Lentils make the world go ’round. That’s my new motto. I don’t know how I didn’t discover them sooner. Lentils belong in the legume family. They are low in calories but high in nutrition. They help lower your cholesterol, which means a lower risk of heart disease. In fact, lentils keep your arteries nice and clean and are also high in magnesium, which is good for your heart. We could stop right there, that’s plenty of reasons to eat lentils, but there’s more! Lentils contain that magical substance we call fiber. Fiber keeps our digestive systems in tip-top shape and removes all the toxins from our bodies, as well as regulating our blood sugar levels and combating heart disease. Yay for fiber! But back to lentils. Lentils are a good source of protein, they increase energy, and leave your tummy feeling full and satisfied. Plus, they’re very simple to prepare and cook.
I love hummus, but sometimes it can be heavy and make my stomach feel overloaded. Chickpeas are good for you, but they do increase insulin levels. I’ve tried zucchini hummus and broccoli hummus and I’m not a fan of either. I do enjoy white bean hummus, but again it spikes your blood sugar levels. What to do? What to do… That’s where red lentils come in.
Aren’t they pretty? They don’t exactly look red, more of a coral or orange color. I almost want to glue them to a tray like a mosaic instead of eat them (maybe for a future post?). But let’s get started on the recipe! You should be able to buy red lentils at any health food store. There’s no need to soak them overnight like nuts and seeds. I rinse and drain my lentils while I’m waiting for the water to boil. You cook them in a 1:3 ratio of lentils to water. For me, one serving of red lentil hummus is 1/3 cup of dry lentils. That means I cook them in 1 cup of water. Once I toss them in the boiling water, I wait a moment then turn the heat down to simmer and cover with a lid. Green lentils usually take up to 45 minutes to cook, but red lentils only take 15-25 minutes. Let them simmer and check on them occasionally. They are done once the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft. I take them off the heat and let them cool a moment, then I spoon the cooked lentils into my food processor.
Doesn’t look like much but trust me it will fill you up! Now comes the fun part. You can add in whatever ingredients you like. I typically add some extra virgin olive oil (just a tsp or two because even plant based oil is cancer causing), just a dab of tahini because I don’t like too much, salt and pepper, garlic powder or chop up a small clove and toss it in, lots of lemon juice, and paprika. I also add a couple teaspoons of nutritional yeast. It gives the hummus a nice texture, not too thin but not chunky, and adds a hearty taste.
Just blend until smooth and that’s it! It’s so easy and like I said, very filling without making you feel like there’s a brick in your stomach. If I’m really hungry I grab some Beanito chips and go to town. Otherwise I like to cut up some raw veggies and stick them right in the bowl with the hummus. You can top it off with a drizzle of EVOO and a sprinkle of paprika and you’ve got a beautiful, coral colored hummus! This would be great for a party or get together.
- 1/3 cup dry red lentils
- 1 cup water
- Extra virgin olive oil (or use a couple splashes of veggie broth as a substitute)
- Salt & pepper
- 1 small clove of garlic
- 1/2 tsp-1 tsp Tahini
- Fresh lemon juice
- Nutritional yeast
- Rinse and drain lentils.
- Bring water to a boil and add lentils.
- Let them cook on high for a minute, then turn down to simmer and cover with a lid. Cooks for 15-25 minutes or until water is absorbed and lentils are soft.
- Transfer to food processor.
- Add olive oil, S&P, paprika, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth. I don’t measure out the seasonings, I just use dabs and sprinkles and pinches, tasting occasionally and adjusting from there.
- Serve with bean chips or raw veggies. Enjoy!
Do you have any other suggestions or a unique way to prepare this dish? I want to hear it!