Sweet Pumpkin Seed Protein Granola


One of the first things that comes up when I tell someone I’m vegan is the good ol’ protein question:

“But where do you get your protein?”

Ugh! While it can sometimes be tempting to say something silly and totally unhelpful when I’m being asked this for the MILLIONTH time, I usually just list off a bunch of high protein vegan foods instead,

“Oh, I eat lots of foods like lentils, beans, tofu and soy milk, whole grains, nuts and seeds, you know, that kind of thing! ”

And every single time, I usually walk away from the conversation thinking to myself, ‘I have got to start eating more lentils and beans!

But I’ve began making an effort to add more lentils to my diet and to my surprise, it’s been rather easy! I’ve found lentils to be a simple addition to most lunches and dinners. I love red lentils because they cook so quickly and they’re mild enough to compliment a wide variety of dishes. I add them to stir-fries, soups, curries, chilies, and burritos, just to name a few!

But I don’t eat any of that stuff for breakfast! In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten lentils for breakfast, which is a shame because the nutritional value of lentils would be ideal to start the day off right.

Lentils are low in fat, loaded with iron, protein, and fibre, and they just so happen to be the PERFECT addition to homemade granola! I sampled this recipe with and without lentils and in a completely unscientific, totally-not-blind taste test involving only myself, the lentil version won by a landslide! Taste testers (aka me) thought the lentil version tasted  sweeter with a more pronounced toasted caramel-y flavour. Yum!

Granola is ridiculously easy to make at home. Simply combine all of the ingredients, spread the mixture onto a cookie sheet, and bake (mixing every so often) until perfectly golden brown. See? Easy!

Making homemade granola isn’t just easy, it’s also often cheaper, tastier, and healthier than store bought versions – never mind the fact that making your own means it’s completely customizable to your liking! No more grumbling about yet another disappointing granola that skimps on the clusters… or the raisins… or the almonds… (or you know, whatever your favourite ingredient is that they NEVER seem to include enough of!)

This easy granola is crazy high in protein, fibre, healthy fats, and of course, crunchy granola clusters! It’s mildly sweet, less sweet than typical grocery store granolas, but sweet enough to enjoy fresh from the pan. I promise you will LOVE this as an easy, totally customizable healthy high protein breakfast option!

We’re entering this recipe into Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelations Challenge. Each recipe is judged based on taste, appeal, use of lentils, simplicity, and social media popularity. We’d be so grateful if you could help us out by ‘pinning’ this recipe from the Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelations Challenge Pinterest board. Please let us know if you do, we’d love to say thank you!

Update: Thank you for supporting us! Our  won the grand prize!was a finalist, and our Sweet Pumpkin Seed Protein Granola won for best photography. Thank you so so much!

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Ingredients :

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, dried flake coconut
  • 2/3 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup cooked split red lentils (or 1/2 cup split red lentils, dry)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Instructions :

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cook lentils (refer to cooking instructions below.)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, coconut, buckwheat groats, coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Add the maple syrup, coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, and cooked red lentils. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the granola into a even layer over the entire surface.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5-10 minutes (the longer you allow the granola to cool, the more granola clusters you are likely to have at the end.) Mix and break up the granola before redistributing it evenly.
  6. Bake for another 6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5-10 minutes. Mix and break up the granola before redistributing it evenly.
  7. Bake for another 4-5 minutes, or until granola is evenly toasted but not burnt. Watch the granola closely as it tends to burn suddenly and rapidly.
  8. Cool completely before breaking into clusters and storing in an airtight container.
  9. Approx. 1/2 cup dry red lentils (split) = 1 cup cooked. Rinse ½ cup dry red lentils (split). Add the lentils and 1 cup of unsalted water to a small-medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5-10 minutes (until lentils are just tender.)
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