Red lentils are definitely one of my favorite ingredients to cook for my kids: from a nutritional point of view lentils are one of the healthiest foods you can think about and from a culinary point of view they are creamy, delicate in flavor (and easy to cook). Definitely a win win situation 🙂
Lentils are an excellent source of nutrients like vitamins A, C, K, omega3 fatty acids, copper, protein, phosphorus, iron, and calcium. Impressive, isn’t it?
Since lentils are high in proteins (aka, difficult to be digested by a young tummy), I would recommend offering lentils to your baby starting from 8 months of age.
At around 8 months your baby’s digestive system will be enough mature to process and nicely digest the lentils without any side effect (tummy ache, gas, rashes..). At that age, also, your baby should be able to sit and to handle finger foods. That’s why this recipe is a very good one as a baby led feeding idea.
This recipe is also perfect for picky toddlers: tots are a fun food to eat and those tots are loaded with greens and veggies, nicely mixed in the creamy tots 😉
I used broccoli, spinach and carrots but you can switch them with any seasonal organic vegetable you like!!
Also, I wanted the recipe to be gluten and egg free, so that I could enjoy it too 😉 So I switched the regular flour with some almond flour for a more nutty flavor and I switched eggs with chia seeds to bind all the ingredients together (and to add some more nutritional value to the recipe).
- 3/4 cup dried red lentils (200gr.)
- 1/2 cup almond flour (50gr.)
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1 medium yellow carrot, grated
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 handful spinach leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (50gr.)
- 1 Tbsp cream cheese
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 clove garlic
- drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Soak the lentils in cold water overnight. Drain them and rinse under running water. Set them apart.
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor add the broccoli florets with the garlic, blend for 1 min.
Add the lentils, carrots, spinach and blend to obtain a breadcrumb consistency.
In a bowl combine the lentil mix with the cheeses, almond flour, chia seeds, herbs. Mix
Take 1 Tbsp of mix and form a croquette/tot shape.
Place the tots on the parchment paper, one next to the other nicely spaced. Drizzle with some Extra Virgin olive oil on top.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway.
Serve straight away or keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 48 hours or freeze before baking for up to 3 months. (freeze in a single layer on a flat surface and transfer to a freezer bag once frozen. Simply bake from frozen adding 5 min to the baking time)