Have you ever eaten lentils, maybe at an ethnic restaurant? If so, you’ll be able to testify to their hearty style and texture.
If you’ve by no means sampled them, we’re keen to aid you! After studying this text, you’ll know the shops the place to purchase, the place are lentils in the grocery retailer, common costs, and different useful suggestions.
Lentils are edible seeds in the bean household. However, in contrast to dried beans, they don’t require soaking earlier than cooking. When it comes to aiding weight reduction, lentils outperform beans. That’s as a result of they’re decrease in carbs and increased in roughage, serving to to stave off starvation.
So, these are two deserves of including lentils to your food plan. Here’s how to discern them from different beans, plus solutions to frequent questions on shopping for them.
1. What Do Lentils Look Like?
The phrase “lentil” derives from Latin, which means a small optical “lens”. Accordingly, lentils seem flat and disk-like. The hottest varieties are brown, inexperienced, and purple. However, in some shops, it’s possible you’ll discover yellow and black varieties, too.
Given their wealthy hues, lentils add visible enchantment to many sorts of delicacies. Examples are stews, salads, dips, soups, and facet dishes that includes greens and grains.
Lentils pair particularly nicely with quinoa, a chewy seed with a nutty scent and taste.
Related: Quinoa in the grocery store
2. How Do Lentils Taste?
When cooked, every lentil species has a completely different consistency and taste, as follows:
- inexperienced – shiny sheen, agency texture, and nutty style
- French inexperienced – stable mouthfeel and peppery zest
- brown – agency chunk and gentle earthiness
- purple – mushy and candy
- yellow – gentle, candy, and creamy
- black – tiny, the dimension of peppercorns, however with an enormous earthy taste
French inexperienced and black varieties are thought-about “specialty lentils”, having distinct shapes and flavors. French lentils style “flinty”, which means mineral-like. Furthermore, they’re smaller than the inexperienced selection with a slate-gray hue.
Most spectacular are black lentils, tasting like roasted chestnuts. Moreover, black lentils resemble Beluga caviar, being shiny and pearly. For this cause, they’re additionally referred to as “Beluga lentils”, shown here.
3. Where To Buy Lentils?
You’ll discover lentils in most supermarkets, well being meals shops, and ethnic markets, reminiscent of Indian, Greek, and Italian. Such shops usually promote each canned and dried lentils. Some farmers’ markets provide dried lentils, significantly in bulk.
Chain grocers typically carry specialty varieties, reminiscent of French inexperienced and Beluga. Some pure meals shops promote lentils in bulk portions. For the broadest choice, do your procuring on-line, the place you’ll discover canned, dried, natural, and bulk.
4. Where Are Lentils In The Grocery Store?
At chain grocers, the customary place for dried lentils is close to the packaged beans and rice. However, if absent, examine the soup combine aisle. While looking for canned items, search for lentils amongst their bean cousins.
Supermarkets with well being meals sections could hold natural lentils there. Possible areas are close to the rice, beans, soups, or pasta.
Typically, pure meals shops carry natural lentils, stocking them with the rice and beans. For bulk lentils, look in the bin part, particularly for French inexperienced and Beluga varieties.
At Indian grocers, you might even see purple lentils labeled “masoor dal”. Yellow lentils could also be offered as “channa” or “toor dal”.
5. How Much Do Lentils Cost?
Below are common costs and ranges for lentils offered by chain grocers, pure meals shops, and on-line.
- Non-organic – $.99 to $2.99/lb.
- French inexperienced – $4.99/lb.
- Beluga – $5.49 to $7.25/lb.
- Organic – $3.99 to $4.99/lb.
- Non-organic – $.95/15 oz.
- Organic – $2.46 to $3.25/15 oz.
Do these prices seem steep? If so, take into account that one pound of dried lentils yields about seven cups cooked. So, let’s say you buy natural lentils at $3.99 a pound. In that case, you’ll pay 57 cents for every one-cup serving.
Still, you’ll be able to lower your expenses utilizing the suggestions under:
- Buy packaged in bigger models, reminiscent of five-pound baggage.
- Purchase lentils in bulk. An instance of a bulk low cost is $2.49 for a pound of unfastened inexperienced selection.
- Compared with these packaged, you’ll save 50 cents a pound.
- Opt for canned lentils by the case, yielding a 5 % low cost, on common. A case is 12 cans, accessible on-line.
- Shop at Indian markets. Frequently, their lentil costs are lower than regular grocery stores.
6. Are There Any Drawbacks To Canned Lentils?
While they’re handy, canned lentils are excessive in salt, usually having 500 or more milligrams per serving. The American Heart Association warns of exceeding 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Higher quantities improve your threat of hypertension, stroke, coronary heart illness, and kidney illness.
However, you’ll be able to simply cut back the sodium content material of canned lentils!
Our Suggestion: After draining the liquid, place these beans in a colander. Next, rinse them below cool faucet water for 10 seconds. Then, enable the lentils to drain in your sink for 2 minutes. Generally, this technique cuts the salt degree in beans by roughly 41 percent.
If attainable, to keep away from sodium altogether, cook dinner dried lentils in your range. Unlike different legumes, they cook dinner speedily, taking 20 to half-hour, on common. Red lentils require the least time to put together, and inexperienced varieties take the longest.
Finding lentils in the grocery retailer is comparatively easy, whether or not you like them canned or dried. Typically, they’re stocked close to the rice, soup mixes, pasta, or different beans. For bulk lentils, attainable sources are pure meals shops, the Internet, and farmers’ markets.
Regarding the place to purchase lentils in the specialty class, the best choice is on-line. However, some chain supermarkets promote dried French inexperienced and Beluga varieties.
Stretch your meals funds with lentils!
Yes, there are a number of components that may have an effect on the worth of lentils. Some of those components embrace the sort of lentil, the model, the packaging, and the location the place the lentils are offered.