Beans, beans, the magical fruit . . . wait what?! Beans are a fruit? Well, yes and no. Beans, peas, and lentils are all considered to be legumes. While botanically legumes are classified as fruit, legally they are classified as a vegetable. Confusing, we know. Despite the confusion of whether they are fruit or vegetables, legumes are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available as they are typically low in fat, free of cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron, and magnesium. Legumes also contain soluble and insoluble fiber, which help to keep your digestive tract happy!
Most of our Chef Soraya bowls contain beans but we also offer lentils in our Kathmandu Curry bowl. So what’s the difference between beans and lentils?
There are a variety of beans out there, in fact, over 40,000 different kinds of beans exist! In Chef Soraya bowls, we use black beans, red beans, pinto beans, and garbanzo beans. Beans are wonderful for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they contain a low amount of fat, which makes them a suitable addition to most dietary plans. Combining beans with other grains (such as rice) provides more amino acids to make a complete form of protein. While beans take much longer to cook than lentils, they maintain their original shape more easily, unlike lentils. Of course, you can enjoy beans in just minutes with our Chili Lime, Chipotle, Creole, Chana Masala, and Cuban bowls!
Lentils, like beans, come in a wide variety but the most commonly eaten are red, green, brown, and yellow lentils. Lentils are exceptionally high in protein and iron, which make them an invaluable dietary staple for those who are vegetarian or vegan. Lentils are also wonderful for those with type-2 diabetes as their very high fiber content benefits the gut by improving bowel function, which helps to aid digestion and prevent spikes in blood sugar. Lentils cook much faster than beans, however, they tend to have a mushier consistency than beans. However, the lentils in our Kathmandu Curry Bowl maintain their shape as the quick rehydration from the hot water is just enough time to cook the lentil without creating a mushy consistency!
Enjoy Them Both!
Both lentils and beans are both extremely healthy and only vary slightly in their ratio of fiber, protein, and certain nutrient content. So, eat plenty of beans, beans the magical . . . super-fibrous, nutritious legumes!