Doesn’t this cookie look amazing? I’ll bet you’d never guess that it’s made with lentils and chickpea flour and is chock full of protein, fiber and flavour. Do think the day will come when these will be in a vending machine instead of candy? That day might be closer than you think.
This month my column for Alberta at Noon is on food entrepreneurs in Alberta. My friend chef Liana Robberecht, executive chef at Winsport in Calgary, developed this recipe to feed Olympic and elite athletes. She recently presented these cookies at a gathering of chefs invited by the Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance to tour the provincial food processing development centre in Leduc, Alberta. The chefs were there to explore how their recipes using Alberta Pulses (peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils) could be scaled up for wider manufacturing and distribution. Alberta Pulse production has almost doubled in recent years. Pulses grow well here. So it only makes sense that, if chefs can find more things to do with them, demand will rise and the industry will continue to grow.
You never know. These are so delicious, I think they could really catch on. Goodbye empty calories. Hello healthy and very satisfying calories. That’s an entrepreneurial trend we can all take a second helping of. Read on for the recipe chef Liana has so generously shared.
Chocolate Lentil Cookies
Yield: 65 x 1 oz cookies
This recipe comes from Chef Liana Robberecht, the Executive Chef of WinSport in Calgary. These cookies are filled with protein from some unusual sources – crickets, chickpeas and lentils and yet they also deliver a deeply satisfying chocolate treat. Most of us will have a tough time finding cricket flour (a highly underrated source of protein) but you can use more chickpea flour instead. My favourite thing about the cookies is that they are so satisfying it’s easy to stop at one – at least until you’ve gone out and worked out enough to deserve another.
2 cups chickpea flour
½ cup cricket flour – if unavailable use another ½ cup of chickpea flour or brown rice protein flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup dark cocoa powder
!½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ Tablespoon allspice
⅛ cup ground flax seeds
1/8 cup salted hemp seeds – available at Community Natural Foods and most Superstores
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup raisins
½ cup cranberries
1 cup soft dates (microwave for 2 minutes to soften and mash up right away while still hot)
2 cups cooked and pureed red lentils
1 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon ginger (either ground ginger or grated fresh ginger will work)
Zest of 1 whole orange
1 cup dark chocolate Callebaut callets (larger pieces than chips – available in the bulk bins at Superstore)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the chickpea flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ground flax seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips in a bowl and mix together.
Add the raisins, cranberries, whole soft dates, lentil puree, maple syrup, ginger and orange zest and mix until all ingredients are combined.
Use a 1 oz scoop or weigh scale to portion the batter and place the mounds of cookie dough onto a parchment lined or non-stick baking sheet pan with ½ inch space between cookies
Press the top of each cookie slightly to flatten a bit and bake for 7 minutes.
Remove the cookies to a rack and cool.
Store in an airtight container if eating within a few days, otherwise, they freeze well.
I think these would make a great Christmas cookie. Enjoy.