Lentils, botanically-known as Lens culinaris esculenta, have been a source of sustenance for our ancestors since prehistoric times. The word lentils comes from the Latin lens

Thought to have originated in the Near East or Mediterranean area, lentils (known as dal or dahl in India) are small disks resembling a flat baby pea. When halved, dried lentils resemble their split pea cousins.
There are hundreds of varieties of lentils, with as many as fifty or more cultivated for food. They come in a variety of colors, with red, brown, and green being the most popular. Lentils have an earthy, nutty flavor, and some varieties lend a slight peppery touch to the palate. Lentils grow best in cool weather. Most lentil production in North America takes place in the Pacific Northwest, eastern Washington, northern Idaho and up into western Canada, where it has been grown since the 1930’s as a rotation crop with wheat.

Proven health benefits of lentils:

Full of fiber:

One cup of cooked lentils has about 15 grams of Fiber (1) including soluble,  and insoluble fiber. Fiber consumption has many benefits of its own including lower the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, lowers blood pressure, etc…. (2)

Improves digestive health:

Thanks to high soluble fiber content of lentils, lentils can promote digestive health.  Insoluble fiber, absorbs water in the digestive tract, swelling up and carrying waste out of the digestive tract, therefore more bowel movement (3).

High source of plant based protein:

One cup of cooked lentils has 17.9 grams of protein (4). They have the third-highest level of protein by weight of any legume or nut, coming just after soybeans and hemp seeds.

A perfect source of protein for veterinarians or vegans. Lentils can be used in place of meat in many recipes, in order to increase fiber and nutrient intake.

A great source of folate:

One cups cooked lentils contain 90% of daily Value of folate about 358 mcg. Health benefits of folate are abundant with supporting normal fetal development (5), Promoting sperm viability (6), encouraging normal cholesterol levels (7), and helping prenatal mood management (8) to just name a few.

A good source of iron:

One cup cooked lentils contain 6.6 mg of iron 37% of Daily Value (9). Iron has many health benefits such as promoting healthy pregnancy, increased energy, and improving athletic performance.

A perfect recipe for everyone including vegans:

Lentil soup:

Ingredients: (makes 4 servings)

  • Onion: 1 small chopped
  • Avocado oil: 2 Tbsp.
  • Carrots: 2 medium, Sliced
  • Celery: 4 stalks, Sliced
  • Turmeric: 1 Tsp.
  • Dried basil: 1 Tsp.
  • Bay leaves: 1 leaf
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
  • Crushed tomatoes: 1 can
  • Lentils: 2 cup, dry
  • Water: 8 cups, or more if needed
  • Baby spinach: 1 cup
  • Apple cider vinegar: to taste
  • Salt and pepper: to taste

Directions:

  • Over medium-low heat, place a medium size pot on the stove.
  • Add avocado oil and onions and sauté until onions are soft
  • Add sliced carrots and celery to the pot and mix for couple of minutes
  • Add turmeric, dried basil, bay leaf, minced garlic, crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper and mix
  • Add dry lentils and 8 cup of water, turn the heat to high and bring to boil
  • Lower heat to low, cover the pot and let your soup cook for couple of hours
  • 5 minutes before serving, add spinach and apple cider vinegar stir and cook until spinach wilt
  • Taste add more salt, pepper, and vinegar if needed
  • Serve and enjoy

Nutrition facts per serving:

Calories: 233.54

  • Protein 97g
  • Fat 61g
  • Carb 99g
  • Fiber 72g
  • Sugar 35g

As always,

Stay happy and healthy

Roya

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