Lentils are bought dried and prepared as a stew, added to vegetables, or lentils are pureed and ground into flour
Lentils have been unfairly neglected by many people since New World beans arrived in Europe. Lentils are a healthy, grainy and nutritious plant that has been used since the Stone Age. Lentils (Lens culinarius) are therefore considered one of the first plants that man began to use in his diet. It is known reliably that the Assyrians, the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans used the lens with pleasure, and it is also mentioned in the Bible.
Many nutritionists and anthropologists believe that lentils (as well as other legumes rich in protein and high energy value) saved the human race in periods of greatest misery, general malnutrition and dangerous epidemics.
Because of the shape (which resembles metal coins) and the belief that lentils bring wealth and prosperity, even today, a dish made from lentils is traditionally served on Christmas and New Year’s Eve (although stew with lentils is preferable to eat all year round).
In the Middle Ages, there was a belief that the lens helps in making deals and any kind of trade. Herbalists prepared ointments from lentils to calm erotic desire, it was believed that lentils cured those sick with cholera, while the healthy were advised to eat lentils for preventive purposes (and the sick as medicine). Today, all the good properties of this leguminous plant are known, and it is often recommended by doctors. Lentils are a common food choice even among famous chefs.
Lentil is an annual plant from the Papilionaceae family, native to Southwest Asia. Lentils then spread through the Mediterranean to Europe and became famous before the arrival of beans from the New World. This proteinaceous plant does not grow wild anywhere in nature. It has pinnate leaves and a flower stalk with white-purple flowers. The fruit is a short pod containing an edible seed. Depending on the species, the seeds can be of various sizes, tastes and colors (yellow, orange, green, dark brown). The fruit is harvested when the leaves start to turn yellow and dry.
Lovers of grain legumes consider lentils as a tasty and noble food. Experts say there is some truth in that. Lentils are easy to cook, easy to digest and contain a lot of protein (although of plant origin, 100 grams of lentils have the same protein as 100 grams of meat) and carbohydrates. This tasty and healthy grain contains a large amount of vitamins of the B group, vitamin A, considerable amounts of vitamin C (especially in the sprouts), then potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, calcium, magnesium and iron (7 mg, which is half of the daily requirement of an adult).
Lentils are bought dried. Lentils are prepared as a stew, added to soups, dishes with vegetables. Lentils are pureed and flour is ground.