Thursday, December 13, 2007


Lentils are legumes, seeds of a plant, and they grow in pods that contain either one or two lentil seeds. They generally have a mild, earthy, somewhat nutty flavour. They cook relatively quickly, but before cooking, always rinse them and pick out stones and other debris. Unlike dried beans and peas, there's no need to soak them. Lentils cook more slowly if they're combined with salt or acidic ingredients, so add these last. Bigger or older lentils take longer to cook. Store dried lentils for up to a year in a cool, dry place.

Lentils are the vegetable with the highest level of protein, other than soybeans, and they were apparently selected by Health Magazine as one of the 5 healthiest foods. They are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, and the high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. They are rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Studies show that eating high fiber foods such as lentils, helps prevent heart disease.

The legume also has significant amounts of folate, magnesium, and iron.

GF - Depending on the brand you purchase, the lentils may have been processed on the same equipment as wheat products. Lentils themselves are, of course, gluten-free, but check your packaging.

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