Lentil-bran-dried fruit cookies and autumn spices vegan recipe
recipe and photo by Anne Hart
Here's the recipe for healthier lentil cookies I made today: Take a cup of oat bran, a cup of brown rice flour or ground quinoa flour (or any other kind of flour or meal) and a 1/3 of a cup of flaxseed meal in a bowl. Add about 2 ounces of dried fruit such as raisins, chopped prunes, dried goji berries, or chopped apples to sweeten.
Use your favorite autumn spices. Mine are ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, allspice, and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Note these vegan cookies or brownies have no added oils, fats, dairy, eggs, table sugar, salt, dairy, baking powder, or baking soda.
Then puree in a blender a cooked or raw, peeled sweet potato and a half cup of raw peeled carrots (those small carrots are okay), and a cup of cooked or soft, soaked green lentils with any type of liquid you prefer to turn it to a liquid. Drain the liquid into a jar. Then add the pulp to the dry flour/bran/meal and raisin-fruit mixture. Spices (optional) also may be added such as powdered ginger, cinnamon, cloves, or even unsweetened cocoa powder, if desired.
Optional: Instead or in addition to the carrots, you also may use small amounts of any preferred liquid to moisten the dry ingredients such as canned pumpkin puree, mashed yams or sweet potatoes, or simply the liquid in which you cooked your lentils.
Your sweetening ingredient will be chopped dried fruit of your choice such as raisins, dates, goji berries, or dried figs.
The point is instead of using fats, oils, salt, or table sugar, you're making a vegan cookie or brownie using grains and beans with dried fruit and pureed vegetables of your choice. Another alternative sweetener is finely chopped apples to mix with raisins.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for an hour or less, or until firm to the touch. Let cool a little and cut the squares into similar sizes and put in a bowl. The lentil cookies will be healthier because you added no extra oils, no sugar, no salt, no baking soda, and no baking powder.
They may take longer to bake than commercial-type cookies, but the mixture of lentils and oat bran, flaxseed meal and dried fruit will be healthier than cookies or brownies made with fat, sodium, bleached flour, and sugar. If you want 'flourless' cookies, instead of brown rice flour, you can use oatmeal or grind up quinoa or amaranth in a small electric coffee grinder to the consistency of meal, and use that instead of the brown rice flour.
What also can be used is finely ground corn meal or ground lentils to the consistency of a coarse meal. Optional: a few chia seeds under the cookies will help prevent sticking...or use sprinkled oat bran on the bottom of the glass cookie pan.