Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters with Curried Cashew Cream

Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters paired with a seriously addictive curried cashew cream sauce. Your new favorite way to use split red lentils!

This vegan sweet potato fritters recipe post is sponsored by Lentils.org. All opinions are my own. #LoveALentil #LetsLentil

overhead shot of vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters served with vegan cashew cream and halved cherries

Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters – packed with plant-based protein!

Guys, these Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters are EVERYTHING! First off, they taste AMAZING! Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, just like we love them! These are ready on the table in 30 minutes and awesomely vegan & gluten-free!

Lentils – the superfood you’ve forgotten about:

So tell me, how do you feel about lentils? It’s no secret that I love them. I’ve already got lots of lentil goodness on the blog, but I recently visited Saskatchawan, Canada to learn about all things lentils.  I have to say I have such a newfound appreciation for them!

So, I was invited there by Lentils.org, where Emily from West of the Loop, Samantha from Five Heart Home, Taylor from Food Faith Fitness . Trust me, I received a serious education on lentils and got to sample several incredible lentil recipes throughout the day.

Let me tell you, the things you can do with lentils. I never knew such possibilities existed!

I’ll get into them in a minute, including these Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters that I know you’re going to dig. But first, let’s recap the trip and all the cool lentil facts I learned along the way!

Vegan Sweet Potato Fritters with Split Red Lentils served on Curried Cashew Cream and decorated with fresh cherries and microgreend

Things I learned at the lentil farm:

We started the day at Simpson Seeds, a fourth generation family-run farm in Moose Jaw (yes you read that right). They not only grow lentils and other crops, but also harvest quality lentil seeds to market to other Canadian farmers. AND they operate a processing facility that enables them to clean, sort and prepare lentils for global exporting.

Lentil Farm in Saskatchewan

We got to see the lentils at every stage, which was super informative. Here we learned what a lentil plant actually looks like.  I was surprised to discover that only 1-3 lentils grow on each lentil pod. No wonder the lentil crops seemed to stretch on for miles and miles!

One of the lentil farmers also described to us how they intentionally rotate the lentils with other crops, such as canola, in order to maintain optimal soil nutrient levels.

We also got to snack on some very tasty lentil pumpkin muffins while we toured the fields!

a hand holding a Lentil Muffin with a lentil field in the background

Nothing ever goes to waste!

Then it was on to the processing facility where we learned about how lentils are sorted into different grades.

Grade A makes it into the grocery stores for you and I to consume. Lower grades are used for things like grain-free pet food or fertilizer for future crops. I loved that fact that nothing ever goes to waste!

Next up- cleaning and sorting.

We were able to observe all kinds of fancy machinery in action that does everything from removing debris to sorting the lentils by color and size! We were all amazed by the color sorting machine in particular.

It uses infrared technology to detect variations in color and then shoots a directed puff of air to remove any lentils that don’t make the cut!

Lentil Sorting at a Canadian lentil farm

Finally – shipping:

Finally the lentils are bagged and placed into shipping containers for delivery to destinations across the globe. All of these measures ensure that the lentils you and I end up purchasing at the store are uniform and of the highest quality.

It was very cool to see all the care and integrity that went into the whole process- It definitely gives the term farm-to-table a much deeper meaning for me!

Lentil Shipping

After our farm tour was finished we headed to Common Cafe  & Bakery for a yummy lentil lunch (lentil curry soup and a lentil brownie- amazing), then it was straight on to a lentil-themed cooking lesson at Schoolhaus Culinary Arts, where Chef Renee walked us through some really creative lentil applications!

First up was a killer lentil sweet potato dip- I loved the flavor combo so much that it ended up becoming half of  the inspiration for my Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters…the other half came from something we had for dinner later that evening- more on that in a sec! Next we made a coconut and ginger scented lentil barley side dish (DEF making this one on repeat) and the lesson was capped off with a batch of banana coconut lentil energy bites. With this recipe especially I was able to experience how flavor-neutral lentils can be in certain uses, making them perfect for sneaking extra protein and nutrition into things like smoothies and baked goods.

I told you guys, you can do SO much with lentils!

picture collage summing up a Lentil cooking Class by Lentils.org

The day ended with yet another eye-opening lentil-centric meal at Crave Kitchen & Wine Bar. What stood out to me most during this meal (besides the lentil FRIES and lavender lentil shortbread cookies- like whoa) were the lentil fritters that we enjoyed as the first course.

One bite and I knew I had to recreate my own version, these Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters, to share with you when I got back.

close-up of half-eaten Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters served with cherries and curried cashew cream

Before I get into the Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters, let me share a few reasons why you NEED to be cooking with lentils:

Why lentils are a superfood:

  1. They’re super high in fiber and protein, making them a wonderful nutrient dense plant-based option. One serving contains 6 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein!
  2. Lentils contain high levels of folate, iron, potassium, zinc and loads of other nutrients.
  3. They’re SUPER versatile. Hello! If you couldn’t gather based on alllll the different types of lentil recipes we sampled on this trip, they can be used for SO much more than soups and stews. From side dishes to salads, to breakfasts and even desserts, lentils fit seamlessly into any part of your meal.
  4. Lentils are easier and much faster to prepare than you might think. Unlike dried beans, they don’t need to be soaked prior to cooking, and the cooking time for whole lentils is only about 15-20 minutes (split lentils only take 5-7 minutes!)

How to make Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters:

So let’s dig into these Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters, shall we? I know you’re going to love them as much as I do.

Since I was so taken with the combination of lentil and sweet potato in the dip we made at the culinary class, I decided to use quick-cooking split red lentils and roasted sweet potatoes to form the base of these sweet potato fritters.

