Legumes and Sweets
By Anne-Marie Gagné Dt.P dietician/nutritionist for our partner, Service Alimentaire Gordon
Legumes and sweets: these are two words that don’t seem to belong together. However, this is a real culinary trend to enhance the nutritional value of some desserts while maintaining the concepts of pleasure and good taste. Also known as “pulses,” the legumes, once incorporated into the recipes, encourage healthy eating habits while maintaining the sweet taste that we enjoy in our favourite desserts.
Both economical and versatile, legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and white, red and black beans as well as broad beans have excellent nutritional value. Rich in protein, they are considered a substitute for meat, in addition to being low in fat and totally free of saturated fats.
According to Canada's Food Guide, a ¾ cup portion of legumes equals one serving of meat and substitutes. Legumes are also an excellent source of dietary fibre, which in particular contributes to satiety, the feeling of having eaten enough. This is beneficial for the control of blood sugar levels and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Finally, pulses are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are, among other things, an excellent source of iron (if consumed with a source of vitamin C) and zinc.
But why stop at the legumes themselves? Inventive cooks have managed to find another use for canned legumes. For example, aquafaba (the water in chickpea cans) is gaining popularity. Acting as a binding agent, this liquid has chemical properties similar to those of egg whites. As such, chickpea water could be whipped to make meringues, mayonnaise, or a chocolate mousse. This is a great idea for cheap, vegan cooking!
Here is a recipe from Bonduelle that perfectly integrates the current trend of using legumes in tasty desserts:
Lentil and strawberry squares
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup strawberry jam
- Preheat the oven at 375 °F
- Mix the dry ingredients. Add the margarine using a dough cutter and mix until you can see lumps.
- Add the eggs and mix gently.
- Flatten the dough on a baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes and let cool.
540 ml pureed lentils
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vanilla extract
¾ cup unsweetened coconut
½ cup crumbled walnuts
- In another bowl, mix dry ingredients.
- Add pureed lentils, vanilla, eggs and coconut.
- Spread the strawberry jam evenly over the cookie.
- Add lentil and walnut mixture.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 ° F and bake 35 minutes.
- Cool, cut into squares and serve.
Are you going to try this new trend?