I bet that your priority this year is to focus on your health. Eating the right kind of food is of course on your checklist. No wonder you kept on asking what lentils taste like. Do you want to try it?
The taste might be different from what you expect, but I highly recommend starting to consider lentils in your diet. The legume is high in protein and fiber content. This is the reason why health-conscious people like you eat it regularly. Do you think these can become your family’s favorite dish?
Let us find out!
Do you recognize a lentil when you see one?
Lentil is a popular legume that people eat way, way, back in time. It belongs to the very first crops that our ancestors discovered that are edible. Lentil seeds look like the lens in shape with various color of yellow, green, black, brown, and red-orange.
It comes from the bushy and self-pollinating lentil plant that is around 40 cm tall where the seeds mature in pods.
It took me a while to familiarize myself with lentil seeds since they may come out either mottled or speckled. The size of the seed is 5 cm in diameter.
What Do They Taste like?
Do you know that lentil seeds taste different with each color?
Do you know that lentil seeds taste different with each color? The brown lentils for one have a slight earthy taste. You will find this type often in your local market, so I am sure that this is the first one to try.
If you choose the darkest kind of color (and the smallest), you will savor a more profound and richer earthy zest. Farmers call it Beluga lentils.
Use the legumes for broths, stews, meatloaf, burgers, and garnishes. You can try serving it with pasta and your favorite grains as well.
Green lentils, on the other hand, have a hot savor that resembles the taste of mild pepper. However, it depends on how tolerant you are with peppery food; otherwise, you might describe it as robust in its spiciness.
If your recipe requires longer cooking time, I suggest using this kind since it can withstand and stay firm even when in the heat for almost an hour. You will notice that the peppery aroma when the soup starts to boil. This lentil type is also excellent for side dish recipes and salads.
Meanwhile, if you crave for sweet lentils, look for the red kind. The red variant have three (3) kinds. The red, gold and orange colors belong under the red lentil category. They do not only taste sweet, but I like the nutty tang it gives as well.
Remember that you can cook red in less than half an hour to prevent overcooking. Check out some Indian and Middle Eastern dishes and discover the many recipes using red lentils to spice up the taste or thicken the soup.
Why are they healthy to eat?
As one of the super foods, lentil is by far one of those legumes who offer plenty of health benefits. Whatever the color is, lentil is high in protein, fiber, essential vitamins, and minerals. Include this in your diet and reap the advantages.
- Fiber Because this is rich in fiber (soluble and insoluble), this is a perfect diet good for your digestive system. It helps you with regular bowel movement and prevents colon, breast, and throat cancer. One (1) cup of cooked lentils is equivalent of 16 grams of dietary fiber. Each cup will cover 63% of the dietary fiber that you need daily as an adult.
- Plant-based Protein Lentil can give you a high level of protein, but you do not need to worry. With lentil protein, there is no risk in increasing your cholesterol level. No wonder this is an outstanding substitute for meat. They are low in saturated fats and cholesterol than poultry, beef, and pork.
- Folate A cup of cooked lentils also gives you 400 micrograms of folate that is equivalent to 90% of daily requirement of this vitamin. Folate, or in another term, Vitamin B-9, enhances metabolic energy rate, building new cells for our body, and a strong immune system.
- Iron You can also find Iron in lentils. It is vital in producing red blood cells and is perfect for people suffering from anemia, neurological conditions, and other iron deficiency problems.
- Other Vitamins and Minerals Among the benefits, I stated above, there is still a lot that lentils can give. It provides manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. These are just a few of the numerous health advantages that we might not know and is missing.
Storing it the Right Way
You have made up your mind to start including lentils in your diet. Learning the benefits is an encouragement for healthy living. Familiarizing yourself with how it looks is a piece of cake anyway. However, do you know how to store them?
There is less to worry when it comes to storing legumes. I guess the reason why this is common stock in the pantry for a long time ago is that these have an indefinite shelf life. You may find some lightening of the colors in time, but the flavor will still be the same.
I advise though to keep your lentil seeds in a tight container and store it in a cool, dry place.
