Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thinking more on Lentils

Lentils grow in little pods, similar to a pea. Imagine the bag of 4 cups of lentils i take for granted on the grocery shelf comes from this bushy plant, and each pod grows only 2 to 4 lentils  Imagine all the shelling it took to get one bowl of lentils. humm. Lentils grow well around the world, originated in what is now India / Pakistan area. Archaeologists believe it was among the first domesticated plants; evidence shows humans have been enjoying them for 13,000 to 9,500 years!

Super nutritious and relatively low in calories. 1 cup of lentils contains nearly 30% of recommended daily fiber. Also an excellent source of Folate, B vitamins, Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron and Magnesium. They are a "pulse", and edible seed of a legume. Green peas are pulses too.  
30% of the calories in lentils are proteins! So lentils are perfect for people who are looking for more sources of this nutrition. (like me!)

All about sprouting:
This is where the little pulses can get wild! You may know that amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. So, what we are really looking at when we say "protein" is Amino Acids! -  Cooked lentils have all the amino acids we need, excepting two (methionine and cysteine.) However, sprouted lentils contain sufficient levels of ALL essential amino acids, including methionine and cysteine! 
By soaking in water until they sprout, we increase the nutritional protein content of this food. So when you hear somebody say "complete protein" this is what they mean. Remind them to just eat more sprouted lentils! 

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