Lentils: Tips and Trivia

Amaze your friends! Stun your family! Answer a question or two on “Jeopardy!”. Here’s the latest basic tips and trivia for Lentils!

  • Lentils (Lens culinaris) are a small legume of the pea family with round, flattened seeds in pods.
  • The Latin name for lentils, ‘lens’ gives us the name for the lentil-shaped piece of convex glass.
  • 1 cup of dried lentils = 3 1/2 cups soaked
  • You can freeze dried lentils indefinately
  • Lentils do not require soaking, as opposed to other legumes.
  • Wait until lentils are done cooking until you add acidic ingredients (tomatoes, lemon, vinegar, etc).
  • You can soak lentils if you want to lower your cooking time.
  • Lentils require 12 minutes to cooked if pre-soaked, 20 if cooked dried.
  • The Lentil is most likely the oldest cultivated legume, and is believed to be native to southwestern Asia, perhaps northern Syria. Seeds have been found in Egyptian tombs dating from the 12 Dynasty (2400 B.C.), and there is also evidence of their cultivation as early as 6,000 B.C.
  • Lentils are rich in protein and carbohydrates, and are a good source of calcium, phosphorus, iron and B vitamins. Lentils are found in various colors, white, green, red, yellow, brown, and orange, and are sold dried, like beans.


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