Lentils are a very versatile legume, and do not need to be soaked overnight unlike other dried legumes, such as beans or chickpeas. However, soaking will reduce the cooking time even more and reduce the presence of anti-nutrients (see below).
There are several types of lentils: red, brown, green or black. Red lentils take only 5 minutes to cook and the other 20 minutes. Depending on your preference, whether you prefer little or more cooked.
Nutrition of lentils
1 cup of cooked lentils (200 g)
Nutritional benefits of lentils
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties - the polyphenols present in lentils can help reduce the risk of cancer.
Protective of cardiovascular health - lentils can help protect the health of your heart by helping to control blood pressure, cholesterol levels and weight.
Lentils (as well as other legumes, nuts and seeds) contain anti nutrients, substances that bind to some nutrients and prevent their absorption in our body:
Phytate - inhibits the absorption of iron, zinc and calcium
Lectins - are difficult to digest, and also inhibit the absorption of various nutrients. Lectins can also damage the intestinal barrier and cause the fragile intestine syndrome
However, the process of soaking and cooking reduces the presence of anti-nutrients, improving the absorption of minerals in our body. After soaking, you should discard the water and wash the legumes very well under running water.
Always wash lentils in cold water, before cooking, to remove any impurities.
Cook a large amount of lentils at once. Let cool down and store in the fridge (up to 5 days) and add lentils to your meals. You can add them to salads, or even to your minced meat dishes to bulk it up.
You can also store cooked lentils in several portions in the freezer, and use them whenever it's needed.
In this case, I prepared the burgers and then frozen the rest, because there are only two of us at home. It is very practical to prepare some meals in advance and store them, as there will always be a day when you will have less time or willingness to cook.
Ingredients (for 8 burgers)
For sweet potatoes:
What kind of recipes would you like to see in this blog?
Registered Dietitian, MSc Clinical Nutrition
Founder of Your Diet Advice
Hi, I'm Joana, a Portuguese registered dietitian in the UK. I am passionate about helping others achieving their health goals.