Canned or dry, what is the best choice for me? Both are great options depending on the time you have to spend in the kitchen! Dry lentils require you to cook them yourself while canned lentils cuts meal prep time as they are already pre-cooked. A common concern with canned lentils is the high sodium content used to preserve the lentils. The best way to deal with the issue of sodium is to be sure that you rinse your canned lentils under running water – this will remove up to 60 per cent of the sodium content. See our video on how to prepare canned lentils.
Where can I purchase lentils? Lentils are readily available in most grocery stores (chains and private), health food stores, farmers’ markets and stores that provide the opportunity to purchase products in bulk. The most commonly found lentils in grocery stores are split red lentils and whole green lentils.
How long can I store packaged lentils and cooked lentils? Packaged (dry and canned) lentils keep easily on your cupboard shelf for up to a year – however, after you visit our recipe section and get some great recipe ideas they probably won’t stay on your shelf that long!
Cooked lentils and lentil puree can be frozen and used within three months, or refrigerated for up to one week. Be sure that they are sealed tight in air-tight containers or plastic bags to prevent freezer burn.
Is there a cooking time difference between split and whole lentils? Yes there is. The cooking time for split lentils is less than whole lentils because they already have the seed coat removed and have been split in half, making them less dense – resulting in a shorter cooking period. For this reason split lentils are often used in lentil puree because they blend easier, while whole lentils are great in salads, soups, and chili! See our video on the differences between lentil varieties.
Do I have to soak lentils before cooking them? Not at all! One of the many great things about lentils is that they do not require soaking, decreasing the time and effort it takes to incorporate them into your meals.