Lentils

Honestly, these offer bang for your buck when it comes to protein (over 25%) & they are rich in satiating fibre.  Lentils are also rich in B vitamins, magnesium, iron, zinc & potassium.  Yup, this plant-based food source has got a lot going for it.

We did not really have these growing up, so I am a bit late to the game on this one.  Bearing this in mind, I thought I’ would give you the low down on what I’ve found.

Often there are a few types at the store, but they pretty much fall into 3 main categories.

⭐️ Brown

Pretty common.  They have a mild flavour & hold their shape during cooking.  I add these to meat dishes (THINK spag bog or shepherd’s pie).  They are also great as a vego option too (delish in lettuce wraps with some salad).  They have an earthy flavour.

⭐️ Green

This would be my preference to use in salads as it is a stronger flavour which is often described as peppery.  These vary in size, unlike the Puy lentils which are approx. 1/3  the size of green lentils.  Just as an aside Puy lentils originate from the le Puy region in France & also have a peppery flavour profile.

⭐️ Red or yellow

These are “split” which means they are cut into smaller pieces.  These are a sweeter, nuttier flavour.  As they are smaller, they cook faster (makes sense right).  I often use red lentils in soups or stews to boost the fibre & thicken a soup or stew.  These are often used in dal/dahl.

An easy add to soups, stews & curries.
Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

OK, so you can now recognise what you are buying BUT how do you see it in the shop?  There are 2 options.

⭐️ Tinned. 

Just drain & rinse … easy peasey.

⭐️ Dried.

This means a little amount of prep, but still an easy process.

Give the legumes a good rinse in a colander under cold running water& remove any discoloured or broken ones.  Soak lentils overnight in acidic water (THINK lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, use approx. 2 tbspn acid : 1 cup lentils).  Just leave covered in a bowl on the countertop.  Not everyone does this, it is an optional step which has benefits twofold – it will reduce the cooking time & make digesting them loads easier.  Sounds like a good deal to me! 

Then, drain & rinse in fresh water.  Tip into a pot with plenty of water & bring to the boil (skimming off any scum on the surface).  Reduce the heat & simmer until tender.  FYI: unsoaked approx. 15-20 min.

#GetWise #EasyPeasey #GutHealth #Vego #Life101 #ConsciouslyNutritious

Published by Shân

I am incredibly passionate about food and its healing power – it is pretty amazing how what you eat affects how your body works! In fact, I was so fascinated, I went & got myself a degree in it – a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine). Now in all honesty I don’t eat or live a perfect lifestyle, nor will I ever pretend I do. Realistically I know you won’t be perfect either. And that’s OK. As a Clinical Nutritionist I focus on what we eat and how this has an impact on our health and wellness – everyday.

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