Sprouted lentils provide a super-simple shortcut that increases the nutritional value of this delicious lentil croquette recipe.
Beans and legumes are packed with nutrients including, protein, folate, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium. These little wonders are also powerhouses of fiber and excellent sources of low-glycemic “good” carbohydrates, making them slow to digest and less likely to raise blood sugar. Loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber, lentils can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of colon cancer. Lentils also contain many beneficial phytonutrients, which are plant compounds that have health-promoting properties including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and liver support.
Thirty percent of the calories in lentils come from plant protein. Sprouting can actually improve the nutritional profile of legumes. The process reduces the amount of physic acid, which obstructs the absorption of certain minerals, and triggers beneficial enzymatic activity. Long story short, using sprouted lentils increases their nutritional value and decreases the chance that they will cause any intestinal distress. Sprouted legumes and grains are also alkaline-forming; meaning they have bloomed into small vegetables during the sprouting process. Eating these sprouted beans helps to reduce inflammation in the body.
This recipe is simplified by using readily available dried, sprouted lentils; which adds a lovely firm texture in the croquettes. One of the sauces, made from arugula, is a tasty source of antioxidants, like vitamin A and C, health-promoting phytonutrients, plus vitamin K, folate and fiber. I love its peppery bite and how well that goes with the unusual kefir sauce. Kefir is a fermented drink, traditionally made from cow’s or goat’s milk ,that has kefir grains added to ferment the sugars in the milk. Kefir is a powerful source of probiotics, contains 30 strains of beneficial bacteria, has antibacterial properties, and can help stimulate the immune system.
The combination of healthy plant proteins, fiber, phytonutrients and fermented dairy, represents a typical meal enjoyed by the world’s longest living people.
Sprouted Lentil Croquettes with Sauces of Arugula and Kefir Recipe
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 4 scallions white and pale green parts, chopped
- 1 jalapeño chile seeded & chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 4 oz dried bread torn in small pieces
- 2 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 cup prepared sprouted lentils
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1 Tbs. onion powder
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
- 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar tossed with 2 cups arugula leaves for garnish
- 1 cup kefir
- 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 cups arugula leaves organic, extra for garnish
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil good quality
- salt & pepper to taste
Cook scallions in a skillet over medium high heat until charred.
Combine bread, scallions, garlic, chile, coriander, ricotta, lentils, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt and broth in a food processor and process into a chunky paste. Some lentils should hold their shape. Form 12 balls.
Heat oil in a deep skillet (oil should be at least 1/2" deep) until a pinch of lentil mixture bubbles when added. Cook 4-6 croquettes at a time until deep golden brown and crisp. Turn croquettes in pan and make sure evenly browned. Approximately 5 minutes of cooking time. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Pour 1/4 of the arugula sauce in each bowl, swirl in 1/4 of the kefir sauce and top with 4 croquettes. Garnish with extra arugula leaves that have been lightly tossed with balsamic vinegar.
Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl; cover and chill.
Puree all ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth.
Cover and chill until ready to use.