This recipe is so lovely that I can't wait to experiment some more with it. Next time I want to try cooking the lentils with grated carrots for more sweetness and an added nutritional punch, and maybe some cardamom if I can get my hands on some.
//Addendum 5/14/2013: We're working on cleaning up our eating, and so consuming no added oils. I made red lentil pudding this week without the coconut milk/cashews (used soy milk instead) and without the coconut oil, and it was just as tasty!//
Red Lentil Breakfast PuddingMakes 4 generous servings
Soaking raw cashews in advance will help them blend up smoother and faster, but if you don't have time for this (or forgot!), they'll just need to blend a little bit longer. if you don't have cashews on hand, you can replace cashews with coconut milk in this recipe. See my note about soaking lentils below.
1 1/2 cups red lentils (preferably soaked in advance), rinsed*
1/2 cup raw cashews (preferably soaked in advance), or 1 cup of coconut milk (omit or use soy/almond milk for a low-fat version)
3 Tablespoons ground flax seeds (optional)
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1-2 Tablespoons coconut flour (optional)
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon coconut oil or Earth Balance (omit for low-fat version)
salt to taste
Add red lentils, flax, raisins, and 3 cups of water to a large pot or dutch oven and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the lentils begin simmer, add the coriander and a pinch of salt. Lower heat slightly to maintain a slow simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes, until lentils break down and the pudding begins to thicken.
In the meantime, blend 1/2 cup of cashews and 1/2-3/4 cup water in a blender until they form a smooth cream (cashew cream). This may take several minutes depending on the strength of your blender and if you've soaked your cashews in advance.
Once smooth, add the cashew cream to the red lentils, which should be done cooking by this time and stir to incorporate. If your pudding seems on the thin side, add 1-2 Tablespoons of coconut flour and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
Take the pudding off of the heat. Stir in maple syrup and coconut oil or earth balance. Let pudding rest for five minutes and serve, drizzling more maple syrup over the top if desired.
Regular Version: 450 Calories, 14 grams of fat, and 23 grams of protein per serving. Good source of calcium, vitamin C, and Iron (39%).
*A note on this recipe: Ian and I are huge proponents of soaking grains, nuts, and legumes with a little bit of acid (we favor lemon juice or apple cider vinegar). Soaking makes for shorter cooking times, but more importantly it breaks down the phytic acid and lectins in foods that make it harder to both digest the foods and get all of the nutrients they have to offer. So what are the benefits of soaking? Easier to digest (less gas!) and greater vitamin and mineral absorption. It also improves the texture of legumes as they cook. As we used soaked lentils, the cooking times may vary if you use grains that haven't soaked. I haven't posted a soaking 101 yet, but this website has!