What Are The Four Types Of Lentils You Can Cook?

Lentils are among the most nutritious and versatile of plant-like proteins. Lentils are related to the lean and bean, and first come from the continents of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Lentils in general are very low in fat and offer high amounts of fiber, protein, iron, among other nutrients.

They can be used in various dishes from your everyday curry, veggie burgers, casseroles, soups, and vegetarian dal. They can also be used as great substitutes for essential ingredients.

It is often recommended to have your lentils rinsed before they are added to recipes, and to sort out any broken lentils. You aren’t required to soak lentils, but it you do, you can cut down the time in takes for them to cook by half.

Here are the 4 types of lentils that you can buy:

Black lentils

Also known as beluga lentils, black lentils are a heavy pulse that mesh in nicely with other vegetables or food items and have strong amounts of protein. They get their name from looking just like beluga caviar, but they taste almost like black beans. They take up to a half an hour to cook and are the most nutritious of lentils to eat. These lentils are also are chock full of anthocyanin, an antioxidant that gives food items a purple or blue color.

Brown lentils

Brown lentils have a nice, natural shape to them. They taste mild and have a natural, earthy flavor to them. These are highly versatile lentils that can be included with veggie burgers, soups, and salads. These take up to 45 minutes to thoroughly cook. Brown lentils are one of the most commonly eaten lentils in North America.

Green lentils

Green lentils are high in antioxidants, magnesium, and iron. They work particularly well when used for salads and as a warm side dish of their own. They have a peppery taste that makes them more edible than the other lentils. They can be used similarly to brown lentils, and take up to 45 minutes to fully cook. Buy lentils are known as the “true” green lentil that comes from Le Buy, a region in France. They have the same Colby as green lentils, and are known for being the most flavorful and textured of them all. Because of this, Buy lentils are known to be the most expensive type of lentil that van be bought.

Red and yellow lentils

Red and yellow lentils are core ingredients to make famed recipes like vegetarian dahl. These are sweet and mild lentils that are cherished in India and the Middle East. When cooked, they tend to grow somewhat mushy and messy, and when they do, they can be used to help thicken purees, stews, and soups. They can help add color to an otherwise bland dish, and come with a sweet, nut flavor. Red and yellow lentils usually take up to 20 minutes to cook entirely.

Here are some other odd tit bits that you did not know about lentils:

  • Lentils are very high in fiber. 1 cup of cooked lentils is about 16 grams in weight.
  • Three quarters of a cup of cooked lentils contains more potassium than a whole banana.
  • Of all the legumes and nuts, lentils are placed 3rd as the highest source of protein.
  • Lentils have more fol-ate than all other plant food items.
  • 25 percent of calories in lentils come from protein, so a quarter of each lentil is meant to help give you energy.

Lentils are highly versatile legumes that you should consider buying for any meal or recipe.

About Liz Edgecombe

Liz is our founder, dreamer & passionate spice evangelist. She is passionate about enriching life & does what she can to add that extra bit of spice to life.