possibly a worlds first: lentil granola!

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As much as I love the internet, sometimes it can spoil all the fun. Especially if you have an idea, only to discover it’s been well and truly done before.

So earlier in the year, when I had the (I like to think) brilliant idea to make a Slow Carb and gluten-free version of granola using lentils, I decided not to do any internet searches on the subject.

Mostly because I wanted to believe, just for a little while, that I had been the first person in the world to think of lentil granola.

So I set about experimenting to create ‘possibly’ the worlds first legume-based granola. The perfect recipe proved elusive.

First there were the ‘Puy’ or French-style lentils that tasted way too earthy for breakfast. Then there was the ‘psyllium effect’. Let’s just say, I won’t make that mistake again.

Happily, the ‘Goldilocks’ of lentil granola came my way.

Using mild flavoured, pretty red lentils, simmered briefly and then sweetened with honey and cinnamon. We have a winner!

enough about me… how about you?

I’d love to learn more about the gorgeous people who read Stonesoup. That’s you!

So I’ve created a super-quick 4 question survey. It’s mostly multi choice and won’t take more than 2 or 3 minutes to complete.

To share your thoughts about healthy cooking and eating go to:
www.surveymonkey.com/s/FYD26XS

lentil granolalentil granola2

lentil granola
makes about 3 cups

Don’t be tempted to add psyllium to the wet granola mixture, it binds up the moisture and makes the texture really gummy and weird. Add oat bran or psyllium to the cooked and cooled granola if you’re looking for a higher fiber breakfast.

And I did try making this with Puy or French-style lentils. It was edible, but only just. Very very lentily and earthy in flavour. Red lentils work much, much better here.

250g (9oz) red lentils
100g (3.5oz) honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon or vanilla extract
200g (7oz) raw almonds
50g (2oz) shaved coconut

1. Bring a medium pot of water to the boil. Add lentils and simmer for 5 minutes or until just tender but still ‘al dente’.

2. Drain lentils and spread out on a tray. Allow to steam dry and cool. Preheat your oven to 150C (300F).

3. Combine honey, cinnamon or vanilla and 2 tablespoons macadamia or olive oil in the saucepan you used to cook the lentils. Toss the cooled lentils in the honey mixture.

4. Spread the coated lentils on a tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 15 minutes.

5. Stir and add almonds. Keep baking for another 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so.

6. When the granola has been baking for an hour add coconut and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until everything is browned. Cool and store in an airtight container.

VARIATIONS
regular granola – If lentils aren’t your thing and you’d prefer a more normal oat based granola, just replace the lentils with about 375g (3/4lb) rolled oats. And skip the boiling step.

nut-free - either skip the almonds or replace with sunflower seeds or pepitas or both.

different additives – almond and coconut are my favourite, but feel free to add in your own favourite granola flavourings. Seeds are good as are other nuts like pecans or macadamias.

chocolate for breakfast – toss in a few handfuls of cocoa nibs into the cooled granola.

higher fiber – toss in a few handfuls or oatbran in with the cooked and cooled lentils, or add psyllium to the finished product.

sweeter – I’ve kept the sugar to a minimum here. If you prefer a sweeter granola, feel free to increase the honey or stir some brown sugar in with the cinnamon. I’ve also used stevia to boost the sweetness with great results.

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video version of the recipe

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Celine from France was the lucky winner of 5 years membership to the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School [SVCS]. Congratulations!

And a big THANKYOU to everyone who purchased a copy of the 2 Minute Meal Plan during the launch. Really appreciate you supporting Stonesoup!

Cheers
Jules x

ps. I’m going to be opening the doors to the SVCS again soon!

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{ 38 comments }

Katarina May 15, 2012 at 6:21 pm

This is brilliant!

Shivi May 15, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I’ve been patiently waiting for this recipe ever since you mentioned your experimenting with the concept. Ironically enough I made my own granola yesterday for the very first time so I shall have to wait a while to finish that lot up before I make a new batch.

