Food Name: Lentils
When I first started to eat a plant-based diet I really didn’t know how to prepare beans and legumes so I was missing out on an important source of proteins and soluble fibers in my diet. My friend and fellow naturopathic Paul Rizza introduced me to green lentils and it changed my life! Lentils are one of the simplest legumes to make they only take about 30-40 minutes in the pot!
Lentils are considered legumes and are a fantastic source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is important in maintaining appropriate cholesterol levels and support heart healthy living. Insoluble fiber supports digestive health, reduces constipation and other digestive complaints. Lentils are a great source of protein especially for those who are looking for a plant-based source of protein. The combination of fiber and protein supports maintaining blood sugar levels which is good news for all diabetic patients. There are many micronutrients found in lentils as well especially magnesium, folate, and iron. These nutrients support cardiovascular health, menstrual abnormalities, and some issues related to issues related to fatigue.
Remember that it is important to eat a balanced diet to make sure you get all the vitamins and nutrients required by the body. Information referenced from whfoods.org.
How to pick a good/Storage
Here is an important tip whenever you are preparing beans or legumes then you need to wash them before you put them in water to cook. They come from the earth just like fruits and vegetables so since you wash those you should wash your lentils too!
Dry lentils you can store up to a year. Cooked you can keep in the refrigerator for a week. In the freezer, they will last for up to 3 months. Be sure to store then in an air tight container so they will last and won't get freezer burn.
Recipes/Fun Ideas about how to use
Lentils are great in soups and salads! Here a few of my favorite simple recipes to make them. You can also find them in my 2nd Book Eat More Plants.
Green Lentil Soup page 27
Pink Lentil Soup page 29
Minty Lentil Salad page 52
Lentil Quinoa Salad page 60