The lentil is a versatile, high-protein, low-cost food that can be used in soups, stews and salads. This legume is full of soluble fiber and potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure. It has a slightly earthy taste, and it can absorb other flavors in the dish it’s cooked in. It is also a very filling food, so it’s a great addition to a plant-based diet. Despite their bland flavor, lentils can be transformed into delicious and satisfying meals with the right seasonings.
While the flavor of lentils is mild, they can be enhanced with a wide variety of spices and herbs. Common options include turmeric, paprika, ginger, bay leaves, rosemary and garlic. These add complexity and depth to the legumes’ flavor profile, and can be used to create savory and rich dishes.
The type of lentils used will also affect the flavor. Brown lentils, which are the most commonly found in grocery stores, have a light, earthy and creamy flavor. Green lentils, which can range from a pale to khaki color, have a more peppery and nutty flavor. Red lentils are also available, but they have a mushy and sweet flavor. If you don’t have access to these types of lentils, beans such as kidney, black, pinto and lima can be substituted. These have a more robust flavor that lentils don’t possess, but still provide a healthy dose of protein to your meals. Adding complementary vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers and tomatoes, can enhance the texture of lentil dishes. They also add additional nutrients to the meal.