Archaeological excavations at Greece’s Franchthi Cave give evidence that lentils were one of mankind’s earliest food crops. Their use dates as far back as the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic eras .
Canada is the leading producer and exporter of lentils worldwide, with Turkey, Bangladesh, Egypt, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates as some of our top export destinations. Ninety-nine percent of our lentils are grown in Saskatchewan, while the rest are grown in southern Manitoba and southern Alberta.
Gain by the Gram
100 grams of lentils equals one day’s worth of fibre, more potassium than a large banana, more protein than a yogurt serving and 50 per cent of your daily iron according to the website, Canadian Lentils.
The Lentil Advantage
Just a few reasons to make this ingredient a kitchen-cupboard standby.
1) Lentils do not need to soak before use, cutting cooking time far below that of beans.
2) Think it won’t keep? Think again. Dry lentils have a one-year shelf life.
3) Stews, soups, purees, salads and breakfast bars all benefit from the nutty flavour of this multi-use ingredient.
Make it (Taste) Great
Lentil Sloppy Joes
* Recipe Courtesy of The Vitality Kitchen’s Bianca Osbourne
1 tsp olive oil
medium onion, minced
red or green pepper, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 -2 cups water
cup strained tomatoes
cup low sugar or homemade ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
tsp chili powder
tsp sea salt
tsp black pepper
tsp red pepper flakes
cup green lentils
In a large skillet or pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add minced onions, green and red peppers and garlic. Cook until onions and peppers are soft and fragrant, 6-8 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook until the lentils are tender but not breaking down, 25-30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings while cooking. Serve on a bun or toasted bread.