What are French lentils and how healthy are they? Come, let’s find out all we can about nutrition and calories in these lentils from the following article.
Before we begin with disclosing information regarding nutrition and calories in French lentils, let’s first find out what French lentils are. Also known as Le Puy Green lentils, Puy lentils and French Greens, French lentils are dark-colored lentils having a speckled appearance which are primarily cultivated in the Le Puy region of France. These lentils trace their origins along the fertile lands adjacent to the Indus river in Southeast Asia and are, as such, popular food grains in surrounding regions. The grains of French lentils are round and somewhat flatter than other varieties of lentils. French lentils are extremely versatile as a food item and owing to the slippery, creamy texture they assume on being boiled or steamed, they are often an ideal ingredient for making soups, adding to sprouted salads and for using as fillings in certain varieties of puffed pastries. There are also a lot of delectable recipes that have emerged with French lentils as the central ingredient.
How Many Calories are There in French Lentils?
Nutritionists worldwide attach high regards to French lentils due to their very low-fat and rich protein contents. Indeed, French lentils find a place among the top ten lean protein foods. Speaking about nutrition, French lentils are rich in carbohydrates, dietary fiber, proteins, calcium and iron. Trace amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin C can also be found in dry, uncooked French lentils. A one cup serving of uncooked French lentils have as much as 672 calories. Come, let’s take a look at the exact nutritional breakup of a single 1 cup serving of uncooked French lentils.
|Nutrient||Content Per Serving|
|Dietary Fibers||60 g|
|Vitamin A||81 g|
|Vitamin C||54 g|
The calories in lentil based recipes vary greatly from one another based upon the types and amounts of the other ingredients used. For instance, a basic French lentil salad recipe with a vinegar or citrus dressing will have less than half the calories of, say, a creamy French lentil soup or a spicy French lentil curry. This is because the calories in the other ingredients will also add up with the calories of the French lentils used. On that note, I am providing a very basic French lentil recipe below that is highly nutritious, delightfully wholesome and unbelievably delicious too.
French Lentil Sauce Recipe
The following recipe is best paired with steaming hot rice or any dry pastry or bread. Like most wholesome home cooked dishes, this one tastes best when it is straight off the flames and is still piping hot! Trust me, this one’s worth giving a try!
- Soaked French lentils – 1 cup
- Finely chopped onions – 1 cup
- Fresh tomatoes, chopped – 1 cup
- Ginger garlic paste – 1/3rd tablespoon
- Olive oil (or any other cooking oil) – 2 tablespoonfuls
- Dried thyme – 1 teaspoonful
- Bay leaves (optional) – 2, whole
- Chicken broth – 1 cup
- Salt – as per taste
- Black pepper powder – as per taste
Method of Preparation
- Heat a deep dish frying pan till it smokes;
- Add the cooking oil and tilt the pan to spread the oil evenly along the bottom of the pan;
- Add the onions and fry till they assume a golden brown color;
- Add the tomatoes to the onions and fry till the tomatoes begin to get tender and start discharging fluid;
- Add the ginger garlic paste and bay leaves and stir for some more time till the entire mixture gives off a strong, mouth-watering spicy aroma;
- Keep adjusting the flame to ensure you don’t burn this onion-tomato-ginger-garlic base;
- Add the chicken broth, soaked French lentils, salt, pepper and thyme to this base and stir till you get a gravy-like texture (you can add more water if you want a more fluid constitution);
- Now, you can either cook this mixture covered on a low flame to allow the lentils to get more tender or you can pour the entire mixture into a pressure cooker and cook till three whistles.
- Pour over steaming white rice or serve alongside any homemade flat or crusty bread.
You can also top it with half a cube of butter for aesthetic appeal as well as for a subtle, creamy aroma. You can also squeeze in some fresh lemon juice for a citrus touch to the entire flavor. Cooked in the above mentioned quantity, this dish serves four and each serving will have approximately 200 calories including the calories in French lentils in it. Inclusion or exclusion of the butter topping will considerably affect the calorific value of this dish. So, what are you waiting for? Treat your family to this delectably healthy treat and watch the serving bowl get empty in no time!