I threw in a few other things- chickpea flour, spices, onion, garlic, hemp seeds, and fresh parsley- and then whizzed it up in the food processor.

overhead shot of ingredients used for making Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters

I then rolled the mixture into balls, tossed them in gluten free breadcrumbs and gave them a quick chill in the freezer just to help them keep their shape when frying.

An easy pan-fry is the last step, and you’ve got yourself crunchy on the outside, soft and flavorful on the inside Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters!

overhead shot of pan-fried Vegan Sweet Potato Fritters served on a blue platter

How to serve these Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters:

You can add these Vegan Sweet Potato Fritters to a pita or tortilla wraps. A even healthier way of serving them is to throw them in a salad. But these are also the perfect finger food paired with your favorite dips.

You know I had to pair my fritters with a dank sauce, so I made a curried cashew cream sauce that I currently want to slather on EVERYTHING. The inspiration for it came from a dinner I had in Sebastopol at a food photography workshop just before this lentil trip.

On the last night a private chef came in and made us dinner- it was such a treat as a chef myself to be served for a change! I loved watching Chef Green from Off the Cuff Eats do his thing and observe his process.

He made a similar sauce for one of the earlier courses paired with beets, and I haven’t been able to get it off my mind since. Pairing my own version with these Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters seemed like the perfect opportunity to revisit it.

overhead shot of a small bowl of vegan cashew cream seasoned with curry powder

So there you have it- lots of reasons to #LoveALentil! I’m so grateful to Lentils.org for giving me the opportunity to learn all about lentils.

overhead shot of Gluten-free Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters served with Cashew Cream and fresh cherries

Make sure to follow along with Lentils.org on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, You Tube and Pinterest for all things lentils!

Tips for making this Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters recipe:

  • Stick to bulk bins when buying lentils, as they tend to have higher turnover so they’ll likely be fresher than those in boxes or bags in the shelf.
  • Sometimes there are small pebbles in your lentils. It’s best to be safe than sorry so make sure to rinse and sift through them before cooking.
  • Don’t turn the heat up too high when cooking lentils. A gentle simmer will cook the lentils to perfection.
  • Soak the cashews at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Variations on these Sweet Potato Fritters:

  • If you are allergic to cashews or cannot find them where you live, I recommend you use macadamia nuts.
  • Not a fan of lentils? Use yellow split peas instead!
  • You can use squash instead of sweet potatoes. A medium sized sweet potato weighs about 185 to 200 g so use about the same amount of squash. Kabocha is especially good here as it is nice and starchy.

Thanks for reading! To keep up with my kitchen escapades, follow me on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. If you make these Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters, please share them using the hashtag #LePetitEats!

Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters
5 from 1 vote
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Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters with Curried Cashew Cream

Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters paired with a seriously addictive curried cashew cream sauce AKA your new favorite way to use split red lentils!

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American, Gluten-free, Vegan
Keyword lentil fritters recipe, vegan sweet potato fritter recipe, vegan sweet potato fritters
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Denisse Salinas

Ingredients

FOR THE CURRIED CASHEW CREAM SAUCE:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lime

FOR THE LENTIL SWEET POTATO FRITTERS:

  • 1/2 cup split red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 sweet potato, roasted, cooled, peeled and cubed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed oil
  • 1/2 cup cherries, halved and seeds removed
  • Micro greens

Instructions

  1. Place cashews, curry powder, turmeric, salt, coconut milk and lime juice in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. If a thinner consistency is desired add additional coconut milk or water 1 tablespoon at a time and blend again until desired consistency is reached. Set aside.

  2. Place lentils in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 5-7 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid and spread on a baking sheet to cool quickly.

  3. Add cooled lentils, sweet potato, garlic, red onion, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, chickpea flour, parsley and hemp seeds to a food processor. Pulse until combined. 

  4. Shape mixture into tablespoon-sized rounds. Roll each round in breadcrumbs and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes to chill.

  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add lentil sweet potato fritters (do this in two batches so as not to overcrowd the pan). Fry for about 3-4 minutes, turning so that browning on all sides is achieved. Set on paper towels to drain.

  6. To serve, spoon cashew curry sauce onto plates. Top with fritters. Garnish with cherries, micro greens, hemp seeds and parsley.

Recipe Notes

Tips for making this Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters recipe: 

  • Stick to bulk bins when buying lentils, as they tend to have higher turnover so they’ll likely be fresher than those in boxes or bags in the shelf.
  • Sometimes there are small pebbles in your lentils. It’s best to be safe than sorry so make sure to rinse and sift through them before cooking.
  • Don't turn the heat up too high when cooking lentils. A gentle simmer will cook the lentils to perfection. 
  • Soak the cashews at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge. 

Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters served with curried cashew cream and fresh cherries

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lentils.org. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

#ad Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Fritters paired with a seriously addictive curried cashew cream sauce. Your new favorite way to use split red lentils! #veganrecipes #appetizers #lentilrecipes #plantbased

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Comments

  1. Danielle Mar

    This is such a great way to use lentils. I usually just throw them in a curry, but I am going to have to try this next time.

  2. Veena Azmanov

    I love lentils. I grew up eating a lot of lentils as a kid. But my kids are not so much into it. I think we do not cook lentils as much these days. That’s sad because it’s so full of nutrition. Love these combo of lentils and sweet potatoes.. Going to try these soon.

    1. Denisse Post author

      There are so many great ways to sneak lentils into foods, like muffins or smoothies, so your kids won’t even know they’re eating them!

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