Fiber: Helps to reach and maintain a healthy weight by being more filling than low-fiber foods.
Helps reduce cholesterol levels and may lower your risk of heart disease.
Protein: Makes and repairs body cells.
Iron: Helps with production of healthy red blood cells.
Fresh is best, old lentils may take longer to soften when cooking.
There are a variety of colors available, all taste fairly similar. Whole lentils take 15-20 minutes to cook while split red lentils cook in 5-7 minutes.
Dry lentils in a bag are good for 1 year or to the expiration date on the package. After this time, cooking time will increase and the quality of the lentils will decrease. Once the package is open, transfer the lentils to an airtight container to take advantage of the one-year shelf life.
Store cooked lentils in a covered container in the refrigerator and use within 4-5 days. Or freeze them and use within 3 months for best quality.
Spread lentils on a baking sheet. Remove any small stones, dirt pieces, or withered lentils. Rinse in a colander under cool running water.
Lentils do not require soaking before cooking.
Put 1 cup lentils and 3 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring water to a boil. Cover with a lid, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes. If cooking split red lentils, it will only take 5-7 minutes.
NOTE: If seasoning with salt or lemon juice, add them after cooking, as they will prevent the lentils from softening. Use ¼-3/4 teaspoon salt to season 2 cups cooked lentils.
Lentils can be a substitute for meat in chili, tacos, beans, and meatloaf.
Add lentils to rice, vegetables, salad, or pasta to make a protein-rich main dish.