Price per 100g
Lentils are a pulse, a cousin to the pea, that originated in Asia and North Africa. They have been enjoyed by humans since Neolithic times. Lentil in Latin is 'lens' and these are named after the lentil's round shape.
Green lentils have an earthy, nutty flavour and firm, 'meaty' texture, which makes them an ideal substitute in meat-free cooking.
Of all nuts and legumes, only soy beans and hemp have higher levels of protein than lentils. They are iron-rich, high in fibre - with green lentils containing more fibre than red, and low in fat. They are a source of bone-strengthening calcium, folate for heart health and brain-boosting vitamin B.
Store lentils in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and in an airtight container.
While some lentils are used for their ability to break down during cooking, green lentils retain their shape well. This makes them ideal for using in hearty salads, stews, and in stuffed vegetables. They are a good addition to rice dishes, and tasty in meat-free lasagne or moussaka.
They can also be sprouted. In India, lentil sprouts are taken to temples as offerings. In this form, they contain all essential amino acids.
There is no need to soak green lentils, but doing so will reduce their cooking time. In either case, they should be rinsed, before boiling one part lentils to three parts water for 40 minutes or until tender.