Lentils and Legumes

     How many of you eat lentils and legumes?  I think out of all the legumes, black beans and lentils are my most favorite.  I like them all, but lentils are so versatile.   They can be used in chili, salads, lentil loaves.  You can eat them cold or hot.  Another thing that I love about lentils, is they cook up so quickly.  If you have ever rehydrated beans, it's an all day, all night affair unless of course you use an Ipot, but lentils cook up within 20 minutes or so, and if you are anything like me who doesn't plan your meals or think something sounds good and you get a wild hair you can do a pot of lentils within minutes.

     Lentils have a history..... It's thought that lentils date back as far as 8000 years and have been found in archaeological finds in the Middle East.  Lentils were mentioned in the bible both as the item that Jacob traded for his birthright and as part of a bread that was made during the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish people.

     Before the 1st century, they were introduced into India.  Currently, the leading commercial producers of lentils include India, Turkey, Canada, China and Syria.  It's believed they originated in central Asia.

     So how are lentils good for you?  They are heart healthy.  They have a high fiber content, significant amounts of folate and magnesium both of which are heart healthy.  Lentils also give you energy to burn while stabilizing blood sugar levels.  If you have hypoglycemia or diabetes, legumes like lentils can really help balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow burning energy.
Iron!!!  I remember my sister was concerned that I wouldn't get enough iron if I didn't eat meat. Lentils replenishes iron levels, especially for menstruating women.

     Lentils like other legumes are packed with fiber.  Both soluble, and insoluble.  Soluble helps with cholesterol to take it out of the body, and insoluble helps us so we don't become constipated, although on a plant based diet, I don't think that is really a problem.

     Lentils also provide lots of vitamins and minerals.  B1, B6, pantothenic acid, zinc, potassium.
If you want more info about this magic bean, read the article in full below.    

     Make sure when you consume any legume if they are a dried bean to sort them and rinse them.  Often times you will find rocks in them.  Then you will find yourself going to the dentist.  I use a lot of green and brown lentils, and red lentils are great for thickening as they absorb water.

     I have a couple of lentil recipes on my blog, but I need more!  I think I will be making lentil loaf this week while the husband is gone on business.  It's not his favorite, but I love it.

     This is a picture of the lentils I have in my pantry.  I buy them in bulk at WINCO.  Experiment with lentils.  They are flat delicious!


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