Tuesday, January 11, 2011

So Delicious Lentil Cookies

Believe it or not these cookies are amazing!  My beautiful once neighbor Kat shared her delicious lentil cookies with while I was recovering from an illness with a poor appetite and I fell in love.  Since then (like most of the things about life) this recipe has constantly evolved and changed.  This is my current favorite but I encourage you to mix up your own inventive version and use all sorts of dried fruit!

Since lentils, flax seeds, and coconut oil provide fiber, protein, and healthy fats these cookies pack a lot of nutrition power!  If we're going to eat sweets (and most of us are) it's better to eat ones made from real foods rather than overly processed foods!  

2/3 c. dried green lentils
2 c. water

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. almond, millet, kamut, brown rice, lentil, or your other favorite whole grain flour
1 tsp. baking powder (aluminum free preferably)
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. coconut oil
3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. lentil puree (prepared in advance)
3 tbl. flax seeds, fresh ground
1 c. dried cranberries
3 tbl. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cooking Instructions:
1. Prepare lentil puree: place lentils and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and let simmer covered for 40-50 minutes.  Set aside and allow to cool.  Puree 3/4 of the cooled lentils in a food processor or blender.  (This may be prepared up to two days in advance.  Refrigerate in air-tight container.)
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or coat with coconut oil.
3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
4.  Place coconut oil in a small glass bowl and microwave for 10-20 seconds until soft.  In another medium sized bowl, rapidly whisk together the sugar, oil, and applesauce until smooth and shiny.  Add in lentil puree, remaining whole lentils, flax seeds, dried fruit and chocolate.  Fold in dry ingredients until just combined.
5. Roll dough into 32 small balls and place 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.  Use three fingers or the bottom of a glass to gently press the cookies down so they are approximately 1/3 inch thick.  Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly brown on top.

Nutrition Facts - Yields 32 Cookies (1 Cookie (35g) = 1 serving)
Calories 95
Total Fat 3 g
 - Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
 - Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Carbohydrates 14 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 9 g
Protein 2 g
Sodium 16 mg

*Nutrition facts calculated using whole wheat flour, millet flour, and sweetened cranberries.

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