Lentils are not only one of the most nutritious foods, they are also very versatile. Vegetables can be prepared in various ways in the kitchen. At the same time, their high iron and protein makes them ideal for vegetarians and anyone who wants to eat less meat.
Just prepare and soak lentils
Lenses are very easy to prepare. Rinse briefly in a sieve to remove any dirt. Larger varieties such as dish lentils can be soaked before cooking, preferably overnight. This shortens the cooking time. Smaller varieties like red lentils can be cooked right away. Whether a dip is necessary and how long each variety should be cooked is written on the package.
People with sensitive stomachs should not use the soaking water for cooking, but use fresh water. Some of the hard-to-digest ingredients dissolve in the water. However, other valuable nutrients are also released into the water and lost when spilled. Salt in the cooking water ensures that the lenses remain firm. If you want to prepare a puree or soak, it is better to leave the salt. A little vinegar or lemon juice emphasizes the taste of lentils.
Types of lentils: Dishes suitable for lentil soup
Lenses are available in many varieties, there are about 70 different ones worldwide. They differ not only in size, color and taste, but also in their cuisines. The best known are the relatively large, usually brownish lentils, which are well suited for the classic lentil stew and lentil soup. Externally they resemble the Pardina lentils, which are characterized by a particularly nutty taste.
Red lentils: a classic of Indian cuisine
Red lentils are especially common in Indian cuisine. They are already peeled and therefore overcook relatively quickly. Soaking before cooking is also no longer necessary. Their smooth consistency after cooking makes them ideal for dips and cleanings, as well as for Indian dishes like dal. Yellow lentils have a slightly stronger flavor, but are also popular in Indian and Oriental cuisine. They are not their own variety, but peeled brown or green lentils.
Beluga lentils as a side dish or slow salad
Beluga lentils are ideal for salads or as a side dish for fish. The small, bright black lentils have a very fine aroma reminiscent of chestnuts. Another well-known variety is Puy lentils. The dark legumes from France also remain firm after cooking and taste aromaticly nutty.
Healthy meat substitute: Use lentils for Bologna
Lentils are a great substitute for meat in many dishes. Bologna sauces or hamburger pies, where lentils are used instead of minced meat, are particularly tasty. Varieties with a floury consistency, such as red or yellow, as well as dish lentils, are especially suitable for this.
Ingredients: Protein makes lentils so healthy
Lentils are very rich in protein: In some cases, they even contain more protein than foods of animal origin. They are therefore a valuable addition to the menu, especially for vegetarians. They also contain a lot of magnesium, which is important for various metabolic processes and the nervous system, as well as a lot of fiber. Lentils are also rich in iron. However, the body is less able to use the iron of lentils than animal iron. Vitamin C promotes absorption, so it helps, for example, to serve orange juice or raw vegetable salad with the slow dish.
Purchase and maintenance of lenses
Lentils are mostly sold dried. When buying, make sure there are no whitish flour residues on the bottom of the package, as these indicate infestation of pests. Lenses can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for several months, and some types longer.