Bulk spotlight: lentils

This article was originally published in March 2013

Cheap, versatile and healthy, lentils boast some of the best attributes a food has to offer and certainly deserve a place in your pantry. Unlike beans, they don’t require presoaking and they cook up in about 30 minutes.

The high fiber content of lentils helps balance blood sugar levels; simply, they’re good for your heart. They provide six important minerals, two B-vitamins and protein too, yet one cup of cooked lentils is a mere 230 calories.

In the bulk department at PCC, we carry organic brown, French green, and red lentils as well as locally grown brown and black lentils. While all lentils have a nutty flavor, brown, green and black lentils are best in salads and dishes that call for a firmer texture. Since red lentils tend to lose their shape when cooked and can become mushy, they are best used in soups and sauces.

Before cooking lentils, spread them out on a baking sheet and remove any small stones or debris. Adding lentils to already boiling water also makes them easier to digest.

Store uncooked lentils in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months. Once cooked, they will keep in the refrigerator for about three days.


Three ways to use lentils

A classic, cozy dish in Indian cuisine, dal makes good use of red lentils, marrying them with spices and fresh herbs. Try Maharaja’s Dal.

Lentils can be incorporated into many different soups, adding flavor, protein and extra texture. Cook up a pot of our Sausage, Lentil and Greens Soup.

Make a satisfying salad with the help of French green lentils. Enjoy bright flavors in the PCC Curried Lentil and Quinoa Salad from our deli.

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