Here’s a different way to have a warm and hearty breakfast. It might be a bit unconventional but why not mix it up! Put away the oatmeal and take out the legumes. What? Beans for breakfast? Rich in protein, fiber, iron and potassium, red lentils pack a bigger nutritional punch to kick-start your engines. What’s more is that they cook up in very little time.
One half of a cup of dry red lentils with one cup of water will yield about a cup cooked. Typically I’ll eat about half of that or three quarters depending on how hungry I am. Any remaining amounts can be added to veggies for a soup later.
First, measure out ½ cup of red lentils. Put on a white plate, sort through and remove any dirt particles, tiny stones or discolored lentils. Rinse them through with a strainer.
Place the rinsed lentils in a small saucepan and add 1 cup of water. Give it a little stir. Turn on the stove and bring to a boil. Boil for a couple minutes then turn up the heat a little more if need be so the water rises up a bit as it’s boiling. You’ll see some foam has formed. Skim the foam off the top and discard. Turn off the stove and remove from the heat.
The foam contains many of the complex sugars found in beans that are responsible for gas that sometimes occurs. Doing this will minimize or prevent that from happening. In my experience, I haven’t had any problems.
The next part is the easiest. Give the lentils a little stir then put a lid on the pan and set the timer for 20 minutes. If you don’t let sit as long, the lentils might be a bit al dente. Might not be a bad thing as that gives some texture or a bit of chewing satisfaction as my Mom always says.
Next, add your spices. I like to add a few good shakes of cinnamon that probably amounts to about a half to a whole teaspoon. Adjust to your own taste. Add some sweetener, stevia, sugar in the raw, brown sugar, agave or maple syrup (that’s my favorite!).
Also, just a suggestion, with the exception of stevia that needs to be blended in, if you put your sweetener on top instead of mixing it in, you’ll use less and taste more. Since it’s on the surface it hits your taste buds right away for an extra yummy experience with probably fewer calories since you may find that you don’t need to use as much to get the desired sweetness.
What’s your favorite hearty, healthy breakfast go-to meal?