Lentils are inexpensive and loaded with goodness. They don’t take long to cook and are very versitle in meals. Since I am on a quest to up my iron content naturally I have included this recipe for your eating pleasure in hope that you get your iron on too! Check out these amazing facts – I hope they inspire you get yourself some lentils and cook up a batch. They are super simple to prepare and SO good for you!
- Lentils are a great source of iron. One cup of cooked lentils will provide a woman (aged twenty to forty) with about one-third of her daily required iron.
- However, lentils also contain a potent iron inhibitor called phytic acid which will reduce your body’s ability to absorb that iron. Be sure to use the following strategies to reduce the phytic acid in your lentils and unlock their iron.
- A simple process of soaking your lentils in advance of cooking them and soaking them in warm water will help reduce the phytic acid and make the iron content more available to your body.
- You can also eat complementary foods with your lentils such as bell pepper and citrus that are high in vitamin C. These foods will help off-set the remaining phytic acid in the lentils.
- Lentils are also high in Magnesium which is Nature’s own calcium channel blocker. When enough magnesium is around, veins and arteries breathe a sigh of relief and relax, which lessens resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Pretty cool that something some small could be so important for one of the most important part of our bodies!
- Lentils, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are also a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber.
- Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.
- Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition?
- Just 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils. This tiny nutritional giant fills you up–not out.
|Lentil Salad with Mint, Roasted Red Peppers and Feta|
- 1 1/2 c. lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1 lg. carrot, peeled and diced
- 1/2 lg. onion, diced fine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lg. garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 t. kosher salt
- 1 c. roasted bell peppers, diced
- 2 lg. celery stalks, minced
- 1/2 lg. cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 lg. lemon, juiced
- 1/4 t. paprika
- 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
- 1 lg. garlic cloved, minced
- 6 T. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 T. mint, fresh minced
- 3 T. Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 T. tarragon, fresh chopped
- 1/2 c. feta or goat cheese, crumbled
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Soak your lentils overnight with plenty of water.
- Drain and rinse the lentils, then in a medium saucepan cover them generously with water, and bring them to a boil with the carrot, onion, bay leaf, minced garlic, and the salt.
- Simmer until cooked, 20 to 25 minutes. The lentils should be tender, yet still firm and holding their shape. Drain lentils and remove bay leaf.
- While the lentils are cooking, dice up the bell peppers, celery and cucumber.
- To prepare the vinaigrette: place juice, paprika, cayenne, the minced garlic, and salt into a small bowl. Stir until the salt dissolves and then whisk in 6 tablespoons of the olive oil. Taste and adjust for tartness, adding more oil or lemon juice as needed.
- Fold vinaigrette into warm lentils.
- Add the mint, herbs, and the roasted peppers and mix well, then gently stir in the crumbled feta.
- Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in a container and store in the refrigerator.
I used a combination of French green lentils and Black lentils for color and texture.