Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lentil Butter

I've been reading through the Canada Pulses Guide to Beans, Peas, Lentils and Chickpeas and intrigued by their use of lentil puree in place of  butter in baked goods. So I thought I'd get on the lentil puree bandwagon here and do some up -- some to freeze and a bit for later today to try in some baking.  I decided to make it up in 1/2 cup containers (that I had saved from applesauce) - freeze, pop them out and then put them into  freezer containers.  That way I figured I had just the right amount to use in the average recipe in place of  part - 1/2  the stipulated quantity of margarine or butter.  It's very simple -- I soaked my little brown lentils overnight and then cooked up in the morning.  The soaking goes a long way towards shortening your cooking time so I'd say that's a good time as well as energy saver. 


Whirl 1-1/2 cups drained, cooked lentils in vita-mix blender or food processor (recommended) with 1 tablespoon of water, 2 tablespoons of applesauce and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. I decided to add the applesauce and sugar so my lentils would be infused with a bit of sweetness as I'm planning to only use this in baked goods and I thought it would keep them pleasantly flavored whilst frozen!  Hope so -- we'll see when the time to defrost them comes.  Legume purees aren't easy to do in vita-mix until I learned the trick behind this.  The only way is to keep the vita-mix blender on 3 -- any higher and it just won't do a thing. Use your tamper and keep it rotating.  I would recommend a food processor as the best way to make lentil puree.  I don't have one right now but I'm seriously considering purchasing a small one for this as well as my hummus.  Hummus doesn't do the best in the vita-mix either unless you do at least 2 cans at one time.  More seems to be easier for this machine.  Nevertheless it's still a chore and I believe it will be less of a chore and easier to get your mixture out of food processor then digging to bottom of a blender.


  1. How mean-spiritedly glad I am to hear an honest report on the limitations of a Vita-Mix (not being able to afford one myself). I can certify however, that I use my food processor on almost a daily basis for everything from hummus (ahem!) to chopping stuff for "meatballs" to pumpkin pie to nut butters to bread dough. I've had my Cuisinart for probably 15 years and love it. In the meantime I've burned out two breadmakers, one just this week, and decided not to replace it as the Cuisinart does a better job of making dough in about 1/100 of the time.

    All that said, I'll be interested to hear how the lentil butter does in baked goods. My prediction: excellent, it's an unusual idea but actually sounds logical - why not?

  2. Thanks for your post Zoa -- glad I inadvertly made someone happy today :O) You obviously are surviving just fine without a Vita-mix! Thanks for the tip -- Cuisinart must be "the one" to look for if it survived 15 busy years with you already! What size do you have? Go check out my post on GF SuperHero Breakfast muffins -- I'm very pleased with the new addition of "lentil butter" to my baking.

  3. Gerda, I think I have the "regular sized" Cuisinart - not one of the little ones. Sometimes it feels too big, but most of the time, say if I'm making a pumpkin pie, it's just right. It comfortably holds about 4-5 cups of stuff, but will process as little as 1 cup quite well. I did check out today's post--very interesting! Superfood muffins! All you need is some goji berries and you're completely set ;-)

  4. Thanks Zoa -- for the further info I requested. I'll have to look into Cuisinart -- it's certainly served you very well indeed. I've never tried goji berries but I hear they're awesome. I'm a little scared of new things as over the years I've experienced various allergic reactions! Better than I used to be but I'm still super cautious.

  5. Have you used it in cakes?
    I have been trying to think of something that might have a subtly nutty flavor without using any nuts. I was thinking lentil puree might make for a good nut-free carrot cake.
    Is there a distinct taste when you bake with it?
    BTW- I second cuisinart. I have had the blender/food processor duet for about 8 years.

    1. Sunflower seeds/seed butter make a great sub for nuts/nut butter

  6. Hi Ellie,
    I have not used it in cakes. I have so far only tried it in muffins and it was very good. But I don't recall that there was a distinct flavor. I'd have to make another batch and pay real close attention. The only other think I can think of to add nutty flavor would be to lightly toast some oats and then grind them up to use as part of your flour. I love oat flour - use it a lot. Also some people say hemp hearts have nutty flavor - would that work for you? Here's a link to the muffins I made using the lentil butter.
    thanks for the heads up as to cuisinart - good to know what works for the everyday cooks in the real world.