Named for their disctinctive lens shape, lentils are mentioned four times in the Bible, most famously as the ingredient in the soup for which Esau sold his inheritance to his younger brother, Jacob. In colors ranging from yellow to orange to red, green, brown, and black, lentils are sold whole or split, with or without the skins. Lentils have a high drought tolerance, so they can be grown in semi-arid regions - in the U.S., the Palouse Region of eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle.
- rich in folate and copper, both of which contribute to red blood cell production
- protein and fiber content satisfy for hours after eating, helping control appetite
- saponins and inositol hexaphosphate reduce risk of cancer
- as seeds, shock-full of the energy needed for the early growth of the new plant