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 Mashed Lentil + Chickpea Salad won the grand prize! The Big Southwest Lentil Salad Bowl was a finalist, and our Sweet Pumpkin Seed Protein Granola won for best photography. Thank you so so much!
Sweet Pumpkin Seed Protein Granola
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 10 -14 servings 1x
- Category: Breakfast, Granola
- Cuisine: Vegan
This easy vegan granola is crazy high in protein, fibre, healthy fats, and of course, crunchy granola clusters! It’s mildly sweet, and perfectly spiced. What makes it high in protein? The secret ingredient... Lentils!
- 3 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ⅔ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ½ cup unsweetened, dried flake coconut
- ⅔ cup buckwheat groats
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup cooked split red lentils (or ½ cup split red lentils, dry)
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
Making the Granola
- Preheat oven to 375F. Cook lentils (refer to cooking instructions below.)
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, coconut, buckwheat groats, coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- Add the maple syrup, coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, and cooked red lentils. Mix thoroughly.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the granola into a even layer over the entire surface.
- 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.
- Bake for another 6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5-10 minutes. Mix and break up the granola before redistributing it evenly.
- 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.
- Cool completely before breaking into clusters and storing in an airtight container.
Cooking the Lentils
- Approx. ½ 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.)
If you do prefer it a touch sweeter you can choose a sweetened non-dairy milk, add a dash of maple syrup or coconut palm syrup to each bowl, or add some dried fruit to the granola itself after it’s cooled.
Lovely recipe. I tried making this with True Elements Baked granola and it turned out perfect, you too check them out as they are 100% wholegrain and healthy, this recipe is a perfect match for my family and friends, thanks for sharing.
Hello, When you are making this recipe do you cool down the lentils until room temperature before starting, or do you start the recipe with hot lentils?
I'd cool the lentils!
This recipe is fantastic! I'd like to switch the maple syrup for pineapple juice for my next batch. How much liquid should replace syrup?
Thanks Martha! I'd start by adding just a small amount at a time until the texture looks similar to how it looks made with maple syrup. I've never used pineapple juice in this recipe so I'm not sure exactly how much to add. You might find you need a touch more flour to help bind the granola because the high sugar content in the maple syrup helps with that.
How did you prepare the lentils after cooking? Did you have to let them cool down or pre-bake them slightly so they get slightly dried? Or did you simply just cook the lentils as directly, and after cooling/leaving it for around 5 minutes, added it to the entire mix/other ingredients? Mine came out a little bit mushy.
I just mixed the cooked lentils with the other ingredients. Maybe there was too much moisture left in the lentils? Did you try baking the granola for longer?
Good afternoon. Is there a good substitution for whole wheat flour? Thank you.
Hi Jewell! All-purpose flour would be the best substitution!
This is sooooo good! I have made it like 6 times in the past couple of months. I love how filling it is! A small bowl keeps me going for hours. It's perfect for busy mornings. I am normally not much of a cereal or granola person, I prefer hot breakfasts I guess. Mostly because thwy fill me up better. But this does the trick quickly and it tastes so so good!!
I made it just like the recipe except I added a flax egg to assist with clumping, and then baked at 350 for 15 mins, took it out and stirred gently, then baked another 10. Voila. Perfect every time. This is by far my favorite granola recipe and the only one I have ever come back to again and again!
Wow, thanks so much Monique! I'm so glad you like this recipe 😀
I'm definitely trying this recipe. I love making granola. I usually make a big batch every fortnight or so and store it in a jar on the kitchen counter. Do the cooked lentils in this recipe mean it needs to be kept in the fridge? And do you think it would be fine to substitute the flour for coconut flour or almond flour?
Thanks Jen! You'll cook all the moisture out of the lentils when you bake the granola so it's safe to store it at room temp. I'm not 100% sure about subbing in coconut/almond flour, the gluten is what helps hold the clusters together. I would give it a try though, worst case scenario you'll have granola without clusters!
This looks divine! I love granola and I can't believe that I never attempted to make it myself… I think it might be about time! It looks like a great rainy morning autumn breakfast to me... And adding lentils is a great idea, I can't get people off my back about protein since I went vegan. 😉
Thanks for commenting Alexandra! I don't expect that the protein thing will ever go away. I can't believe how often I hear about it, it's exhausting! 😉
Great recipe!! I just made my first batch and I love it! The only thing is that my granola did not form many clusters, like yours has in the pictures. Any idea what I might be doing wrong?
Really? That's weird! Did you include the flour in the recipe? That's really important to holding together the clusters. It's also important to bake it in a sheet, break it up into clusters and bake again. I'll remake the recipe asap to do some more troubleshooting though!
Crazy question, but I'll ask anyway just to be sure. The lentils and buckwheat groats need to be pre-cooked prior to combining with other ingredients??
Yes to the lentils (there's cooking directions in the recipe) and no to the buckwheat groats, they're added to the recipe raw. Thanks for the question Shirley!
Do you happen to know the serving size/nutritional facts.
P.S. I made it and it tastes great!
I'm glad you're enjoying the recipe Lilly! I don't calculate nutritional info for my recipes so I won't have the exact serving size until I make the recipe again (I'll try to do that asap) but here is the nutritional info for 1 serving when the recipe is divided into 12 servings.
Could I use green lentils instead of red ones?
I wouldn't recommend it. Red lentils are really soft and mild, green lentils will be a little too big and earthy.
Rachel @ Breast Cancer Maven
I am a granola addict! I need to make this! Buckwheat and lentils will win the hubbs over too since they are his absolute faves.
Wonderful! I hope you both enjoy this recipe Rachel! 🙂
This looks amazing! Do you think I can omit the coconut oil, I don't have any left and want to make this asap, haha!
You'll just need to substitute it with another oil like canola. I've tried it with both canola and coconut and it works just fine! If you leave out the fat completely your granola won't be crunchy.
Cara's Healthy Cravings
I am so loooking forward to making this!
I am a huge granola fan and love the use of lentils.
Awesome Cara! I hope you enjoy the recipe 😀
Wow - I was really drawn in by the amazing energy from your photos. It really captures this amazingly delicious, high protein granola so perfectly. You have an amazing gift.
Wow, thank you for the lovely compliment Trinity. You just made my day! 😀
What gorgeous, and mouth watering photos of your granola recipe. I love the pairing with the pink grapefruit too. Your website is really motivating me to make healthy and compassionate choices each day. Thanks for all your inspiring work!
Thank you Cheryl! I was so happy with how these pictures turned out so I'm very glad to hear that you like them too! And thank YOU for your wonderful feedback, it means a lot to us 😀