Tuesday, June 25th

Lucky Lentils

lentilsLucky Lentils to ring in the New Year!

I am ringing in the new Year with some festive foods! Ok, maybe not everyone thinks of the humble lentil as ‘feast-worthy’ food. I learned that in Italy, lentils are served to ring in the New Year because of their round shape, they symbolize money and wealth! In the southern States, Black-eyed peas are the lucky legume at New Year’s!

I’d like to share with you the lentil recipe that converted me. I used to turn my nose up at soggy lentils– especially in salads. Until I learned how to make this citrus lentil salad recipe. (Click link for printer-friendly recipe.)

It’s amazing warm or cold and features lots of cold-busting antioxidants like Vitamin C! Perfect for winter time.This salad accompanies fish very well and would not be out of place on any feast table, whether veggie or not.

Feel free to play around with the vegetables. Peppers are not seasonal right now, so I’m going to try it with small dice of parsnip and carrot. Saving some citrus segments to toss into the salad is also nice.

What are the benefits of eating legumes?

  • ¬†Legumes are filling and satisfying.
  • They are inexpensive.
  • The protein in legumes can help to regulate the metabolism of blood sugar and water.
  • Beans and lentils are more than protein. They have healthy fats and also contain carbohydrates, potassium, calcium and iron, as well as several B vitamins.
  • Sprouted legumes are a source of vitamin C and vital enzymes.
  • The soluble fiber in beans helps lower levels of damaging LDL cholesterol in the blood, thus lowering heart-disease risk.
  • Beans also provide substantial insoluble fiber, which can keep constipation and other digestive woes away.
  • Legumes are also mineral- rich. Folic acid, copper, iron, and magnesium are all found in beans- four nutrients many of us could use more of in our diets.

I get really excited about lentils and other legumes, regularly obsessing over one kind or another. These days I am into the sexy black sheen of beluga lentils- looking like caviar when coated in olive oil. As far as beans go, kidney beans are my winter favourite.

Not only can legumes be a culinary delight, but they boast an incredible cost to benefit ratio! Buying dried legumes from the bulk department is the most nutrition for your buck! Learning how to prepare them properly is key- soaking each legume is most beneficial. If you have a sensitive digestive system, try sprouting the lentils before making this salad. I guarantee that it will not leave you with ‘that bean problem’.

Getting jazzed about legumes!

We are teaching ‘legumes cookery’ classes each season! The upcoming legumes class is on January 15th. Whether you already do, or intend to get much of your protein from legumes or if you just want to incorporate more of these amazingly healthy foods into your diet, come and check out the legumes class for more recipes, tips and health info.

Happy New Year to you! From Rooted Nutrition, we wish you a vibrant and nourishing New Beginning!

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