Lentils come in a variety of colours – yellow, red, green and brown. These nifty little pulses don’t require pre-soaking, can be cooked in mere minutes and thrown into dishes at the last minute. Lentils are great additions to soups, stews, snacks, cereal and even added in smoothies for a natural protein boost. A great source of plant-based protein, lentils are low in GI and are rich source of folate and iron.
For the International Year of Pulses I’m profiling some of the many varieties of pulses available, covering their nutritional value, preparation and storage as well as a variety of recipes for inspiration. Next up, lentils.
Nutrition facts about lentils
Lentils are the most convenient pulse in their dried format because they don’t require any soaking before being boiled and cooked. Red split lentils in particular can cook in about 5-7 minutes, making a very welcome last minute addition to a soup or dish while other varieties will take 20-30 minutes to cook in the pot. Cooking time will also influence the texture whether it’s an ardent bite to throw in a salad, or if you’re aiming to achieve a creamy lentil dahl soup.
Red, yellow and orange lentils have a tendency to go mushy when cooked, so these varieties can tend themselves better to soups or stews. Green and brown lentils however hold their shape much better. To avoid a pot full of lentil mush, bring your lentils to a rapid boil then reduce the heat and simmer for the remainder of the cooking. The lentils should be moving just slightly as the cook which will help them stay intact.
Storing and freezing lentils
Cooked lentils can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container or plastic resealable bag, without any liquid. For longer storage, cooked lentils can be frozen and stored in the freezer for 1 year.
To freeze lentils, spread the cooked lentils in a single layer onto a baking tray covered in baking paper and freeze for 30 minutes. Once they are semi-frozen they can be then poured into an airtight container or resealable bag without fear of them sticking, allowing for easy use in the future.
- Lentil muesli – DWB
- Banana oat lentil protein pancakes – DWB
- Savory oatmeal lentils – Bourbon and honey
- Lentil breakfast flat bread – Chef de Home
- Sweet pumpkin seed protein granola – I love vegan
- Lentil energy bars – DWB
- Pumpkin lentil flax crackers – Queen of my kitchen
- Chocolate chip lentil granola bars – Two saucy sisters
- Valentine red lentil beet flax crackers – Queen of my kitchen
- Crispy lentil energy bites – The Honours system
- Spicy beef lentil pie – DWB
- Cumin roasted cauliflower with black lentils – The Awesome Green
- Penne with red lentils and ginger – Cooking chat food
- Pasta and lentils with crispy bacon – Apron and sneakers
- Beet braised lentils – Feasting at home
- Creamy lentil aubergine stack – Amuse your bouche
- Moroccan spiced lentils and black rice – Margarets dish
- Red lentil risotto – Soup Addict
- Cold cream red lentil soup with turmeric – Cooking without limits
- Dal Palak Keerai paruppu kolumbu – Follow Foodiee
- Red lentil soup with coconut milk – Maria ushakova
- Red lentil and bacon soup – The cooks pyjamas
- Lentil pizza – Amuse your bouche
- Syrian red lentil skillet bread – Strength and sunshine
- Beets tahini flatbread lentils – Eggplant and olive