Ingredient spotlight: red lentil flour

lentil, red lentils, cooking

Red lentil flour nutrition

Red lentil is another flour I found in the organic grocery store one day and decided to try on a whim, and boy have I fallen in love with it!

As with most pulse flours (i.e. flours made from chickpeas, lentils, peas, etc.) it is high in protein and fiber and is also gluten free. This makes it a great option for people who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease. It is also one of the most nutrient dense flours you can find, and is high in folate and iron as well. 

Making lentil flour

You can make red lentil flour relatively easily yourself at home, since it is literally just made of red lentils and nothing else. Nothing is removed or hulled, so all the equipment you require is a strong blender or grinder that can handle lentils. Personally, I bought this flour at the store, because I – again this is just a personal thing – find that when I have made flours myself at home in the past (sunflower seed and oat flour come to mind), no matter how much I ran it through the blender and sieved it again and again, it did not reach the fine consistency or uniformity that I was looking for. Was the flour I had at home serviceable? Yes. Was it truly flour? ….eh? Idk, maybe not? I’d categorize it somewhere in the realm of finely to very finely chopped. But what I want is literal flour, and sometimes I just think it’s honestly easier to buy these things at the store and be done with it and save yourself all this trouble and going through the hassle. Just my two cents. You do you, boo. 

Using lentil flour

Red lentil flour can be used as a 1:1 replacement for flour in your recipes (according to package instructions anyway) and are good for binding and thickening sauces. If it is your first time working with this type of flour, perhaps work your way up by adding a bit of red lentil flour and incrementally increasing from there. 

Lentil flour recipes to try

I have used this lentil flour in naan, although only replacing about 10-15% of the total flour in the recipe. The recipe from the packaging is red lentil flour flammkuchen with smoked tofu, though I have not tried this. Red lentil flour pasta is another great recipe to try out, along with lentil flour frittatas. 

You can of course do exactly the same thing described here with yellow lentils or green lentils, it’s really all the same! Try it out if you like and enjoy! And please do report back with comments, suggestions, successes, failures, and everything else in between that you encountered on your journey with red lentil flour!

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