What do kale, spinach, pomegranates, quinoa, and goji berries have in common? At one point or another they were deemed a “superfood,” meaning they are highly nutritious with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that all work to improve and support good health. Well, another food item comes to mind as a superfood, and you may or may not be eating it regularly. What is it, exactly? It’s lentils.
Lentils are a legume that are high in fiber, protein (18 grams per cup, to be exact), and minerals, along with other essential nutrients. Furthermore, they have virtually zero fat and are inexpensive, which means they can become a staple food item in your pantry to support overall good health.
Lentils are low in calories and when eaten with other vegetables, they can make for a very satisfying meal.
Unlike other legumes that require soaking prior to cooking, lentils do not need to be soaked. All you have to do is rinse them and lay them out to remove any small pebbles.
Cooking lentils is very easy. For every cup of lentils you are cooking, you need three cups of water to boil them in. Once the water begins to boil, lower the heat to a simmer and then cover the lentils and continue to cook them for 20 to 30 minutes. Green and brown lentils take longer to cook than red ones.
Lentils can go a long way in improving your health, so now that you know a bit more about them, why not try to enjoy them—and all their nutrients—in a delicious and healthy lentil sloppy Joe recipe?
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• ½ cup white onion, chopped
• 1 small carrot, shredded
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
• ½ cup organic, natural ketchup
• ½ teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 6 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, and carrot until softened. Add the lentils and top with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer until all the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft, about 35 to 40 minutes. Stir in the ketchup, oregano, and Worcestershire sauce. Continue to simmer until the lentil mixture thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve in hamburger buns.