Lentils are a type of legume which are extremely rich in proteins. In many countries, legumes are the primary source of protein because they’re also very cheap. While they’re best known for their protein content, lentils are also high in iron, folate and potassium. Lentils aren’t just healthy, they’re also delicious and very versatile. Pairing them with other ingredients doesn’t just make them more tasty, it’s healthier that way. Lentils don’t contain all the essential amino acids, so pairing them with grains transforms them into a complete protein. The traditional western diet doesn’t include a lot of lentils, but it’s time you started including them. If you’re not sure how to cook them, here are five ways to prepare these five different lentils.
1. Green Gram
Green gram, also known as mung bean, is identified by its distinct green color. This lentil is very popular is several south Asian countries and is used both as
Sprouting: Sprouting mung beans is very easy and can make them more nutritious. Soak them in enough cold water to cover them fully for at least 12 hours. Then strain them and store them in an airtight lid away from sunlight. Over the next few days, wash and rinse them every 12 hours and return them back to the container. Stop doing this when they’ve sprouted as much as you wanted them to. You can eat these as a snack or add them to your salads.
Stewing: Traditionally in India, green gram is used to make dal, a type of thick stew. Boil them in water until they’re soft and mushy, then add in your favorite spices to make it more flavorful.
2. Red Lentils
Red lentils are very effective at lowering your blood cholesterol levels. They prevent plaque from forming within the walls of your arteries and also keep your blood pressure low. Red lentils contain most of the essential amino acids our body needs. They’re a good source of soluble fibers, which improves your digestive health. These lentils lose their shape when cooked, which makes them very versatile. You can add a cupful of red lentils to most soups and stews for an extra boost of nutrition and taste. Carrot and pumpkin soups in particular, are perfect with red lentils. You can also make a traditional Indian dal and pair it with rice.
3. Beluga Lentils
Beluga lentils are black and round. They aren’t very mushy and hold their shape to a large extent when cooked. They look a lot
4. Brown Lentils
Brown lentils are the most easily available type of lentils and are just as healthy as the other types. They are very useful if you’re trying to lose weight because they’re full of fiber, but have almost no fat. Adding them to your meals will keep you full without raising your calorie
5. Le Puy Lentils
Don’t be intimidated by its fancy name, Le Puy lentils are just as easy to use as the other varieties. They’re small, grey lentils which are usually cultivated in Europe. They’re rich in antioxidants and are also very good for your heart health. Le Puy lentils are thought to be the most unique tasting of all lentils because they have a mild peppery taste to them. These lentils hold their shape even after cooking and so they’re mostly used in salads and stir fries. Boil them in water for about half an hour or until they’re soft enough to eat. Then toss them in any salad or