Lentils make delightful soups and can be used in casseroles, salads, and stews; they also make excellent croquettes or patties. They are fast and simple to prepare, and make a nourishing, hearty, and inexpensive meal when eaten with brown rice. Although it is not necessary to soak lentils, they should be thoroughly picked through and washed to remove impurities. Brown lentils will cook in 50 to 60 minutes, while other varieties, such as the skinless orange variety, take less time, about 25 minutes. Avoid overcooking lentils, as they quickly turn mushy. 1 cup of dried lentils makes 3 to 4 cups of cooked beans.
Lentils are a member of the vetch family and are grouped according to size—large or small. They are not sold fresh, but are dried as soon as they are ripe. Dozens of varieties of lentils exist in addition to the brown variety most common in the West, with colors that range from yellow to red-orange to green.
Lentils, 1 cup (198g) (boiled)
Total Fat: 0.75g
*Excellent source of: Iron (6.6mg), Potassium (730mg), and Folate (357 mcg)
*Good source of: Niacin (2.1mg)
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.
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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires September 2008.