Those blueberries look amazing :) My mum never seems to add them to our weekly shopping list as they always seem so expensive and the frozen ones never compare

jules May 17, 2012 at 9:55 am

Hi Shivi
Blueberries are super expensive… I’ve planted my first blueberry bush.. if it ever starts producing I’m going to save myself a fortune :)

Kris Erskine August 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Plant TWO! At least, much better yield with less outlay.

Jenna May 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm

This looks awesome and SO healthy! Thanks for creating it and sharing with us. :)

Angeline May 15, 2012 at 11:31 pm

I’ve just gotten turned on to chia seeds as a healthy additive to bring some omegas and fiber, would I be able to add some to this recipe (which looks delicious)? Could they be added at some point during the baking process or would it be better to stir them in during cooling?

jules May 17, 2012 at 9:53 am

Great question Angeline
I’d stir them through during cooling.

Tori (@eatori) May 16, 2012 at 3:22 am

Inspired. Absolutely inspired.

jules May 17, 2012 at 9:49 am

Thanks Tori!

Olivia May 16, 2012 at 8:56 am

Hi Jules,

This is great. Thanks so much for the recipe. Is the honey essential? I’d love to know how to make this without any sugar.

jules May 17, 2012 at 9:48 am

Great question Olivia

You need something to add a little sweetness, otherwise it will just taste like toasted lentils (not necessarily a bad thing!)

I’ve kept the honey low enough to give a subtle sweetness. And given that I’m only using a few tablespoons on my yoghurt, I’m not too worried about the sugar from the honey.

If you wanted to try a lower sugar version you could replace the honey with apple sauce as Shivi suggested. The other option is to use Stevia, a natural sweetener instead of the honey. Also adding cinnamon and vanilla both boost sweet flavours without adding sugar.

Hope that helps!
J

Shivi May 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Angeline, I recently made traditional granola with chia seeds and added them right in at the beginning but that of course wasn’t using damp red lentils so I would add them half way through, with the almonds but you could always pop them in right at the end with the coconut, don’t think it would make much of a difference either way.

Olivia- from what I’ve heard many people use applesauce(unsweetend) in their granola to coat the mixture as well as other pureed fruits(perhaps mashed bananas and pureed mixed berries). You could also try pure vanilla extract instead of the honey as well. I’ll admit I haven’t tried either method but I see no reason why they wouldn’t work.

jules May 17, 2012 at 9:48 am

Thanks for answering these questions Shivi!

Mika May 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Jules, I prepared your lentil granola this morning because I couldn’t wait to try it and it turned out to be delicious!!! I mean super truly delicious!!! Thanks for this recipe.

jules May 17, 2012 at 7:57 am

Wonderful Mika!
So glad you liked it
Thanks for reporting back :)

Sid May 17, 2012 at 4:16 am

This definitely looks intriguing. Maybe the next time I make a batch yogurt using your brilliant recipe (seriously: love it – thank you!), I’ll try some of this with it. And fresh blueberries, of course.

jules May 17, 2012 at 7:58 am

Glad you’re enjoying the yoghurt Sid!

lynn @ the actor's diet May 18, 2012 at 2:31 am

brilliant! sometimes i’m shocked when i think of something that’s not on the internet already. like when i made waffles out of hummus:

http://theactorsdiet.com/2012/02/28/the-hummus-waffle/

Natalie May 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm

This is such an interesting recipe! I can’t wait to try it. I love using different grains and legumes to make breakfast alternatives.

Debra May 20, 2012 at 4:49 am

I made your healthy and delicious lentil granola and brought it to a potluck for our group of 10-day cleansers. 10 whole days (and nights) of eating only pure food, no caffeine, no sugars (except raw honey). It was a hit, a major hit. Good thing I printed out loads of recipes for everyone. My nutritionist, Sara Bradford who hosted the cleanse posted a link to your site and recipe on her blog. http://nourishwholefoodnutrition.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/cleanser-ender-potluck/ Thanks so much for this soon to be staple in my home.

