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Nutrition, Cost-Effectiveness, Plant Power of Lentils

How much does eating healthy really cost?

I’m currently studying holistic nutrition and often ponder this question while listening to lectures.

How can we find the balance between healthy eating, environmental sustainability, ethical responsibility all while making it approachable to everyone within their socio-economical circumstance? As much as we would all love for everyone to buy perfectly lined cans free of toxic metals, the cleanest oils, grass-fed beef, wild salmon, raw honey, all organic….etc., the simple answer is that we are not all in a position to do so. I live in a city where some of our neighbours, especially children, are struggling to get adequate nutrition.

I am having severe sleeping issues at the moment and decided to develop this lentil granola recipe to reflect my view on the topic. My mind just never seems to stop... After having the pleasure of teaching a kids cooking class this past weekend, I was surprised to find out that none of the children, except for one, had ever tried lentils before.

This recipe cost me $1.50 to make, it highlights Alberta grown organic lentils, rolled oats and a seed assortment. It yielded about 1.5L and is quite dense. Which comes to 15 cents per portion. It boast an impressive amount of protein for its portion size.

Canada has the highest lentil production in the world, mainly in Saskatchewan and some areas of Alberta. In my books, we should be eating far more of them.

These little nutritional powerhouses offer a wide array of benefits. From their non-heme iron content do their low GI score, giving you a great slow release of sustained energy . I’m finding that by eating meals with lentils, I am in a better position to justify buying a grass-fed piece of meat once a week or every two weeks. It’s a win-win for my health and supporting local producers all while on a budget.

2.5 cups cooked cooled lentils. (I used brown) After soaking them, simply boil and strain them.

3 cups rolled oats

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup sesame seeds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

2 tbsp ground flax seeds

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup maple syrup, raw honey, coconut sugar or sweetener of choice

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch Salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and bake a tray for 20-25 minutes, giving the mix a stir every 8 minutes or so.

Let cool and enjoy.

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