Lentil is a very useful nutritious plant from the legume family. From it prepare the most various dishes - both quite usual, and for the real gourmets. In order for legume seeds to be always on the table, you need to know exactly how to store them.
Lentils nutritional value and other useful properties
For vegetarians, this is a legume especially to taste, because its seeds are an excellent meat substitute. Due to the low index of the so-called glycemic index and high protein content, lentils satisfy hunger and replenish the spent energy just as well as various meat products. For athletes and those whose work requires significant energy costs, for example, builders - the very thing. As for anyone who is very keen to lose weight, but does not want to torture himself with painful starvation diets.
In addition to protein, almost all substances useful to humans are collected in seeds, including:
Also in legumes, the high content of folic acid, various carbohydrates and plant fiber.
Lentil seeds are very “tenacious” - they can be stored for a very long time. True, in a year and a half they will begin to darken, but this is not terrible: it will take just a little longer to cook the bean. The nutritional properties of lentil darkening is not significantly affected. The sealed fabric bag or cardboard box is great for storing legumes. A canvas bag is generally perfect. But plastic bags, glass jars and other containers, where condensate is easily accumulated, are very bad for this purpose. And all because bean seeds intensively absorb moisture.
Storage should be chosen:
- Cool and ventilated.
- Dry. Excessively high humidity over a week can make lentils inedible. Seeds will begin to rot, oxidize and stick together with each other, they will have a raid and an unpleasant smell.
- Well protected from direct sunlight. They dry the seeds and cause mold.
- Away from heat sources. High temperatures, along with humidity, are the two main causes of bean rot.
Storing boiled lentils
Boiled lentils do not spoil for about 6 days. But only if it is stored in an airtight container that is placed in the refrigerator. It is best to eat lentils within three to four days after cooking. Already on the fifth day it may begin to deteriorate.
In the freezer, boiled legumes will “hold out” for six months; however, its nutritional value and texture will suffer a little from such storage. But the taste properties will not change.
Additional tips on storing lentils
When storing lentils one should never forget that:
- Do not mix newly purchased seeds with old ones. The latter are much drier and prepare faster.
- The rotten lentil with a touch of cooking is completely unsuitable. No washing of the grain will not change anything - the harmful bacteria will not go anywhere.
- By eye it is impossible to determine how many seeds have been purchased for years. The shelf life on the package can also be misleading, because the seeds could be collected much earlier than the time when they were packed. Therefore, in order not to risk your health, it is best not to store “store” lentils for more than six months. If it has lain more, then before use you need to carefully examine each grain, checking that it has not rotted.
For some reason, it is not common for us to eat lentils often. And in vain! After all, one of its portion replaces the most nutritious meat dishes! So it does not hurt to use this useful legume more often.