Despite the anti-legume stance of many blogs out there, at Reclaim Your Health we remain staunch defenders of the humble lentil. Just like its bean relative, this pulse should feature regularly in your weekly menus. Lentils are a fantastic source of prebiotic fibre in the form of resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that goes through your digestive tract undigested, until it reaches the colon where it provides an excellent food source for bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
Lentils are cheap, they have a very satisfying texture and are the best tolerated among all beans and pulses. If you find you get excessive gas from consuming them, it is likely that you have low levels of beneficial bacteria ready to digest the resistant starch in them. This can lead to excessive fermentation and bloating.
Start by eating 1 tbsp of lentils every day for 2 weeks then slowly increase the amount. Over time, the levels of beneficial bacteria will increase.
This lentil loaf recipe is one of my favourite. It is kid-friendly and it tastes even nicer served cold the next day. It makes an excellent school lunch option, especially when served with some home-made ketchup on the side.
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
- 3 cups vegetable broth or 3 cups of water + 1 Vogel stock cube
- 2 celery sticks finely chopped
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tbs ground sage
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups finely chopped white button mushrooms
- 2 cups chopped kale (can substitute with baby spinach)
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 2 cups wheat-free oats
- small amount of olive or coconut oil to grease the loaf tin
Step 1: Add washed lentils and veggie broth to a saucepan, bring to the boil, cover, turn down heat and simmer until soft (about 10-15 minutes.)
Step 2: Add chopped celery, onions garlic, mushrooms and herbs to another pan. Sweat gently for 5 minutes with a little water. Add kale and spinach and cook for 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add lentils to cooked veggies, add oats and stir until well combined.
Step 4: Pour the mixture into a food processor and pulse briefly – this step can be omitted.
Step 5: Lightly oil a loaf tin and spoon mixture into it. Bake for about 30 minutes at 175C or until loaf starts to brown slightly on top and sides lift away from edges. Cooking time may vary. Let the loaf cool completely before cutting.