Baby it’s cold outside! Well at least by Houston’s standards 🙂 I went for a pedicure this morning and thought my tootsies were going to freeze walking out in flip flops! But, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!
Today I decided to make a yummy lentil soup in the crock pot that’s perfect during these cooler months. It’s sooooo easy! Only about 10-15 minutes of prep time and 5 to 6 hours in the crock pot!
Also, there are many benefits to eating lentils:
1. Lower Cholesterol
Lentils help to reduce blood cholesterol since it contains high levels of soluble fiber. Lowering your cholesterol levels reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke by keeping your arteries clean.
2. Heart Health
Several studies have shown that eating high fiber foods like lentils reduces your risk of heart disease. Lentils are also a great source of folate and magnesium, which are big contributors to heart health. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Low levels of magnesium have been directly associated with heart disease, so eating lentils will keep your heart happy!
3. Digestive Health
Insoluble dietary fiber found in lentils helps prevent constipation and other digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.
4. Stabilized Blood Sugar
Adding to the many benefits of fiber, soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slowing down digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels. This can be especially helpful for those with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.
5. Good Protein
Of all legumes and nuts, lentils contain the third-highest levels of protein. 26 percent of lentil’s calories are attributed to protein, which makes them a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
6. Increases Energy
Lentils increase steady, slow-burning energy due its fiber and complex carbohydrates. Lentils are also a good source of iron, which transports oxygen throughout your body and is key to energy production and metabolism.
7. Weight Loss
Although lentils include all these beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins, they are still low in calories and contain virtually no fat. One cup of cooked lentils only contains about 230 calories, but still leaves you feeling full and satisfied.
Over the years I have tried several different lentil soup recipes. Some ok, and some just meh… I finally found one that the whole family loves! It’s from The Apron Gal. The recipe I am sharing with you is straight from her website. No need to go searching the Internet and preparing a soup only to find out it is just ok. Here is a great one!
Oh, if you don’t have some feta cheese on hand, get some! I learned from my Lebanese husband to crumble feta cheese on top of your soup and drizzle a little olive oil when you are eating it. So good!!
Serves 8, 1.5 cup servings
|Cut up vegetables into small chunks. Add all ingredients to crock pot and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove bay leaves and serve.|