What are Lentils?
Lentils are the crown jewel of the legume family. Lentils are edible pulses or seeds that belong to the legume family. These mostly consist of two halves covered in a husk.
Lentils can be consumed with or without the husk. Before the invention of milling machines, they were eaten with the husk. The husk contains the highest amount of dietary fiber. Removing the husk during the milling process lessens the fiber in lentils.
Lentils are the go-to protein of vegans and vegeterians, because they have great nutritional value and yet contain few calories. Lentils are also very easy to prepare, they also leave you feeling fuller longer.
Lentils survive drought very well, are a very easy crop to grow and are fairly inexpensive.
Nutritional benefits of Lentils:
- They are a great source of nutritional fiber, and complex carbohydrates, while low in fat and calories
- When cooked 100 gr of lentils contain only 116 calories, and 25 gr of protein – making them the second best source of protein among legumes, after soy.
- They are also a great source of iron, magnesium and other minerals.
- They have a high protein content, this makes lentils a perfect option for those looking to boost their protein intake.
Health Benefits of Eating Lentils:
- Heart health: The consumption of magnesium and iron has been proven to benefit the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body.
- Cholesterol management: Lentils have an abundance of nutritional fiber, lentils effectively decrease LDL (“bad cholesterol”) levels.
- Sugar levels: Nutritional fiber contains a low glycemic value, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Energy: The consumption of complex carbohydrates and high quality protein enables the body to burn energy (glucose) slowly.
- Weight loss: They contain few calories, zero fat, and fiber that contributes to a lasting full sensation, making them a great food to consume for weight loss or to maintain a healthy weight.
Lentils can be used in multiple ways: Below are just a few of the many ways that you can use them.
Lentils are often categorized by their color. Their colours can range from yellow and red to green, brown or black. The most popular kinds of lentils include black lentils, red lentils, brown lentils, mung bean, yellow split peas, yellow lentils, french green lentils, black-eyed pea, kidney beans, soya beans, among others.
Lentil and Mushroom Burger
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 8 oz mushrooms (225 g), finely chopped
- I teaspoon bouillon cubes
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 ½ cups lentils (300 g), cooked
- 1 cup oats (100 g)
- 1 tablespoon flax meal
- 3 tablespoons water
1. To make the flax egg, combine the flax meal and water in a small bowl and stir. Set aside.
2.In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
3. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the mushrooms and cook until most of the juices have evaporated, 7-8 minutes.
4. Add the bouillon cubes, salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.
5.Heat another tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, until semi-translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. 6.Transfer the onion to a food processor, then add the lentils, oats, and flax egg. Pulse until chunky, about 10-15 pulses.
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Please leave a comment if you try this, let us know what the result is.