You can keep dried lentils in storage for a year right after your purchase. However, place the cooked onesin the fridge for a maximum of one week before consumption. Take note to store them in an airtight container to prevent moisture from coming in.
Freeze them if you want to let it last for six (6) months or so.
What Is The Texture?
Generally speaking, these have a firm texture and hold their shape well when cooked. They are smaller and denser than other legumes like beans, and have a smoother texture. When cooked properly, lentils should be tender but not mushy, with a slight bite to them.
Overcooked ones can become too soft and lose their texture.
The texture of lentils can also be affected by the cooking method used. Boiling or pressure cooking can result in a softer texture, while simmering them can help retain their shape and firmness. Soaking them overnight before cooking can also help improve their texture.
Do you know how to make them taste more delicious?
Honestly, the bright side is lentils are the best when it comes to nutrition, but I find it hard to say that it is delicious. It may be because I am still in the phase of getting friendly with the veggies or it is just not so. I hope you agree with me. Nevertheless, you have to believe me that I found ways to make it taste better.
- 1. Use broth instead of plain water. Yeah, use your favorite broth as an alternative of plain water to enhance the taste of your lentil soup.
- 2. Try to add more veggies. Mixing another kind of veggies will give a wonderful and colorful blend. Do a cooking adventure and discover the kind of veggies you want to mix with lentil.
- 3. What about fresh herbs? Herbs have this ability to boost the flavor of your dish. If lentil alone seems boring, add on some herbs to give an extra kick.
- 4. Try other methods of cooking. The good old boiled lentils are great. However, for a change, do you know that it is yummier by frying them and mixing them to casseroles? Think for more ways on how to cook your lentil and discover delicious possibilities!
Do Lentils Taste Like Pinto Beans?
Lentils are a type of legume that have a mild, earthy flavor and a slightly nutty taste. They are often compared to beans, but their flavor is not as strong. Pinto beans have a creamier texture and a slightly sweet and smoky flavor, while lentils have a firmer texture and a nuttier taste.
What Do Red Lentils Taste Like?
Red lentils have a slightly sweet and nutty flavor with a slightly grainy texture. They also have a more delicate taste than green or brown lentils. They are often used in soups, stews, and curries, and their texture becomes soft and creamy when cooked.
What Do Black Lentils Taste Like?
Black lentils, also known as beluga , have a more robust and earthy flavor than other types. They have a firmer texture and hold their shape well when cooked. They are often used in salads and side dishes, and their dark color provides a striking contrast when paired with other ingredients.
Is it safe to consume raw lentils, and how would that impact the flavor?
It’s not advisable to eat raw lentils as they can be difficult to digest. Cooking not only makes them digestible but also allows them to absorb flavors from other ingredients, improving their overall taste.
Can you give examples of dishes that include lentils, and how they might taste?
Lentils are a staple in many dishes, such as lentil soups, stews, and salads. In soups and stews, they often take on a comforting, warm flavor, while in salads, they can add a hearty, satisfying note.
Is it possible to enhance the flavor of lentils?
You can easily enhance the flavor of lentils by cooking them with various herbs, spices, and aromatics like onions and garlic. This addition can give lentils a more savory and flavorful taste.
Can lentils serve as a meat alternative in terms of flavor and texture?
While lentils don’t exactly replicate the taste of meat, they are a popular meat alternative in many vegetarian and vegan dishes due to their substantial texture and ability to absorb flavors well, providing a satisfying taste.
What should I be prepared for when tasting lentils for the first time?
If you’re tasting lentils for the first time, be prepared for a mild and slightly nutty flavor. The overall taste will depend on the type of lentils and the preparation and ingredients of the dish.
My Final Thoughts
There is no doubt that lentils are healthy for our diet. It helps our body in so many ways. I believe that when it comes to taste, people are unique. My sweet may not be the same as you. Hence, what do they taste like? I encourage you to find out yourself.
Who knows, you might come up with a different way to describe it. There is no reason why you should not start eating lentil by now. Try considering my tips on how to make it more delicious and keep in mind the health benefits it provides. I am sure you will like it!