Red lentils must be one of the prettiest foods, and provide an impressive array of nutrients for something so tiny. Still, I have always been a bit intimidated by pulses in general and how to cook them. This fun and somewhat unconventional baked breakfast dish combines red lentils with steel-cut oats and warm spices for a morning treat that will keep you full until lunch.
As it turns out, 2016 has been designated the International Year of Pulses. Pulses include dried peas, beans, chickpeas, and delicious lentils. Lentils are so versatile and do not require soaking – just a quick rinse and they are ready to cook. And they are truly a nutritional powerhouse: a quarter-cup of dried red lentils clocks in at 160 calories with 9 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein. They are an excellent source of iron and folate, and a good source of potassium, magnesium and zinc. A diet rich in pulses like lentils can help support healthy weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
If lentils for breakfast aren’t your thing (yet), the Canadian Lentils website has some amazing recipes as well as downloadable recipe magazines. Chef Michael Smith’s lentil burgers are next on my list!
- Bazzano LA, Thompson AM, Tees MT, Nguyen CH, Winham DM. Non-soy legume consumption lowers cholesterol levels: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;21(2):94-103.
- Canadian Lentils. Nutritional Information. Lentils.ca website. http://www.lentils.ca/health-nutrition/nutritional-information/. Accessed February 7, 2016.
- Papanikolaou Y, Fulgoni VL, 3rd. Bean consumption is associated with greater nutrient intake, reduced systolic blood pressure, lower body weight, and a smaller waist circumference in adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002. J Am Coll Nutr. 2008;27(5):569-576