Today, lentils are an almost forgotten product, which is occasionally spoiled by lovers of exoticism and seekers of new taste sensations. However, this was not always the case …

Only some 150 years ago lentils were the most important product on the table of the majority of Russian people. Moreover, in those days, Russia was the world’s No. 1 cultivator and exporter of lentils. But we, thanks to the total mechanization of agriculture, have very much tried and forgotten about the centuries-old traditions of our people, after which they filled their diet with potatoes, then with wheat, and then with Coca-Cola with BigMaks …

Or still not forgotten, but wisely replaced with more useful and satisfying products? Hardly … After all, earlier lentils were loved not only by Russian people, but also by the Babylonians, Egyptians and even Greeks. And it was used not by some poor people or slaves, but by all sections of the population – down to the most notable masters and kings!

In general, we believe that it’s time to remember how useful lentils are, what dishes can be cooked from it, and whether it is worth eating at all.

Chemical composition

Value Amount per 100 grams
Calorie content of lentils 284 kcal
Fats 1.1 grams
Proteins 24 grams
Carbohydrates 53,7 grams
Water 14 grams
Cellulose 3.7 grams
Starch 39.8 grams
Mono- and disaccharides 3.1 grams
Vitamins B, B1, B2, PP
Minerals Potassium: 672 mg; Calcium: 83 mg; Phosphorus: 390 mg; Manganese: 1190 mcg; Iron: 11770 mcg.

The Benefits of Lentils

Lentil is an integral product, which humanity has not yet guessed to clone and modify at the gene level. There are no harmful semi-finished products from lentils. In addition, lentils simply can not store radionuclides and nitrates. So, from the point of view of naturalness, lentils are ideal.

Lentils are also useful because it contains a lot of vegetable protein, which helps to gain muscle mass safely for the cardiovascular system and kidneys.

For the sake of fairness, we note that the protein in lentils does not contain all the amino acids, therefore, in terms of providing the body with an entire set of amino acids, one can not rely solely on this product. True, this does not bother vegetarians, vegans and even raw food. And in general, not in vain, for lentils – it’s not just a food product, but a truly curative remedy from the “bins” of nature.

Lentil can reduce blood sugar (diabetics for a note), saturate the blood with hemoglobin (due to the high iron content), and also prevent diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and the genitourinary system. Even the cancer of the breast and rectum recedes, “noticing” the lentils on the horizon. Of course, it is difficult or even impossible to cure oncology with lentil alone, but as an aid in treatment it is an excellent option.

According to the content of macro- and microelements, lentils somewhat lag behind other legumes, but this does not detract from its merits. After all, in comparison with most of the products included in the diet of modern man, lentils are almost a concentrate of nutrients.

In this case, the greatest effect on the use of lentils will get those cooks who, instead of cooking or frying this “cereal” will take and will sprout it. The main thing is, after that, thoroughly chew everything that has been grown …

The damage of lentils

Lentils, like any legume, causes gases. Especially if you mix lentil gruel or stew with some carbohydrates (cereals, bread) or meat. If lentils are without such additives, the gas formation will be moderate, if not completely noticeable.

But increased gas formation – it’s not harm, and so – inconvenience. Lentils also have dangerous properties! These include the ability to heavily load the stomach and kidneys, which leads us to the conclusion about the harmfulness of lentils for people with diseased kidneys, suffering from gout and joint diseases.

In addition, lentils contain almost one and a half times more calories than rye bread. So it is difficult to consider it an ideal product for weight loss. Although compared to any kind of meat, lentils are clearly more safe for the figure.

Types of lentils

In our region there are at least 5 types of lentils:

  • Green (French) – the least ripe product, ideal for salads and meat dishes
  • Red (Egyptian)
  • Black (beluga)
  • Yellow is a green lentil
  • Brown (puddle)

Note that green, red, brown and yellow are the four “faces” of the same lentil. Only at different stages of maturity. However, despite this, each type of lentil has its own characteristics, both in composition and in culinary properties.

In addition, lentils vary in size and are large (6-8 mm in diameter) and shallow (up to 5 mm in diameter).

Cooking application

Today, lentils are highly respected by German, Indian and Chinese chefs. However, in other countries, experienced culinary specialists are happy to undertake the preparation of dishes from lentils. After all, the grains of this crop do not require pre-soaking, are very malleable and are quickly prepared.

From lentils, you can cook almost everything, including soups, salads, snacks, pâtés, sauces, croissants, meatballs, garnishes for fish and meat, pastries, sweets and even a drink similar to coffee. In this case, almost all dishes from lentils suggest the addition of a significant amount of spices.

What to cook with lentils?