Lentils and beans, known as legumes are fantastic foods for both you and your intestinal bacteria. A lot of media attention is on taking probiotics to improve health, reduce IBS symptoms, improve your mood and even to manage your weight. Having the right balance of bacteria in your gut is very important but probiotics are just the first step in improving this balance if it is not. You also want the bacteria to multiply and flourish. This is where lentils come into their own. They contain a fibre called galactans that these little fellows love to munch down on so including them in your meals will benefit both you and your gut.
Legumes are also a great vegetarian source of protein and will help with lowering your cholesterol too. So what are you waiting for?
Not sure how to use them? Why not try this delicious Pumpkin and lentil soup tonight. It only takes about 20mins to make and is really satisfying. The recipe contains some mild spices but can be made without the curry powder if you prefer a simpler taste. Enjoy!
Pumpkin lentil and ginger soup
2 tblspns extra virgin olive oil
2 brown onions chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
6 cups of vegetable stock
1 cup brown/green or red lentils
750g jap pumpkin peeled & chopped
1 good knob ginger roughly chopped
Fresh coriander leaves chopped for garnish
Saute onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes
Add curry powder and sauté for another 2-3minutes
Add stock and bring to boil
Add rinsed lentils, pumpkin and ginger into the pot, bring back to the boil then simmer covered for 20-30 mins until lentils and pumpkin are tender.
Remove ginger pieces
Add soup into blender, reserving some of the liquid. Blend until smooth, adding more of the liquid until you achieve the desired consistency.
Serve sprinkled with coriander leaves
For a milder flavour, stir in some dairy or soy milk into bowl.