Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Lentils; lovely legumes

I forgot to write a post yesterday. My apologies to any of you who noticed. Fortunately, it appears that the world did not come grinding to a sudden halt.

I was going to blog about chickpeas today but apparently I already did that last year. So, lentils it is. Lentils are part of the bean/pulse family. Did you know that Canada is the world’s largest exporter of lentils? The majority of our lentils are grown in Saskatchewan. There are a number of varieties of lentils: red, green, black… Split red lentils will cook very quickly and become quite mushy while whole green lentils take longer to cook and tend to retain their shape quite well. You don’t want to add salt to the cooking water as this will make your lentils tough.

175 ml of (generic) cooked lentils contains 170 calories, only 0.56 g of fat, 13.21 g protein, an impressive 6.2 g fibre, 28 mg calcium, 4.88 mg iron, 53 mg magnesium, 540 mg potassium, and 265 mcg folate. Not too shabby for an inexpensive little pulse.

Lentils are a great addition to soups, stews, casseroles, and salads. While I’m not sold on this website, it was the only link I could find to the simple, delicious, and nutritious Spicy Red Lentils with Spinach recipe from the Nutrition Action Newsletter. I also love this recipe for curried lentil potato soup from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters.