So, today we’ll get to know about lentils.
Are Lentils Vegetables Or Grains?
Lentils are technically pulses, along with beans and peas. Vegetables include any edible part of any plant, thus encompassing multiple food groups. Grains are hard, dry seeds, small-sized, and lacking any fruit layer.
Thus, to answer “What food group are lentils, vegetables or grains”, we must say both.
What Are Lentils? Why Are They Good For Health?
Lentils are leguminous pulses, with lens-shaped seeds. They are the staple source of nutrition in many cultures. However, only with cereals do lentils count as nutrition source. They have a high protein content, are a carb and fiber source, with low fat, and rich in Vitamin B, folate, magnesium, zinc, manganese, iron, and potassium.
How Do Lentils Taste?
The taste of different varieties of lentils depends on which color they are. Red lentils are usually sweeter while yellow ones are nuttier. Green and black lentils are mostly peppery while brown ones have an earthy taste. Some people also feel that when cooked in certain ways, lentils can have a meaty taste too.
What Are The Varieties Of Lentils?
Lentils varieties are usually differentiated based on which color they are, as it also decides their taste. The main varieties and examples of lentils are:
- Brown – They are the commonest lentil variety that hold their shape when cooked, making them ideal for stews, casseroles, and soups.
- Green – These flat and firm lentils taste peppery, making them perfect for salads and pilafs.
- Red And Yellow – Red lentils are the husked and split version of yellow lentils. They cook very easily, making them popular in purees, dips, and “daal”.
- Specialty – Examples of lentils of specialty varieties are black Beluga and French puy. They are often used in salads and as bases for dishes.
Here are the TOP-3 French recipes with lentils.
Warm French Lentils
- 1 cup French lentils
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 3 celery sticks
- 1 carrot
- 1 chopped rosemary sprig
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 liter vegetable stock
- 2-3 bay leaves
- pepper and salt
- In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Add 1 onion, 3 celery sticks, and 1 carrot, all chopped finely.
- Cook for 5-10 minutes on medium heat. Add 1 chopped rosemary sprig and 2 crushed garlic cloves.
- After a few minutes, add 1 cup French lentils, 1 liter vegetable stock, and 2-3 bay leaves.
- Stir for 20-25 minutes over low heat. Strain the excess liquid, remove the bay leaves, season with pepper and salt.
- Serve warm.
French-Style Lentil Stew
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pot.
- Add 1 diced onion, cook for 5 minutes, add 3 minced garlic cloves, and cook for another minute.
- Add 3 cups water, 1 cup brown lentils, and 1-2 tsp herbs de Provence. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a half-hour. Meanwhile, sauté 8 ounces cremini mushrooms using 2 tbsp olive oil.
- Add ½ cup dry white wine to the lentils, simmer for 4 minutes, add the mushrooms, one can diced tomatoes, 3 tbsp tomato paste, and 2 tbsp capers.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes, and season with pepper and salt.
- Serve garnished with fresh basil.
French Lentil Salad
- Make warm French lentils.
- In a bowl, whisk ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, ½ tbsp honey, and 6 tbsp olive oil gradually.
- Mix the lentils with this dressing, 2 sliced shallots, ½ cup chopped mint leaves, ⅓ cup chopped walnuts, and 2-3 ounces goat cheese crumbles.
- Season with kosher salt and pepper.
How Long Do Cooked Lentils Last?
When stored in airtight containers, lentils last for a week when refrigerated and up to 3 months when frozen.
Can I Eat Undercooked Lentils?
You cannot eat undercooked lentils. They will cause gastric problems. They also contain phytic acid which prevents absorption of many minerals.
Don’t forget to try 3 eggless toast recipes!