Sure, you can always start your morning with a bowl of oatmeal. Nothing wrong with that but I’m always looking for ways to get more protein into my diet, especially in the morning. So I came up with the (rather brilliant) idea of adding lentils to my homemade granola bars. Similar to a date squares these bars have an oat crust, a fruit filling and a crumble topping. Lentils are incredibly versatile; their natural nutty, earthy flavour takes on the essence of whatever you are cooking them with. In addition to being a lean source of protein, lentils are a great source of dietary fibre. They’re also high in folate, iron and potassium. Holly superfood!
Unlike beans, lentils don’t require any soaking so you can simmer up a batch of lentils in a matter of minutes. I like to cook up a big pot of lentils and freeze them in individual freezer bags. That way I can give a quick nutritional boost to whatever I’m cooking.
I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it. Happy baking!
Blueberry Breakfast Bars
3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, unthawed
¼ cup honey
2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup cooked green lentils
3/4 cup sliced raw almonds
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar(or brown sugar)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
8 Tbsp coconut oil
¼ cup ice water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
To prepare the filling: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the blueberries, honey, flour, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Continue stirring until berries just begin to break down and the sauce thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To prepare the crust: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse together the rolled oats and lentils until they are crumbly. Add almonds, and sesame seeds and pulse until they form a chunky, mealy texture, about 20 seconds. Add the flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder and pulse a time or two to combine. Add the egg and coconut oil. Add ice water slowly and pulse until mixture just begins to clump together.
To assemble and bake the bars: Press approximately half of the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Pour the berry filling onto the crust and spread evenly. Scatter the remaining crust mixture across the top as you would for a fruit crisp or crumble. Don’t worry about pressing it down; it will bake into the bars beautifully.
Bake until the top crumble is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan. Slice into bars. If wrapped and kept at room temperature, the bars will keep for 3 days or longer in the fridge.