Lentils are commonly known as beans, but really more specifically they are legumes. Legumes are the dry pod-growing fruits in certain plants. As I did my research, I was surprised to find that other nuts and vegetables were in this family that most of us eat on a regular basis like peanuts, alfalfa and vanilla. There is much variety in the legume category. Lentils happen to be the only “bean” that does not need to be soaked before cooking. They cook fairly fast, but make sure you pick out all of the lentils that are broken or deformed in any way before cooking.
The commonly known Caribbean dish “rice and peas” has more nutritional value that the two items served separately because serving this legume with a grain helps it to become a complete protein. This is of particularly great concern for those on a vegetarian diet. Lentils are also full of fiber and contain 80 to 90% of the folic acid needed in a day in just one serving.
Lentils can be used for soups, rice dishes, salads and even as a low -holesterol meat substitude. What I really love about lentils is how much color you can add to your dish because they come in just about every color in the rainbow spectrum. Eating is as much visual for us as it is about the aroma and flavor. Enjoy some lentils as soon as possible