconut flakes
  • 1 ¾ cup almond flour
  • cup lemon juice
  • cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Scant ¼ c coconut oil
  • 1 pinch flaky salt
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • Additional coconut flakes for rolling


  • Blend coconut flakes in a food processor until fine powder.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Mix powdered sugar and additional coconut flakes together in a bowl.
  • Roll almond flour mixture into small, bite-sized balls.
  • Then roll all balls into powdered sugar and coconut flakes mixture.

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