When I announced to my family I was going to make brownies with lentils in them last night, my teenager was skeptical.
“Are you sure, Mom? Like, they’d better be good. If they aren’t, you can take them to work and I won’t eat them. Wouldn’t that just be a waste of chocolate? I mean..what’s a lentil anyway? And why is it in my brownies?!”
Lentils are a member of the legume family and come in a variety of colors, but they are most commonly red or green. Split lentils just mean that the seed coat around the lentil was removed, and the inner part of the lentil was split in half. These cook a little faster and are really great for purees, while whole lentils are better for salads.
Many people associate lentils with foods such as curries or soups but the reality is, you can use them in all kinds of things! Full of protein, potassium, fiber, iron, and so much more, the little lentil really is a powerhouse of healthy goodness and it is gluten free! How’s that for amazing? In addition, lentils are grown right here in Canada and they are a nitrogen fixing crop, which means that they actually give back to the environment by replacing nitrogen in the soil they are grown in.
But who knew you could put them in brownies? Here's a recipe that I tested from Lentils.ca:
½ cup butter
½ cup lentil puree
¾ cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts (optional)
Melt butter; mix in lentil puree, cocoa, sugar, and salt. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix in vanilla, flour, chocolate chips (and walnuts).
Bake in a greased 9x13 inch pan at 350 F (175 C) for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
*Lentil puree: place cooked or rinsed and drained canned lentils into a food processor. Or every 1 cup lentils, add ¼ cup water. Blend to make a smooth puree with a consistency like canned pumpkin. If needed, add additional water 1 tbsp at a time.
How did those lentil brownies turn out? I have to tell you, at first I was skeptical but once I tasted them, I couldn’t help but agree that they were really, seriously tasty. Moist and packed with chocolate, nobody would guess that healthy little lentils are hiding in them, ready to impart a little extra protein and iron. My family loved them, my neighbor requested a taste, and I think I’ll be baking another batch very soon. You have to try these!
May is Love your Lentils Month. Canadian Lentils has teamed up with Food Day Canada to bring you a wonderful contest where restaurants from all across the country create dishes with lentils and you vote—or ‘love’—them. Each time you do, you are entered to win an amazing trip to Prince Edward Island to celebrate Food Day Canada with Chef Michael Smith as he prepares an incredible feast for you with ingredients from his favourite farms, distilleries, oyster beds, and of course, Canadian lentils!
We are also giving away TEN copies of Chef Michael Smith’s new cookbook “100 of my Favourite Easy Recipes” right here so you can get in the kitchen and begin cooking yourself!
All you have to do is tell me what your favourite lentil dish is in the comment section below!
You have until June 8, 2012 and be sure you've registered your email address in our commenting system so we can contact you if you win.