Pantry Staples- Lentils

Welcome to week 3 of my pantry staples! This week is all about the lentils. I'll be honest, lentils are a relatively new staple for me, and for the longest time I wasn't quite sure what to do with them, and didn't know which color to buy. I felt overwhelmed and seemed to reach past them every time I was looking for something to make for dinner. I am finally comfortable with this ingredient now that I know how to cook them, and have found some recipes I love! They are indeed worthy of being a pantry staple!

When I am stocking my pantry, I like to have both red and brown on hand. Brown lentils tend to hold their shape better, and are good to use in salads, soups, or as a side. Red lentils on the other hand break down and become quite mushy when cooking. Red lentils can be great to use in curries or use them to form lentil cakes, which is my favorite way to use them! Lentils are very quick and easy to cook- simply add 1 cup of dried lentils to 3 cups of water and bring to a boil, once the water is boiling, cover with a lid, reduce heat, and simmer until all the water is gone.

Here are some of the health benefits of lentils, and why they should be a pantry staple in your home:
  • An amazing source of plant based protein, 1 cup of cooked lentils has about 18g of protein
  • Lentils contain phyates, which are cancer fighter compounds, this means that consuming lentils can lower your risk of developing certain cancers
  • They are rich in dietary fiber, which is great for your digestion, 1 cup has about 15g of fiber
  • A great source of non-heme iron, meaning it does not come from meat or fish
  • Great for heart health, consuming lentils can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • An easy way to incorporate a variety of minerals and vitamins into your diet
  • They are high in complex carbs, which leave you feeling fuller for longer
  • They are low in fat
  • Very affordable, we're talking under two dollars for a 1lb bag

 My favorite recipe using lentils is one I found on Pinterest, I love using Pinterest as a resource when I have an ingredient that I'm not quite sure what to do with, which is how I was when I first started eating lentils. Be sure to check out this recipe, and let me know if you try it!
What is your favorite way to use lentils? Let me know in the comments.

The best lentil cakes→

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