An Ode to Lentils

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Did you know that lentils are delicious and nutritious? If not, then let me inform you of some of the many reasons that lentils can improve your health, and enlighten your taste buds.

Lentils are a type of legume. They are high in protein and low in fat. One cup of cooked lentils equals 17 grams of protein and about 230 calories. They are also a great source of fiber, which can eventually lead to a decreased risk of heart disease. Lentils are a staple in many culture’s diets, and for a good reason. Some other great perks of lentils are that they are easy to find, they are inexpensive, AND they are a perfectly healthy alternative to animal protein. If you’re in need of some more juicy details for the health benefits of lentils before jumping onto the lentil bandwagon, then check out these resources: Here’s an in depth nutrient analysis of lentils, and a look at even more health benefits of lentils.

There are many different types of lentils. Here are three of the most popular varieties that you will commonly come across at the grocery store:

Brown: This is the most common type of lentil, and is carried at most grocery stores. These have a very mild earthy flavor. They hold their shape after cooking, but have a soft texture. These take approximately 30 minutes to cook, and taste great in soups.

Green: Green lentils are actually more pale green-brown in color. These are very flavorful compared to brown lentils, and are peppery in taste. Green lentils keep a firm texture after cooking, and also take the longest to cook at about 45 minutes. Use these flavorful bits for a kick in your salads. 

Red: These lentils range from yellow to orange in color. Red lentils are the sweetest of all the lentils, and also take the least amount of time to cook. Cook time for red lentils is about 20 minutes. When finished, expect them to have a mushy texture. You will most likely see this variety in curries, and at Indian restaurants. 

Keep in mind that, when prepping lentils, they do not need to be soaked like peas and beans. Also, make sure that you sort the lentils by removing and stones or debris. This is very important! It would be very embarrassing if you had a guest over for some delicious lentils, after you twisted their arm by letting them know all about the benefits of lentils, and then they bit into a rock. Just something to keep in mind, anyways, after sorting the lentils, rinse them off, and then they’re all prepared  for whatever fabulous lentil creation you have in mind!

Now, since you may be just as stoked about lentils as I am, here’s one of my favorite recipes. It calls for brown lentils (which are the easiest to find), and tastes especially delicious this time of year. 

Kale and Lentil Soup

Serves 6-8

  • 8 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 1/2 cups Brown Lentils (sort and rinse)
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Bunch Kale, torn into bit sized pieces
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

chop veggies, and add into a pot with vegetable broth over medium-high heat. Add lentils, and simmer about 30 minutes until lentils are tender. Once the lentils are cooked, then add the fresh parsley, and lemon juice. 

 

 

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One comment

  1. Reblogged this on "OUR WORLD".

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