Healthy Food

Cheap and Healthy: Lentils

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For the next few Mondays I will be sharing some of my favorite healthy basics and a few ways to eat them. Enjoy! 

Lentils

Lentils are technically a legume, and they are a very common ingredient in middle eastern dishes, mostly curry or stew, or served over rice. High in zinc, iron, and phosphorus, with a solid 26g protein per 100g raw, they are an excellent addition to anyone’s diet, but especially pregnant women and people with anemia.

There are many different colors of lentils. The yellow and red hold together during the cooking process better and are good for stews. The brown tends to turn mushy and is used as a thickener for soups. Personally, I use brown most often and serve it over rice.

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The lentil is particularly appealing because it cooks very quickly, somewhere between 10-45 mintues. However, to maximize the nutrition value it is recommended that you soak lentils for a prolonged period of 8 hours. Sprouting the lentils is another way to get rid of the enzymes that inhibit digestion and release all those minerals and delicious protein.


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My all time favorite recipe is to cook them with wild rice in a mushroom broth with onions and garlic. Back when I was especially strict with my diet, this meal was a staple both for price point and nutrition. Lentils tend to take on the taste of whatever they are cooked with, so they are wonderful used to extend meat in chili or tacos. A local restaurant here in town is known for their lentil burgers. It’s an extremely versatile food and definitely a staple in healthy frugal eating!

Do you eat lentils? What is your favorite recipe? If you leave a recipe in the comments I might just try it and feature it in a future post!

 

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4 Comments

  1. tina@ Pro Finance Blog 

    January 14, 2016 at 8:45 am

    You are right Mrs. Crunchy, Lentils cook quickly and are so versatile it’s important to keep the desired result in mind and adjust cooking times according. These are not only cheap but also packed with important nutrients. And also stay safe if you store raw lentils at a dry and air tight container. That’s why its never affect our monthly budget. 🙂

    1. Mrs. Crunchy

      January 15, 2016 at 12:05 am

      I love how cheap they are. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Melissa @ HerGreenLife

    January 14, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    I also love lentils. We eat a lot of legumes, and lentils are my go-to, especially if I’m short on time and haven’t soaked any beans. I really like Post Punk Kitchen’s “Snobby Joe’s,” a vegetarian sloppy joe made with lentils. French lentils are good in salads with feta cheese.

    1. Mrs. Crunchy

      January 15, 2016 at 12:04 am

      That sounds delicious!

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