I love desserts with vegetables because eating desserts with vegetables always feels less like a guilty indulgence. Okay, I know lentils aren’t technically vegetables, but they are part of the ‘vegetable family.’ And lentils are equivalently healthy and DO count towards your recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables!!! That’s good enough for me. Plus, this lentil dessert lasagna recipe is a healthy no bake dessert that actually tastes like dessert. Whether you love or hate lentils is irrelevant because you will have no idea you are even eating them in this healthy dessert lasagna.
I tested this recipe on two different groups of people two years apart and they all loved it. Nor could anyone guess “the secret ingredient” was lentils. In fact, my colleague who had sampled it when I brought it into work asked me if I had posted it on Pinterest. She had thought of it when she was looking for a healthy dessert for a family gathering.
Lentils are actually called” Pulses.” A pulse is an edible seed that grows in a pod, which includes beans and peas. They are an inexpensive, low-fat source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and most importantly, I have to say it again…. they DO count towards your recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables!
Red lentils vs Green lentils:
This recipe calls for red lentils, which actually look orange in the bag. Red lentils are great for baking because they get a bit mushy and blend nicely into your dish. Green lentils hold their shape so they are ideal for dishes like casseroles. I have used both in soup, depending on what texture I am aiming for.
Anise & Fennel Seeds:
The anise and fennel in this dessert lasagna lend a hint of licorice that blends so perfectly with the raspberry and chocolate flavours. But you don’t have to love licorice either because the flavour is very smooth and subtle. In my opinion, anise and fennel seeds are spices that get far too little playtime in desserts.
Although fennel did see a rise in popularity over the last couple of years, it was predominantly the plant being used in savoury dishes, not the seed. With fennel, the entire plant is consumed, unlike anise, where it is generally just the seeds that are harvested. Anise seed, also known as aniseed, is not to be confused with star anise. Although similar in flavour, they are entirely different plants.
This No Bake Chocolate Raspberry Lentil Dessert Lasagna is a great healthy dessert recipe option for your next dinner gathering or potluck. Now you can have your dessert and healthy food too!
Chocolate Raspberry Lentil Dessert Lasagna
- 2 cup cooked red lentils canned lentils can be used as substitute
- 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
- 1 cup light cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 1 tsp ground fennel seed
- 1 tsp anise seed
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 2 tbsp white granulated sugar
- 1 -113 g pkg instant chocolate pudding
- 1&2/3 cups of milk
- 2 cups fresh raspberries can substitute frozen raspberries that have been defrosted, drained and patted dry
- 1 box of graham crackers about 400 grams
- ½-1 oz Semi sweet chocolate – shaved or grated chocolate
- Optional: fresh raspberries
Spray a 9X13 pan with non stick spray.
Cook red lentils as directed on package. Puree lentils in food processor (this step is important for the texture of the dessert). Beat pureed lentils, cream cheese, raspberry jam, ground fennel and anise together until smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat whipping cream until it forms soft peaks, then add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the lentil mixture.
In another separate bowl, make instant chocolate pudding by beating with milk; gently mix in fresh (or defrosted) raspberries.
Put a layer of the graham crackers, then ½ the raspberry lentil mixture, then another layer of graham crackers.
Put the chocolate/raspberries mixture on top of the graham crackers and add another layer of graham cracker.
Add the remaining raspberry lentil mixture over the final layer of graham crackers.
Refrigerate for ½ hour – 1 hour, then serve.
Garnish: garnish with fresh raspberries and shaved or grated semi-sweet chocolate.