This healthy and versatile food (yes, the latin name means edible lens!!) is a great staple for anyone interested in healthy, frugal living and is very easy to grow at home. Probably the fastest cooking of all the legume family, they don’t require soaking making their preparation faster still. Rich in antioxidants, selenium, and B vitamins, all of which boost the immune system. They are also packed with protein, and are high in iron and folate and very high in cholesterol-lowering fibre. However the green and brown varieties are more nutritious than than red variety. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.
For best results, seeds are best sown directly into the ground where required in the spring. Alternatively, sow in late winter/early spring in gentle warmth, 15-20 degrees C.
Common name:Lens esculenta, Lens culinaris
Classification:Half hardy annual