If you are trying to save money, one of the best pantry staples to have are Lentils. Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse – they can be an amazing item to keep stocked in your pantry, not just for meals but for natural disasters, or during a crisis.
After all, you never know what you might need to be prepared for – right?
Lentils have a permanent spot in our pantry. All kinds really – more green and red than any other… but you can buy brown, too.
They are ultimately my husband’s favorite food. No kidding – of all the foods he could “love”, it’s Lentils. While I like them too, I’m not going to go and say that they are my favorite food — pineapple has a special place in my heart that’s way higher than Lentils .. I’m a little addicted to pineapple and can’t ever get enough.
Here are some reasons why you might want to keep them in yours too…
Quick-Cooking: Unlike dry beans, they don’t need to be soaked in water before cooking. If you have an Instant Pot, you can cook Lentils in about 12 minutes… which makes them an incredible item to have handy for last minute soups and stews.
Fresh is always better, but if you are short on time, then canned Lentils are always an option – through the texture will be slightly different.
Healthy: Lentils are a protein powerhouse – they are also big sources of fiber, too. For people who don’t eat a lot of meat, they are a wonderful source of iron, AND magnesium. They are full of fiber – both soluble and insoluble — soluble fiber is needed to help diabetics regulate blood sugar in diabetics. Since they have so much fiber, they help push everything through your digestive system on out of your body.
ONE serving (1 C.) of Lentils meets 90% of your daily requirement for Folic Acid. They are also rich in Vitamin A, C and Zinc, too.
Inexpensive: Since they are a protein powerhouse that are big on fiber, they are truly VERY filling… you can fill bellies up quite easily with Lentils, and Lentils are extremely inexpensive to purchase – even the Organic Lentils are a bargain. Serve them as a replacement for protein in burgers and you will see some pretty huge savings in your budget.
Adaptable: Lentils are extremely adaptable – not only can you serve them hot or cold, incorporate them as a side dish, salad or even main dish. They are great in soup, too.
Pantry Staple: ALL of the above reasons to love Lentils make them a PERFECT item to have in your pantry for storage. Keep them in canning jars in your pantry and you don’t have to worry about freezer/freezer space.
One of our favorite ways to use Lentils is in soup – and involves using our Instant Pot. Whip up this Lentil Soup with just a few simple ingredients, in less than 20 minutes.
The easiest place of course, to pick up Lentils is the supermarket. But.. if you find going to the store more time consuming than mainstream folks do, then ordering them online is just as easy.
We pick up Organic Lentils in bulk at Vitacost (along with Flour, Cornmeal and Coconut Oil usually). You can also find them on Amazon, too. If you can, try to pick up Organic Lentils to avoid the pesticides and chemicals used in the conventional types. They really aren’t much more in cost.