Lentils for Dessert
As a card carrying member of the sweet tooth club, it’s very strange for me to crave lentils for dessert, but Lentil Power Bites have me hooked.
I understand if you’re skeptical. First, let me present my candied credentials. That club member card I carry notes my latest blood sugar numbers. That’s right, growing up with one hand inside a cookie jar and the other sporting a two-liter of Coca-Cola had consequences. Yet, learning I had diabetes didn’t stop my cravings, and going cold turkey made me irritable. I don’t love sweets, I need them. When health nuts talk about using baked chickpeas as a replacement for potato chips, or how great carob is, I doubt they believe their own words. Yet, here I am telling you about lentils for dessert. The following recipe is that good, I’m telling you.
Before I sated my cravings with lentils, I spent a few months trying to get rid of sugar. I baked with Stevia and those experiments failed miserably. Brownies wouldn’t rise, and batters had the wrong consistency when I completely replaced the sugar. What I learned is that those recipes need sugar. It’s also wrong to remove sugar from my diet. Diabetics need sugar for energy just like everyone else.
If food is fuel for humans, sugar is a turbo boost. When you grab a candy bar at 3 pm to get you through the work day, the sugar rush helps for half an hour and then you want a nap. Dessert is best served last because the proteins and fibers in the preceding meal slow down the sugar burn. The result is a prolonged energy release instead of an explosion. There’s plenty of sugar in the Lentil Power Bites recipe below. Sugar is found in the bananas, dates, chocolate chips and peanut butter, but it’s all offset by the nutrients of the other ingredients. Protein & iron come from the pumpkin seeds and lentils. The bulk of the recipe is the lentils and the oats which provide fiber.
I reached out to Lalitha Taylor, a Dietitians of Canada National Spokesperson, and the creator of the recipe. She added, “When you have these Lentil Power Bites, your blood sugars aren’t going to spike. The sugars are just going to be gradually released into your blood because we have so many mixed nutrients on board.”
Aside from the sweet taste & nutritional elements, the best part about Taylor’s recipe is that it’s a simple no-bake affair. “All you have to do is mix things together, roll them into bites, stick them in the freezer and forget about them.” Taylor continued, “That’s the beauty of this recipe, it’s no fuss.” This is also why her recipe includes canned lentils. Convenience is king. I’m more likely to whip up a batch of Lentil Power Bites than take the time to bake and frost a cake to satisfy my sweet tooth.
There’s a versatility to the following ingredients so that this can really be adapted to your dietary needs, vegan, vegetarian or celiac. You could replace the peanut butter with a soy butter or a pumpkin seed butter. People with Celiac disease can use pure, uncontaminated oats. Taylor also says it is, “such a good recipe to make with kids. It’s sticky and gooey. You can roll things up. You can lick your fingers if you want because there’s no egg in it.”
The Lentil Power Bites are a versatile goody that you can enjoy in a number of ways. I like to take a few out of the freezer and let them thaw for ten minutes. Others will eat them frozen. Taylor’s husband will often have 2-3 of them for breakfast. She likes them as a post workout snack and I satisfy my dessert desires with the bites. I find myself contented after eating just 1 or 2 of the chocolate lentil treats. I assume it is because they’re packed with nutrients. If I were to have a cookie or a brownie that is mostly sugar, I’d want more because my brain loves those quick rewards from sugar.
As someone whose AOL account was the word “cheesecake” followed by some random numbers, I am telling you these are a healthy, sweet treat you have to try. I gave a few to my spouse to take to work and her coworker showed up at my door demanding more, 3 days later. I gave her 5 and she was grateful, but disappointed because she wanted more. So far, I haven’t had anyone try them and not enjoy the taste. Give them a try, all you have to lose is 45 minutes.