What on earth do you do when you misjudge how many lentils to cook? Especially, if your kids balked at the meal you made with those lentils?
I go through spurts where I get really motivated to increase the amount of legumes my kids are eating. Legumes are so HEALTHY – packed with fiber, protein, nutrients like iron – not to mention delicious, at least in my opinion. But, at least one of my twins strongly objects when I cook them.
Lentils are one of my favourite legumes because they’re easy to cook up from their dried form. One of their best features is that, unlike other legumes, I don’t have to be super on top of meal planning to utilize them. There’s no need to soak them overnight 🙂 They cook up in a relatively short time.
Problem is, I’m not super good at calculating how many cups of dried lentils I need to rehydrate, and this time I missed the mark by a lot – almost double.
So what did I do with all those yummy leftover lentils? I made BROWNIES, of course.
“Brownies?” you gasp in horror. “But brownies are chocked full of sugar! And you’re trying to quit sugar.”
And normally you’d be right – but not today.
I have to admit that I haven’t managed to eliminate the sugar from the brownie recipe completely. But, with a little tweaking, the sugar has been SIGNIFICANTLY reduced.
I took some inspiration for the adaptation my ordinary brownie recipe from the following recipe: Fudgy Black Lentil Brownies (Gluten-free, Oil-free, Vegan) from Megunprocessed.com
3 cups lentils (cooked*) – I used brown lentils
1 cup cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
¼ cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup flour
2 cups applesauce
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips
* You could potentially use canned, but canned, in my experience, don’t grind up as nicely as those cooked up from the dry lentils.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a food processor (blender works in a pinch), pulse the lentils until they are fairly smooth (you might need to add a little bit of liquid).
- Add all the remaining ingredients to the food processor and blend.
- Fill greased or lined cake pan. (See ‘yield’ for size options).
- Bake for approximately 35 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick.
- Remove from oven, let cool a bit before turning out and then let cool completely (if you can wait that long).
- Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy
Makes two 9” round pans of chocolatey delights.
You could also use:
- two 8×8 square pans
- two 9×9 square pans (they’ll be thinner)
- one 9×13 rectangular pan (they’ll be thicker
LET’S TALK SUGAR
At first glance these brownies may look like they have a lot of sugar in them. Believe me, they aren’t sugar-free. But, I find cocoa is really bitter without some amount of added sugar.
However, if we compare this recipe to standard recipes – a typical brownie recipe for this size of batch (which is about double most recipes) has about 2-3 cups of sugar – my recipe has been reduced to about ¾ cup.
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips = approximately ½ cup of sugar (of course it’s important to check the sugar content of the chocolate chips you are buying).
Plus, keep in mind that because these brownies are chocked full of lentils, they have fiber and protein and other super important nutrients, like potassium and magnesium, to help buffer the sugar.
LET’S TALK TASTE
If you’re used to sugar laden treats, you might find these are not to your liking. But, if you start reducing your sugar, your taste buds will adapt and suddenly these will taste just like your favourite brownies.
In fact, once your taste buds start to adjust, your old brownies will start to taste TOO SWEET. Oh the bliss 😉
WHAT DID MY KIDS THINK?
Twin A thought they were the best thing ever. He wouldn’t quit asking me if he could have one, which I didn’t have any problem agreeing to, because they are basically a chocolate-flavoured lentil loaf.
Twin B swore that he could taste the lentils. It didn’t stop him from eating them though – probably not as many as he normally would. I’m curious to know what would’ve happened if he hadn’t seen me put the lentils in.
WHAT DID I THINK?
These were delicious. I do, however, prefer brownies made with black beans (hmmm a future posting, maybe?). The flavour of the black beans is milder than the lentils.
The next time that I’m a little too exuberant when cooking lentils, I’ll definitely make another batch of these.
P.S. I’m posting this recipe on my mom’s birthday – she’s the one who gave me my love of chocolate – it’s in my DNA.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!
If you enjoyed baking these yummy brownies, please help me out and ‘share’ with your friends on your favourite social media sites 🙂