Inspiration for this recipe comes from the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council whose booth we visited at the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) Culinary Expo. Mom and I made sure to have a heaping salad lunch before parading through aisles of tempting treats, but the pea and lentil trail mix they were serving caught my eye. It was bright and colorful and would have fewer calories than trail mix filled with nuts and seeds. Ever on the lookout for healthy snacks, we grabbed their recipe book and made it a couple days later. I have savored this first beautiful batch; a handful in the afternoon with a cup of herbal tea gets me through until dinner.
We modified the recipe to make it easier, using lentils only. Based on your tastes (or your kids’) you can also swap the add-ins for other dried fruits, sweets, seeds, nuts, etc.
Red Lentil Trail Mix
Makes about 3 1/2 cups
1 cup red lentils
3/4 cup each: toasted sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and mini semisweet chocolate chips
Soak lentils in 2 cups of water in a medium bowl until rehydrated, about 1 hour. Drain and spread in rimmed 13- by 9-inch rimmed baking sheet.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake lentils, stirring once or twice to promote even baking, until crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Mix lentils with sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and chocolate chips. (Can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks.)