Red Lentil Muffins

Don’t worry–you can’t taste the lentils!

I have a few bags of Bob’s Red Mill Red Lentils that need to start making their way into recipes so on Sunday I cooked a batch and started to get creative.

I figured that pureeing the lentils would make for a good liquid base for a muffin mix.  And my real goal was to create a muffin with staying power from protein and fiber with a hint of sweet (raisins).

Red Lentil Muffins

Ingredients
2 cups cooked red lentils*, pureed in food processor
1 cup applesauce
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup oat bran
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 egg
1 cup raisins
Optional:
1/8 cup chia seeds
1/8 cup millet (uncooked)

Instructions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together the lentil puree, applesauce, orange juice, and vanilla.
3.  Add in dry ingredients and combine with wet ingredients.  Batter will be thick.
4.  Put in greased or lined muffin tins and bake for 35-40 minutes.
5.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a baking rack to cool.
6.  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

These muffins are dense and hearty.  The raisins and spices add a sweetness without adding sugar to the batter.  *I cooked 1/4 cup of red lentils and that yielded about 3 cups of cooked lentils.

muffins

I have another recipe to share this week with the last cup of cooked lentils!

Tucker was my kitchen helper all day and was really interested when I was trying to take a photo of the muffins! Here are a few out-takes…

Notice the muffin in the background?

Notice the muffin in the background?

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I’d be happy to help you taste-test!

Do you have a good red lentil recipe to share?  What’s your most creative kitchen creation?  Have you snuck healthy ingredients into a dish and no one knew the difference?

 

Crisp and Crust

Sunday is my cooking/baking day and yesterday I decided I needed Thanksgiving Part II.

My parents cooked a wonderful Thanksgiving feast and I enjoyed plenty of turkey, green beans, stuffing, potatoes, and pie.

I was on pie duty and made a traditional pumpkin pie and decided to get outside of the pie shell a bit by making an oatmeal cookie crust.  I used this recipe from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook but I skipped  the (optional) sour cream and I used lemon juice from a bottle.  I skipped the nuts and instead of all the spices listed, used Penzey’s Apple Pie Spice.  I buy a bag of this every year – it makes the pie.  Fancy cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc.

Before going in the oven

I coated the apples in the spice and everything baked up really well.  I used honey crisp apples which don’t break down during baking so each bite of pie had huge chunks of apple.  My favorite apple orchard had their end-of-season special with all apples 20% off.  I bought honey crisp “seconds” for baking (and of course a bunch of “firsts” for eating–did you know that if you put apples in a freezer bag and store in the refrigerator, they will keep for months?  Just make sure the air is out of the bag.)

This was so tasty that I was sneaking apples off the pie from the moment this came out of the oven to the time I was cutting this for dessert.

I used a really deep pie dish so the crust didn’t come all the way up the sides.  This turned into more of an indulgent apple crisp than a pie but it got very positive reviews.  I would certainly make it again but would make a number of tweaks to make a healthier crust and would probably double the recipe to have more crust and topping.

Hot and Fresh!

I didn’t bring any pie leftovers home but I did load up on delicious turkey.  I looked at all the baking apples I have on hand and decided to try a healthy apple crisp.  I started to follow this recipe but I couldn’t open my bottle of maple syrup – the sugar has it sealed shut.

Keeping the peel on keeps the vitamins and fiber on the apple.

Plus, since I just don’t really like sweet foods, I didn’t want anything too sugary.  I was more interested in the intense fruit and spice flavors and blackstrap molasses provides a bold flavor.  I also wanted to avoid the oil – applesauce was a great replacement.

Apples and Arteries Healthy Apple Crisp

Ingredients
10 apples, chopped (peeling is optional)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4-5 teaspoons apple pie spice (or combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves)

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 cup hemp hearts (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons blackstrap molasses
3 Tablespoons applesauce

Process
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Chop the apples and put in a small bowl.  Mix with lemon juice and spice.
3.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, oats, oat bran, vanilla, molasses and applesauce.
4.  Put the apple mixture into a pie shell or baking dish.  Put the crumble mixture (#2 above) over the apples.
5.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.

This is delicious!  This, along with a couple of pieces of turkey, may have been yesterday’s lunch!

Did you bake pies?  What’s your favorite pie flavor?  Are you more of a baker or a cook?
I think people either are or are not a baker – there’s really no in-between.  A friend of mine called me last week telling me she never knew that pumpkin pie wasn’t just a can of pumpkin plopped into a pie shell and baked!!