Saturday, September 5, 2015

Lentil Raspberry Chewy Squares

Next to dates and apples, I don't think there's a fruit filling for squares that I like more than raspberries. I mean, blueberries are nice, strawberries adorable, but raspberries are consistently sweet, tart, refreshing and decadent all in one. Usually, I've had my raspberries spooned into the centre of thumbprint cookies or rolled into "newton" like bars, but on a rare occasion I'll find a recipe that breaks me out of that mould. I always think of linzer cookies when I bake with raspberries - the buttery richness of the almonds plays off the tang of the berries so well and is a typical addition to family Christmas trays. For everyday baking, though, they're just a tad bit too fussy for my tastes, especially when you really just want a taste after a day of work, and they're a little too rich for everyday noshing.


Raspberry Lentil Chews

Imagine my delight, then, when I found a recipe on Global News for oatmeal, almond and raspberry bars that not only promised the "chew" that I like in oat-based goodies, but an unexpected hit of nutrition (and extra nutty flavour) too! The team at Pulse Canada devised the original recipe around pureed lentils, which make a rich, creamy topping for the jam-on-oat base when combined with an egg, brown sugar and rolled oats. Once baked to golden perfection, even the most discerning palates won't notice anything "full of beans" about one of these on their plate (yes, I had to make the pun!). I opted to make the bars dairy free as well as wheat free, since when serving mixed company I try to reduce the allergens as much as possible and I was already including egg and nuts, but obviously go for real butter if it floats your boat. I haven't tried coconut oil, and am hesitant to add another competing "nutty" flavour to the subtle almonds and lentils, but if you do let me know how it turns out!

Lentil Raspberry Chewy Squares
Makes one 9" pan, 12 bars
Base
⅔ cup oat flour (you can use whole-wheat pastry flour too)
1 ½ tbsp Truvia Spoonable
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch salt
¼ cup vegan margarine
2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with ¼ cup warm water

Topping
½ cup cooked red lentils
⅓ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup oat flour (you can use whole-wheat pastry flour too)
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1 egg, beaten
½ cup toasted slivered or flaked almonds

Base:
  1. Heat oven to 375 F and line a 9” baking dish with foil or parchment
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Cut in margarine until coarse crumbs form. Stir in egg and mix thoroughly.
  3. Press dough into the dish and bake for 10 minutes, until firm.
  4. Let cool before spreading a thin layer of jam overtop.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.
Filling:
  1. In a blender or food processor, puree lentils, sugar, salt, vanilla and egg.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, oats and almonds in another bowl and add the lentil mixture. Stir to combine.
  3. Spread mixture on top of jam.
  4. Bake until firm, about 35 minutes.
  5. Let cool before cutting
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 167.3
Total Fat: 7.8 g
Cholesterol: 15.5 mg
Sodium: 83.7 mg
Total Carbs: 23.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.7 g
Protein: 4.1 g
Raspberry Lentil Chews