One of my favorite food blogs is Vegan Richa. Virtually every recipe she posts is not only nutritious but drool-worthy. Recently she posted a granola recipe using lentils instead of grains. OMG, I cannot believe the brilliance! What a fabulous idea!!
My kids will NOT eat lentils and beans knowingly and getting Big A to eat protein at all is often a challenge, but the kid loves granola. I could have done an entirely lentil-only granola, but I was afraid that was too risky, so I simply added them along with the other (gluten-free) grains to bump up the protein in this granola. Oh man, so so so good!
This granola pairs some of my very favorite things: ginger, figs, and warm, sweet spices. It also happens to be gluten-free, sugar-free, and high fibre. Adding cashews would be awesome, but I kept it nut-free so the girls could take it to school. If you aren't a fan of figs, substitute with another dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, cherries or apricots.
High-Protein Ginger Fig Granola
1 cup red lentils
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbls stevia (that measures equal to sugar), or 1/2 tsp pure, uncut powdered stevia
150g package of brown rice, millet or quinoa cakes, unsalted, unflavoured, crumbled
1 cup uncooked millet
6 cups large flake oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
2 cups unsweetened pear or apple sauce
1/3 cup coconut oil
Large piece of fresh ginger, chopped (or grated if you want a less pronounced ginger taste)
1 tsp pure, uncut powdered stevia, or other sweetener, to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp apple pie spice*
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups figs, chopped
Place lentils and 2 cups water in covered pot. Bring to a boil and then drain and rinse immediately. Lentils should still be firm.
Remove excess moisture from lentils and then toss with cinnamon and sweetener and bake on parchment-lined baking sheet in the oven at 350F for about 10-15 minutes until crunchy. Do not burn. Let cool.
Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and toss together.
Pour pear/apple sauce into a pot with oil, sweetener, ginger, vanilla and seasonings. Stir over medium heat until oil melts. Drizzle over dry ingredients and stir to evenly coat grains. Spread on 2 baking sheets in an even layer and bake for 30 minutes at 350F, stirring and rotating pans at least once. Turn off oven but leave granola in the oven for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Toss with lentils and figs and store in an airtight container.
*Or pumpkin pie spice.
I have shared this recipe with Urban Naturale's Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop and Vegetarian Mamma's Gluten-Free Friday.