Protein packed lentils are one of the most ancient crops known to have been cultivated. It crops up in history 8,500 years ago likely because it is a plant that grows easily in arid or cool regions. Loads of varieties are available and they are cheap and easily found at any grocery store.
They are one of the few beans that don’t require soaking or any other preparation which makes them a perfect and affordable family food.
Some of the more common varieties include:
- Puy lentils: Small blackish green, lower-starch variety. Great for creamy side dishes.
- Green lentils: Firm, larger pods great for cold salads.
- Red lentils: Actually the hulled inside of other lentils. Great for soups as they disintegrate when cooked.
All lentils rank very highly on the protein scale and, when paired with cheese and/or nuts make a complete protein just as effective as animal protein at building muscle. They are also one of the best forms of fibre, with one cup serving up just over half of your day’s needs.