Certified Organic Green Lentils
Green Lentils as a Garden Plant
Green lentils are traditionally grown as a rotation crop with wheat and prefer well-drained soil with plenty of sun exposure. Again, good drainage is necessary for green lentils to thrive, and flooding or soil saturated with water will kill green lentils. Green lentils can be grown in the summer in a temperate climate or in the winter in subtropical climates. Green lentils are much better equipped to deal with spring frosts, as they are a cool-season plant, but drought or intense heat will stunt the plant and its yields. Green lentils are a great garden cover crop, thanks to their ability to fix nitrogen, and can be planted alongside your other garden vegetables.
Green lentils are probably the most well-known lentil in the western world. If you order a lentil soup at a cafe, more likely than not, green lentils will be the star of the soup. Green lentils are larger than their other colorful counterparts and have a lens-like shape; In fact, this is where lentils get their name. Lentil comes from the Latin word Lens, thanks to their resemblance to an optic lens. Like red lentils, green lentils break down quite a bit when cooked, this makes them well suited for thickening soups and stews. They take anywhere from 20-30 min to cook. In order to achieve the best texture, they should be brought to a boil and then simmered on low heat until they reach the desired consistency. Like all other dried beans and legumes, rinse these green lentils before cooking or sprouting (another delicious way to enjoy green lentils) to ensure there is no dust or debris.
- Dips and spreads
Lentils, including green lentils, have been a source of sustenance for our ancestors since prehistoric times. They are known for being the oldest pulse crop and one of the earliest domesticated crops. Evidence that lentils were consumed by our ancestors have been found on archeological digs on the banks of the Euphrates River dating back to around 8,000 B.C. and it is believed that the Egyptians, Hebrews, and Romans ate this legume. In some cases, lentils could be served to royalty or seen as barely fit for peasants. In Greece, it was given to the poor while in Egypt it was served to royalty.
Green lentils (and other legumes) add nitrogen into the soil, thanks to the presence of Rhizobium bacteria, a bacteria that has a symbiotic relationship with the plant. Because of this mutually beneficial relationship, lentils are able to take nitrogen from the air and fix it into the soil. This decreases the need for synthetic fertilizers and improves crop yields. Less reliance on synthetic fertilizers means fewer greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the risk of soil and water pollution. As if we needed yet another reason to appreciate lentils!