Secret Ingredient Super Crispy Granola

If you search for a granola recipe on the internet, I'm sure tens of thousands of recipes pop up.  How could I stand out in a sea of traditional oat, nut,  and fruit mixtures? Hence, my secret ingredient idea was born: lentils!  It may seem like an odd choice at first glance, but after a leap of faith in the kitchen, my suspicions were confirmed. Their neutral flavor and crisp texture pair perfectly alongside granola's usual suspects. They also add a generous helping of fiber and protein without sending the calorie count through the roof. While  I'm not a proponent of calorie counting, and nuts and seeds are  nutritional powerhouses, their serving sizes are rather small, so the additional of lentils helps add bulk and makes for a bigger, longer  lasting breakfast or snack.

I opt for sprouted lentils whenever possible, since sprouting foods makes them more bioavailable (you can read more here), but it's by no means necessary.  Also, feel free to play around with the nuts, seeds, and other accoutrements. I'd love to hear what new version you come up with as well in the comments. Enjoy!      

 
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Ingredients

2-1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup sprouted lentils
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
8-10 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
chia "egg" (3 tbsp almond milk+1 tbsp chia)
3 tbsp nut butter of choice
1/4 cup avocado oil (or sub olive or coconut oil)
2-3 tbsp maple syrup
Cinnamon sprinkled on to taste
1 scoop plant-based vanilla protein powder+1/4 cup almond milk, optional

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300F.
2. Combine chia egg ingredients and let sit for 10 min to "gel."
3. Mix oats, lentils, cashews, seeds, and dates in a large bowl.
3. Blend chia "egg," nut butter, avocado oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, protein powder and milk, if using, until smooth.
4. Combine wet and dry ingredients in the dry ingredient bowl.
5. Spread mixture evenly and thinly on parchment paper lined baking sheets (you will need at least 2 - this recipe makes a ton!)
6. Bake for 45-60 min, depending on how crispy you like it.
 7. Store in the fridge for maximum freshness and crunch!

 

 Served here with Trader Joe's Purple Corn Flakes  and Almond Milk

Served here with Trader Joe's Purple Corn Flakes  and Almond Milk