In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Do lentils go bad?”, discuss the various types of lentils, and how to tell if lentils are bad.
Do lentils go bad?
No, lentils do not go bad if they are stored properly. The reason is that being dry they don’t allow bacteria to grow on them and remain perfect to use over a long period unless and until their expiration date.
What are lentils?
Lentils are edible seeds from the family of legumes. These seeds are not eaten fresh, like beans, but are consumed after they are dried properly.
What are the different types of lentils?
Lentils are found in different varieties. Their color, shape, taste, and consistency of soup vary from one variety to another. So while preparing lentils, you need to know which type of lentil you are dealing with to have the exact and perfect taste. Some of these varieties are described below:
- Brown lentils
Brown lentils, also known as European lentils, are the most common type of lentils. These lentils are known to be best for stews and soups and take 20-30 minutes to cook. These lentils are used commonly for veggie burgers and in the filling of samosas.
- Green lentils
Green lentils, also known as French lentils, are the same in size as brown lentils but with a glossy surface. They are a good voice for making salads. But you need to be more patient while cooking them because they take about 45 minutes to cook.
- Red lentils
Red lentils, also known as Egyptian lentils, are not red rather they are orange. As their seed coat has been removed, they take only 10-15 minutes to cook. This is the reason, that they are considered to be ideal for making soup.
- Yellow lentils
Yellow lentils are commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. They take 15-20 minutes to cook, and this is why they are frequently used in making soup.
- Black lentils
Black lentils, also known as beluga, are about the size of a peppercorn. These lentils take 20-30 minutes to cook and are excellent for salads and side dishes (such as land meatballs).
What are the nutritional facts of lentils?
Different types of lentils vary slightly for their nutrients, but a cup of cooked lentils (198g) can provide you about 230 calories with nutrients:
|Sr.#||Nutrients / minerals||Amount|
|5.||Thiamine||22% of the RDI|
|6.||Niacin||10% of the RDI|
|7.||Vitamin B-6||18% of the RDI|
|8.||Folate||90% of the RDI|
|9.||Pantothenic acid||13% of the RDI|
|10.||Iron||37% of the RDI|
|11.||Magnesium||18% of the RDI|
|12.||Phosphorus||36% of the RDI|
|13.||Potassium||21%of the RD|
|14.||Zinc||17% of the RDI|
|15.||Copper||25% of the RDI|
|16.||Manganese||49% o0f the RDI|
*RDI stands for Reference Daily Intake
What are the health benefits of lentils?
Lentils offer many health benefits to its consumers. Some of these benefits are described below:
- As lentils contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, they help you in stabilizing blood sugar and reduce your blood cholesterol. This helps in reducing the chances of heart diseases (such as attack or stroke).
- Proteins present in lentils help you to keep full and give energy to your body to power through the day.
- The mix of fiber and complex carbohydrates in lentils offers you a steady and slow-burning source of energy.
- The presence of vitamin B in lentils helps your body to grow new cells and helps your body to prevent certain types of cancer.
- The presence of magnesium in lentils helps you improve blood flow by transporting oxygen and nutrients more effectively.
- The iron present in lentils helps oxygen to move throughout your body.
How to tell if lentils are bad?
There are proper ways to store dry, cooked, and canned lentils. But if they are not stored according to their specific way, they will be spoiled easily. Keep in mind the following things to tell if lentils are gone bad:
- For dry lentils
Insects in the package
Signs of mold
Strong or off smell
- For cooked lentils
Mold or discolorations
Off smell/ taste
Too long in the fridge
- For canned lentils
Rusted, leaked, or dented tin
Off discolored parts
How to store lentils?
If you want to store dry lentils, store them in an airtight container and keep that container in a dry and cold area with no direct heat or light. Once opened for use, ensure the tight closure of the container to avoid any moisture or humidity.
Store the canned lentils in a dry and cold area with no direct exposure to light or heat.
To store cooked lentils, place them for cooling down before transferring them to an airtight container. Seal the container and refrigerate it (Do not store cooked lentils in the refrigerator for a long period).
In this brief guide, we answered the question “Do lentils go bad?”, discussed the various types of lentils, and how to tell if lentils are bad.