Perfect Pulses: Lentils

In this blog series, we will cover Pulse Crops. The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses to increase awareness of the many benefits of this superfood. Pulses include Dry Peas, Beans, Lentils and Chickpeas. They are incredibly important because they are nutritious, sustainable and affordable. Pulses hold the potential to address global food insecurity.

Pulse Nutrition includes:

  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Potassium
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Antioxidants

Pulses are also cholesterol- and gluten-free. Plus, they're delicious! Read more about Pulses and take the pledge here. We did!


Small but mighty, Lentils are a versatile, quick cooking pantry staple. For very few calories and virtually no fat, lentils deliver a nutritional powerhouse including protein, fiber, minerals and B Vitamins. The folate and magnesium content in lentils carries documented research for its role in heart health. Plus, Lentils' high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. They help you feel fuller longer and have positive effects on digestion.

Lentils come in several varieties: Green, Brown, French Green and Black. Split Lentils (Dal) cook up quickly and are nice to have on hand. Split Lentils come in Red and Yellow varieties. Lentils are a snap to prepare: saute dry lentils in a little oil with aromatics like onion, celery, carrot and even ginger. Add stock or water and cook until desired tenderness (anywhere from 15-40 minutes depending on the type of lentil.) Then season to your heart's content. The flavor profile you choose is limited only by your imagination and spice cabinet. This handy guide will help lead the way!

Try our Moroccan Red Lentil Soup for a quick-cooking flavor explosion. We love French Green Lentils in our Berbere Chicken with Ethiopian Lentils. And our Masoor Dal is a must for Indian food lovers.

Have you taken the Pulse Pledge? Tell us about your favorite way to prepare pulses in the comments below.

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