A delicious crispy high protein cookie made with a mix of red lentils, almond flour, and peanut butter, providing 4.5 grams of protein and 2 grams of fibre per cookie!
Well it’s been awhile. I feel like I’ve been on a blog posting hiatus, while busy tending to the many needs of my family and my work. Now that my older son, Mattias, has finished his Home Quest program for grade two, I feel like a weight has been lifted with one less thing to manage. Hopefully now I will have time to work on a few new kitchen creations.
When I first started this blog with Sandhya, my intention was to create plant based recipes to share and inspire others, along with a focus on my son’s dietary restrictions. I wanted to help other parents that are struggling to come up with food ideas for a limited or allergy restricted diet. Looking back I haven’t mentioned Lucas, my younger son, all that much as we’ve really struggled to get him eating anything. He’s had these food issues since about one and half years old, fast forward three years later and here we are still struggling to get him to eat real food. His rare blood disorder (Mastocytosis), causes allergy like symptoms to multiple food items, as well as he gags so easily on food. Those issues combined have created a real distrust towards food. We’ve had several appointments with OT’s and nutritionists at BCCH feeding clinic, as well as many specialists, but it’s always lead nowhere. We’ve tried ‘starving him out’ as one specialist strongly requested, but Lucas is also as stubborn as they come, and it only resulted in setting off masto reactions due to emotional stress.
Unfortunately, there are no mast cell specialists here on the West Coast in Canada. When we seek help from Doctors, we always end up teaching them about the disease and leave without answers on what to do next. Even the ER was too hesitant to provide care for him when we needed it, as they had never heard of the disease and didn’t want to cause a further reaction. It’s scary. It’s frustrating. And it’s a very lonely feeling, dealing with something no one else around you understands.
The past few months have been a big challenge with Luc’s eating and intense reactions. Ever since he was six months old we’ve mixed his compounded meds into a safe formula twice a day. As he got older he continued to consume a half cup of formula only twice a day for this very reason and we knew at the very least he was getting some nutrients and calories. A month or so ago, the formula company added DHA to the formula and Luc immediately noticed the taste difference. He has refused it ever since. This left us scrambling to get his medicine in him, as we no longer could hide it in his formula. He won’t drink smoothies and doesn’t eat anything ‘wet’ to mix it in. Occasionally he will agree to have apple juice, but not consistently enough to give him his meds twice a day. To say the least it’s been a highly stressful few months! So with the absence of his formula, I’ve been attempting to create food that he might actually try, to increase his daily calorie intake. Besides the foods he needs to avoid (dairy free, gluten free, soy free, egg free, yeast free, preservative free, no artificial colours or flavours, and avoidance of high histamine foods), and due to his fear of food plus gagging issues, he’s extremely picking with textures and will really only eat dry crunchy foods, mostly crackers and toasted bread. Sometimes he’ll try a new food item, and we get excited to add an item to his very limited list. But the excitement is usually short lived as the next day or the next time I make it, he won’t go near it, refusing to eat it again. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, constantly.
This cookie recipe I’ve created was mainly to provide Lucas with some protein. Since he only eats crunchy dry textures, I made these cookies extra thin, to make sure they were crunchy with a salty and slightly sweet flavour. I used cooked lentils as the base, with almond flour and peanut butter mixed in for a boost of protein and fibre. I added Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips to the second batch to entice Mattias to eat them too. For Luc I left some completely plain, as he’d refuse the cookie if he saw them spotted with chocolate chips. I know, odd right? The cookies turned out perfectly the first attempt and I’ve been coming up with more ideas to tweak these further, like adding in some cacao powder for double chocolate cookies. Mattias ate one with the chocolate chips and immediately came back for more. He almost ate entire first batch before I could get some photos. I loved knowing these were high in protein and fibre, and Mattias thought these were a wonderful afternoon treat. More importantly Lucas even ate two with a big smile! I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but today I’m thankful he tried something new and gave his body a few important nutrients as well.
- 1 cup Dried Red Lentils
- 2 cups Water
- ¼ cup Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
- ¼ cup Maple Syrup
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Vanilla Powder
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt
- ½ cup Almond Flour
- ¼ cup Mini Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life is a great allergy free brand)
- ¼ tsp Baking Soda
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Rinse the red lentils under running water in a fine mesh colander. Add the lentils and 2 cups water to a pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low, simmering for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick to the pot. Lentils will be done when they are tender and can be mashed easily with a fork.
- Place a ¾ cup of cooked lentils into a food processor, along with peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and sea salt. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
- Add in the almond flour and baking soda, pulse a few times to mix. Then stir in the mini chocolate chips.
- Scoop two tablespoons per cookie onto a cookie sheet, allow enough space to flatten out into thin round cookies. Wet the back of a spoon (or use your finger) and spread the cookie batter into about a ¼ inch thickness. This will give the cookie a thin crispiness once baked. If you leave them thicker you’ll need to add more baking time for the center to cook.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, until cookie edges have browned and the center is firm. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a rack. Cookies will crisp up further as they cool. Store in a glass jar with lid so cookies stay crisp. Or you can pop into a toaster oven before eating to re crisp as needed.
-Use only 1 tablespoon per cookie for a smaller cookie size. 2 tablespoons per cookie provides 4.5 grams of protein and 2 grams of fibre!
-Reduce maple syrup if less sweetener is preferred.
-Add in a few tablespoons of cacao powder for a double chocolate cookie version!
-Add a pinch of sea salt on top of the cookies before baking to enhance the chocolate peanut flavour.