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.