This Future 50 Food is originally from North Africa and Asia, and is one of the world’s first cultivated crops. A cousin of the pea, it requires little water to grow, and has a carbon footprint 43 times lower than that of beef.
There are dozens of varieties, all with slightly different earthy, peppery or sweet flavors. Lentils are packed with protein, fiber and carbohydrates. Puy lentils keep their shape and texture after cooking and are often served with fish or roasted vegetables. Red and yellow lentils dissolve into a rich purée, and are delicious mixed into stews, curries, soups and veggie burgers. All lentils are simple to cook; pre-soak if necessary, then boil in water or stock/broth (3:1 ratio of water to lentils) for 15 to 20 minutes for whole lentils and 5 to 7 minutes for split lentils. As a Future 50 Food, lentils are good for you and good for the planet.