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Lentils are legumes. In the family of Legumes the lentil is the diamond in the crown. If you are vegetarian, vegan or want to reduce animal protein then – lentils are your go to protein. Why? they have Few calories, lots of value. The favorite combination. They are easy and quick to prepare and satisfying. There are archaeological evidence that lentils were eaten more than 10,000 years ago.

But take for example our familiar and beloved bread that we also started eating 10,000 years ago. Not only did he undergo agricultural processing but many other changes. Since there is actually not much connection between today’s bread and that of 10,000 years ago, but guess what? The lentils are almost the same lentils.

They cultivated (and a part of the cuisine) throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

On top of being high in protein and high in fiber content, which will keep you satiated a long time, there are other reasons you want to make lentils a part of your diet. They are also high in iron, a good source of phytochemicals, and can help control weight.

Dry lentils is one of bag dry foods you bring home with good intentions to eat healthy, only to find the bag weeks later and realize you still have no idea what to do with it. 

If you want to become a person who doesn’t toss dusty bags of lentils after years of neglect, let’s dig deeper into what lentils are, what makes them so healthy, and how to make them super tasty and delicious. 

A handful of lentils can easily upgrade any soup or salad. They come in different colors (orange, green, black and more ..) and all have excellent nutritional values. But did you wonder what is the difference between the colors of the lentils?

Orange / red lentils

Orange lentils are slightly sweet and excellent for making spreads and soups.

Orange lentils are the fastest lentils for cooking, very soft after  cooking, which means that they do not retain their complete form after cooking, but dissolved and mashed.

How to cook: Orange lentils, unlike most legumes, do not require soaking and do not require any pre-cooked cooking for stews or soups. just wash them in tap water about 3 times. They are less recommended for salad.

The special health benefit that red lentils provide us with is folic acid. Did you know? A cup of cooked orange lentils provides almost all of the daily amount recommended for folic acid consumption.

 Black/Beluga Lentils 

This type of lentil is found in dark brown colors. They have a strong, earthy and they are best suited for making salads, stews and are compliments proteins or meaty vegetables (mushrooms).

They are firmer and therefore retain their shape even after cooking. They retain the dark color and can even color the stew in which they are cooked, so it is worthwhile to cook them separately.

Black lentil cooking time is ֿ30- 35 minutes. Soups and stews do not require pre-cooking but will certainly extend the cooking time. For a salad, cook for at least 45 minutes. To shorten the cooking time, soak the lentils overnight in the refrigerator.

Recommended recipes: Lentils salad, Black lentil patties.

Green/Brown Lentils

The green lentils, if any, will be faded green as well as green and brown mottled. They are very common in the market and can be prepared with a variety of foods and dishes they have a mild and earthy flavor and ability to hold their texture after being cooked, they can serve as a veggie burger base without overpowering the fresh veggie flavor. 

They are semi-soft but retain their shape. The texture is perfect for making patties or soups, and salads.

Puy Lentils

Black lentil cooking time is ֿ40- 45 minutes. Also known as lentilles du Puy, these lentils are slate green in color with bluish black undertones and they are about one-third the size of green lentils. It’s grown in the volcanic soils of the Le Puy district in the Auvergne in central France for nearly the past two thousand years. Puy lentils offer exceptional quality, flavor, and nutritional content, most notably mineral contents and particularly iron and magnesium.

As a source of anthocyanins, their dark color, similar to that as found in blueberries and black grapes, provides valuable antioxidants. They have slightly peppery taste and traditionally served as a side dish, in salads, as a focal point in a meal, or even as a foundation for meat, fish, or game.

Recommended recipes:

Orange Lentil Soup, Orange lentil latkes.


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