Katie Mack May 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm

I’ve been waiting for this recipe to appear! I am on a lentil kick right now and this will fit in perfectly!

Since I’m not really into the yogurt thing, can anyone suggest other ways to use this granola that don’t involve me shoving handfuls of it in my mouth at a time?

adrienne May 21, 2012 at 8:12 am

Hi Jules, this is brilliant! I was wondering what you thought of adding some sultanas/raisins instead of coconut? Should they be roasted too?

Also, Katie, you could make them into granola bars – though that is a bit more complicated and unhealthy as you’d probably need to mix it with butter or golden syrup so that it could be shaped. Otherwise maybe try it mixed in with bran flakes or other cereal?

betty May 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

i made this over the weekend – i found the lentils turned very dark brown.. just like your photos of the goodies in the tray after being baked – but then the oned in your jar still kept their orange colour? i did have to lower the temp in my non fan forced oven though, i was scared they would burn :(

Alex May 21, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Impressed! Like many of the other followers, I have been waiting for this recipe for a while after you’d first posted about wanting to try creating it!! It makes sense now – that you simmer THEN toast them, toasting them in a pan just didn’t seem to work, so I gave up experimenting and waited for you to wrok it out :-) !

Grace May 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I made it over the weekend along with some yogurt–and it’s delicious! Substituted local hazelnuts for the almonds and forgot to add the oil to the honey. Next time, I may do half lentils and half oats, and maybe substitute apple juice concentrate for the honey, but that’s only because I like to play around with recipes. The lentils are brilliant. It is nice to have a sweetish breakfast knowing that there is some serious protein backing it up.

Kit May 24, 2012 at 8:20 am

Hello, this looks wonderful! Can’t wait to give it a whirl. I was wondering how long the granola stays fresh in an airtight jar like the one in your photo? (Although it might not be an issue, since I’ll probably just be pouring it straight from the jar into my mouth!)

jules May 31, 2012 at 10:14 am

It will keep for a few months Kit.. even up to 6 months if the jar is airtight… the first thing to go will be the almonds will go rancid

Kelly May 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm

I’m looking forward to trying this. I make a lower carb kind of muesli using textured soy protein, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Good on yogurt.

Anne May 29, 2012 at 11:12 am

Just pulled a batch of this put of the oven (I added about 130g of quinoa in with the lentils, a la Mark Bittman)- it is heavenly. Thanks for the idea!

Kit May 30, 2012 at 7:23 am

I made some of this last night using porridge oats instead of lentils, and it’s absolutely delicious. I calculated the calories and fat and it’s a bit on the high side (and I’m used to eating a biiiiig bowl of cereal in the morning) but with fresh fruit and yoghurt, you don’t need much to make a satisfying brekkie. Thanks for the recipe!

jules May 31, 2012 at 9:51 am

Kit!
Glad it works with oats as well.. thanks for reporting back :)

Grace May 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm

@ Anne, Do you cook the quinoa?

Danielle June 11, 2012 at 8:54 am

This is delicious! Thank you so much for the amazing, creative idea!

jules June 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm

So glad you enjoyed it Danielle!

Elle July 3, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Hi Jules. I recently found a source for Nativa in Ireland I was wondering what quantity of it you would use instead of honey?

Thanks for a great recipe – as always!

Kris Erskine August 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm

We made this the other day but had no honey so subbed maple syrup and brown sugar half and half. We also used sunflower and pepita seeds instead of almonds. My children have been harassing me to make more as soon as possible.

We’ve been needing to drop our carb intake so this recipe has really hit the spot, thank you!

DessertForTwo September 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I’m so intrigued! I’m a lentil lover! I’d love to have it for breakfast :)

kanakapriya February 21, 2013 at 12:16 am

Hi,
I have started making my own granola off late. My lentil addition is in the form of roasted gram (roasted bengal gram a.k.a pottukadalai in Tamil). I grind it to a powder and bake it along with oats, red rice flakes and amaranth seeds and honey for sweetness

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