How to cook lentils in healthier way? Lentils are a nutritious also useful meals. Fortunately they are economical, which makes them an excellent basic for anybody looking into nutritional, inexpensive lifestyle. They are definitely the quickest cooking of all the legume family, and they don’t require soaking making their cooking much faster still. They are naturally healthy as well. High in anti-oxidants, selenium, and B vitamins, all of which boost the immune system.
Dried lentils are a year-round staple in our pantry, important for rounding out salads during hot weather and hearty soups in the winter months. No matter of the season, their quick-cooking, no-soak-required nature makes them ideal for healthy weeknight meals.
There are 3 Types of Lentils:
- Dry brown lentils: These are cheap and easy to obtain in most grocery stores. They hold their shape well after cooking, so think of them for soups, salads, side dishes, and meatless main dishes.
- Dry French green lentils: Also called du Puy lentils, these dark slate-green lentils hold their shape commonly nicely when cooked. Their peppery taste and texture make them a good alternative for many dishes, including soups, salads, side dishes, and main dishes. French lentils tend to be more expensive and might require a visit to a specialty market to find them.
- Dry red lentils: This thin-skin variety tends to cook quickly and break up while cooking. The lentils are small and often bought split, revealing an orange-red color. Consider red lentils for thickening soups, making purees, and using in recipes where their softer texture is desired. They are commonly used in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes.
For weeknight dishes, we love preserving green or brown lentils in our pantry. These cook immediately and evenly without becoming mushy and are the most versatile for our recipes. Yellow, red, and orange lentils are fantastic, but since they tend to get mushy when cooked, they are usually best added to soups and sauces rather than cooked on their own.
After attempting a number of different cooking methods for lentils, we have found that the most effective way to cook perfectly tender dried beans is to bring them to a quick simmer, thereafter lower the heat to low for the rest of cooking. You want to see just a few bubbles in the water and some gentle movement in the lentils. They will plump up nicely without splitting their skins or getting soft.
One more trick is to wait to add the salt or any acidic ingredients until the lentils are done cooking. These ingredients can cause the lentils to stay crunchy even when fully cooked. If you stir in the salt while the lentils are still warm, they will absorb just enough to taste fully seasoned.
How to Choose and Keep Lentils?
Lentils are sold dried. They are ready year-round in bulk or packaged. When shopping for in bulk, ensure the bins are covered to guarantee freshness. Although dry lentils can be stored almost indefinitely, six months is recommended. Much longer storage can influence the lentils to fade and become drier, extending cooking times. Store dry lentils in an airtight container in a cool, dry place out of direct light. You can also find cooked, ready-to-use packages of lentils in some markets.
Ingredients of cooking lentils :
- 1 cup dried green, brown, or French lentils
- 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove, or other seasonings (optional)
- 2 cups water
- a quarter to third quarter teaspoon salt
How to cook lentils in healthier way:
Any quantity of lentils can be cooked in this way. Simply take care of the 2:1 proportion of water to lentils explained below.
1. Clean Lentils: Measure the lentils into a strainer or colander. Pick over and remove any shriveled lentils, debris, or rocks. Thoroughly rinse under running water.
2. Blend Lentils and Water: move the rinsed lentils to a saucepan and pour in the water. Put any seasonings being used, reserving the salt.
4. Simmer the Lentils: Bring the water to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer. You should only see a few small bubble and some slight movement in the lentils. Cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Add water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered.
5. Salt the Lentils: Lentils are cooked as soon as they are tender and no longer crunchy. Older lentils may take longer to cook and shed their outer skins as they cook. Strain the lentils and remove any seasonings. Return the lentils to the pan and stir in a quarter teaspoon of salt. Taste and add additional salt as needed.
6. Seasoning and Using Cooked Lentils: Cooked lentils will keep refrigerated for about a week. Season them with olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, fresh herbs, and eat them on their own. Lentils can also be added to soups, salads, or other recipes.
How to cook lentils in healthier way is really easy to do. Lets try it at home.