Nicole MacPherson: Meatless Mummy Con Carne


Chewy, Nut-Free High Protein Granola Bars



I have two tween boys, and the sheer volume of food that they can put away really makes me fear for the teen years. What is going to happen when they hit their real growth spurt?  We go through snacks like nobody's business around here, and because of my reluctance to purchase many packaged items, I am always baking something for them to nosh on. Lately I've been focused on making snacks that are high in protein, so the boys are satisfied for more than twenty minutes at a time and so I can go for more than one day between baking marathons.

This is one of those weird recipes that I wait for my family to sample and say Wow, these are delicious! before I tell them that there are lentils in it. Because oh boy, are there lentils in it. There are so many lentils in it that you might be concerned that will not be palatable. But believe me, this recipe for chocolate granola bars has quickly become a favourite around here - and because of the protein and fibre, it is very filling as well. It's a perfect snack for the lunchbox; nut-free, high protein, and delicious!

And I swear, no one will know there are lentils in it - unless you choose to tell them!

Granola lentil bars |


1 cup dry split red lentils
2 cups water
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup flour
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup chocolate chips, plus another 1/4 cup for topping


  In a medium saucepan, bring lentils and water to a boil. Allow to simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are extremely soft. Drain excess water and mash with a fork. Set aside and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper.

  Stir together oats, flour, flax, salt, and cinnamon. Add maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and mashed lentils. Mix well until combined. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

  Spread into prepared baking pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until edges are browned.

  Melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips, and spread over top while still warm. Allow to cool entirely before cutting into bars.

  Store in the refrigerator. These also freeze exceptionally well.


Granola lentil bars |

Mmmm...don't those lentils look appetizing? Don't worry, no one will guess. I promise!

Granola lentil bars |

Make sure you let it cool before cutting - no matter how tempting!

Granola lentil bars |

Granola lentil bars |

 Want more delicious school snacks? Try my Nut Free, Gluten Free, Added Sugar Free Energy Bars, my Nut-Free, School-Safe, No-Bake Granola Bars, or my Protein Power Breakfast Bars.