Red lentils: find out their properties and how to cook them

Red lentils, like all legumes, are rich in health benefits. Let’s see why our diet should always contain them and how to cook them.

Legumes are an important source of vegetable proteins and iron, which are necessary especially in the vegetarian and vegan diet. Unfortunately, for many people they are hard to eat, because they may cause digestive problems and meteorism. Also, cooking legumes requires a lot of time, because they have to be soaked in water first. However, red lentils do not cause any of these problems.

This particular variety of lentils is orange-red instead of brown. They are easily digestible, do not cause intestinal gas and can be cooked immediately, without soaking them. Also, they are very tasty and can be used in many recipes. Let’s see how!

Red lentils: properties

lenticchie rosse
PHOTO SOURCE: https://pixabay.com/it/lenti-legumi-alimentari-cibo-vegan-2097626/

Red lentils are rich in vegetable proteins (around 22%), complex carbohydrates and fiber. They are also a source of important mineral salts (phosphorus, potassium and iron) and vitamins of the B group. Thanks to these properties, they are a good alternative to meat and should be consumed abundantly in vegetarian diets and vegan.

As we anticipated, red lentils are much more easy to digest, if compared to other legumes. They can be cooked quickly, especially if dehusked. That is why husked red lentils are less used in recipes. This variety of legumes helps keeping under control the glycemic index and it is perfect for people suffering from diabetes. Finally, red lentils do not contain cholesterol and are low in fat. The only contain unsaturated fats, known as the “good” ones.

Red lentils: recipes

Red lentils can replace the brown ones in each preparation, from soups to the vegetable burgers. A simple recipe is red lentil stew: in a pan, brown a sliced onion with a little oil for about ten minutes, then add a ladleful of vegetable broth. Let simmer for a few minutes, then add tomatoes and raw lentils. Put the lid and let it cook on low heat, adding broth when it dries. When the lentils are soft, the dish is ready.

Vegetarians, vegans, kids and those who simply do not want to eat too much meat, can try red lentil meatballs. They are very easy to make: boil a small potato and cook the lentils in salted water, until they are soft. Once cooked, put everything in a blender, add a handful of parmesan cheese, an egg, salt, pepper and ground it all up until you have obtained a homogeneous mixture. Then, shape your meatballs, dip them in egg, then in flour, and fry.

PHOTO SOURCE: https://pixabay.com/it/lenti-legumi-alimentari-cibo-vegan-2097626/

ultimo aggiornamento: 03-12-2018

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