Friday, November 9, 2012

Using Lentils wisely...

 Sprouted Lentils

Many of you are undoubtedly familiar with the account in Genesis of Esau, the elder son of Isaac.  He sold his birthright to his younger twin brother, Jacob.  "...And Jacob sod pottage; and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, 'Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint... And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.  And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?  And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright."  Genesis 25: 29-34 (The Holy Bible.)

I find this story intriguing.  Esau was "a cunning hunter; a man of the fields," and Jacob was a "plain man, dwelling in tents."  Plain, in this context, comes from the Hebrew for whole, complete, perfect, simple, plain.  It is not hard to visualize the scene.  Esau comes home and he's been out hunting and it's hot and he's tired and hungry and sees his brother with this nice yummy bread and lentil stew.  He says, "I'm starving!!  Gimmee some of that food!"  I suppose we could be critical of Esau, since he sold his priviledges, but if you've ever eaten some well-prepared lentil stew, you might have a little compassion for poor Esau.  ;)

Here is a link to the nutritional profile of lentils. This humble and ancient food is incredibly nutritious.

My friend blogged about lentils and she states that lentils, if sprouted, contain all of the essential amino acids.  They are inexpensive, readily available, and very versatile.  Think lentil soup, lentil stew, lentil burgers, as an addition to other soups and stews, as a "meat stretcher"... they are wonderful and we love to eat them!  I like to keep some cooked, and frozen in small amounts to add to dishes so that it's convenient.

Lentils only take about 1/2 hour to cook, however, it is worth the extra step to sprout them as this improves the nutritional profile, deactivates the anti-nutrients that can interfere with mineral absorption, and to me, sprouting also improves the flavor and texture of lentils.

They are Very Easy to Sprout, and all it takes it a little foresight and planning.  Here is how I do it ~

Pour 1# (about 2.5 cups) of dried lentils into a colander.  Rinse them thoroughly, and pick over them to check for any little stones or other contaminants.  Pour them into a stainless or glass bowl and cover very well with cold water.  Let them sit in the water for 8 hours.  Drain through the colander and rinse them.  Leave them in the colander, which you will set back into the bowl and cover with a plate to keep things out.  Every 8 hours or so, give them another good rinse.  They will probably be sprouted within 36 hours.

At that point, you can cook them in more water and freeze them cooked, or you can freeze them raw, or just add your sprouted lentils to whatever dish you are making with them and simmer until they are tender, which won't take very long.  Look at the picture above.  See the cute little sprouts coming out?

My personal favorite way to enjoy lentils is to cook the sprouted lentils in some nice rich homemade stock, until they are tender, and then season with Realsalt, freshly ground black pepper and plenty of butter.  SO good.

This post is linked to Simple Lives Thursday #121 


  1. I had never eaten lentils until last year. I got a wild hair and decided to try them. I made this:

    It was wonderful! I didn't get my onions quite crispy enough, but otherwise my family inhaled their dinner!

    1. Thank you so much for the link! I will look it up!


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