During this paralyzing blizzard, in which I am fortunate enough to at least still have power (grazie al Signore), I decided to try my new high powered blender, said to be strong enough to pulverize grains and legumes, and turn them in to powerfully nutritious flours. In the back of my cabinet lay an old bag of lentils. I figured, “perche’ no?”, and why not?
Angelina D’Agostino created culinary masterpieces with whatever she had in her pantry, but what she didn’t have on hand ever—were refined, processed ingredients. The breads and pastas she made were based on whole grain flours, just like the ingredients she used in her era in Italia. The desserts she served were freshly picked fruits, a few nuts, or a bit of cheese. Basta. She didn’t believe in refined flour or sugar, and neither does her son Marino (mio papa’), who recently celebrated his 93rd birthday.
The Vitamix dry blade, had it been invented back then, would have made grinding grains a breeze for Angelina, and she might have even expanded her perspective on desserts. (Nonna, ci penso io, let me take care of it for you!) Still she would never have guessed that lenticchie, lentils, could have been whipped into the most nutritious cookies this side of America. Of course you can substitute store bought whole wheat flour, or any of the wonderful whole grain flours you find in the health food store (quinoa, etc). If you can, though, I do recommend a Vitamix or other similar equipment (no, I definitely do not represent the company in any way shape or form). So here you have my latest healthy sweet treat. Delicous, if I do say so myself!:
Rachelina’s Peanut Butter Cookies alla Lenticchia (with Lentils!)
¼ cup of olive oil
¾ cup natural chunky peanut butter
¼ cup raw sesame seeds
1 heaping tablespoon flax seeds
¾ cup maple syrup
1 ¾ cups lentil flour (ground in my Vitamix from about 1 cup of dry lentils)
¾ tsp soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix flour, soda, baking powder and salt with fork. Add all other ingredients and mix with clean hands. Shape into one inch balls. Place on lightly oiled cookie sheet (or non stick). Gently flatten in a criss cross pattern with the back of a fork (about 2 inches in diameter). Bake for 10-12 minutes until set but not hard.
Enjoy for breakfast with your cappuccino or for dessert when you want something to curb that sweet tooth but not leave you in sugar-shock.