One variety of legumes that is high in iron, protein, and fiber is lentils. They are excellent for lunch or dinner since they cook faster than other beans.
Do not be concerned if you have extra lentils. You may reheat them in various ways without sacrificing their nutritional value.
The top four techniques for reheating lentils are discussed here.
How to Reheat Lentils?
Lentils can be heated in two ways: in the microwave or on the stove.
This essay will concentrate on reheating these lentil dishes since the bulk is variations of dals, stews, soups, or curry recipes.
To start, make sure your lentils are stored correctly. You can accomplish this by using a sturdy meal prep container to keep the lentils sealed for refrigeration.
Most lentil dishes can be kept for up to 3–5 days in the fridge or 3–6 months in the freezer and will remain tasty.
Lentils must defrost overnight if you intend to reheat them from the freezer. You can also let them thaw at room temperature in warm water if you are at home.
The lentils can be heated either in the jar or by transferring them to a dish or saucepan.
Reheating Lentils in the Microwave
- Make sure to use a splatter guard to protect your microwave-safe dish, plate, or container. This will stop the lentils from popping in the microwave, which is crucial.
- Stir your lentils with a spoon after heating them for one minute. Reheat for one more minute while stirring. The temperature will be right, but as you reach the desired heat, add 30 seconds each time.
Reheating Lentils on the Stove
- Add your lentil dish to your saucepan and preheat it over medium-low heat.
- Maintain a low simmer for 3 minutes while covering.
- Turn the heat to medium-high, remove the top, and stir for 2 minutes.
Can you Reheat Cooked Lentils More than Once?
There are many ways to store leftover lentils. Putting them in an airtight container or plastic bag can be a good idea. You can also freeze them for later use.
However, you can reheat them in the microwave. It is important to use a microwave-safe dish. You should also stir the lentils while heating them. This will prevent them from sticking and overcooking.
Aside from the microwave, you can also heat lentils in a frying pan. You can add half an onion for extra flavor. The pan should be preheated to medium-high.
If you are going to reheat cooked lentils, ensure they are fresh. If they have been in the fridge for a while, they may be spoiled. You can also check for mold or other signs of spoilage.
Can you Reheat Lentils in the Microwave?
If you have leftover lentil soup in the freezer, you may wonder how to reheat it. You can reheat it in the microwave for a few minutes or warm it up in a skillet. However, this method does not guarantee that the texture and taste will be consistent.
When reheating lentils, you want to ensure that the ingredients are well incorporated. This will ensure that the consistency of the lentil soup is fresh and will result in a better flavor.
Aside from ensuring that the lentils are well hydrated, you should also ensure that the lid on the container is tightly closed. If the lid does not close, the lentils will begin to smell. You may also notice that the texture of the soup changes, so you should eat it as soon as possible.
Can you Eat Leftover Lentils?
Although cooking lentils in bulk for several meals is practical, it also results in cooked lentil waste.
So, are leftover lentils edible? Yes, it is the answer.
Lentils cooked in excess can be eaten cold or heated up and added to various meals.
Placing them on a plate wrapped in plastic or tin foil will retain their moisture from evaporating and help prevent freezer burn, making this the ideal method for storing them in the refrigerator for later use.
They should be ready to eat within three days, but if you start to worry that the dish won’t taste well after this period, it’s not worth eating.
Even cooked lentils that are left over can be frozen, ensuring that you always have a simple and wholesome meal.
They can be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag that can be sealed.
Remember that you may be able to eat leftover cooked lentils if you reheat them more than one day after cooking; they probably won’t taste as tasty and fresh.
How to Soften Lentils Quickly?
Lentils are a fantastic source of fiber and protein. They are also wonderful, although occasionally they can be too difficult to consume.
Lentils can be soaked in hot or cold water before cooking to save time.
It decreases cooking time in half, and they cook more quickly than you would expect.
Available variations include green, brown, puy, split red, and yellow, each of which has a unique capacity to soften when soaked.
You can quickly and easily cook lentils by adjusting the amount of soaking according to the type of lentils.
Here’s how to fast soften them:
- Put the lentils in a pot and add water to cover them.
- After boiling the mixture, please turn off the heat and let it sit for around 20 minutes to soften the ingredients.
- Once the lentils have finished soaking, rinse them in cool water before using.
- If necessary, repeat this 2 or 3 times.
How to Store Cooked Lentils?
The problem of lentil storage is crucial since these legumes deteriorate more quickly than other foods, especially when kept at room temperature.
In general, cooked dry beans should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag.
This will prevent them from drying out excessively while maintaining their nutritional integrity.
Lentils in cans are also included in this.
If the smell has dramatically changed from when you first opened the product or if surface mold grows, you might tell they are rotten.
The shelves in your pantry are the best spot to keep your lentil cans since they stay chilly enough to keep them from spoiling.
You may freeze cooked lentils if you don’t want them to spoil before using them. This will keep them fresh for months.
The drawback is that you’ll have to cook them from frozen when you’re ready to use them again, and they might not taste as fresh.
How to Tell if Leftover Lentils are Bad?
We are all aware of how useful leftovers can be on busy days.
How can you tell if your leftover lentils are bad, though? You must first smell them before doing anything else.
Lentils should be thrown out if they smell sulfurous or are not as fresh as they should be.
The next step is inspecting the dish’s surface for mold growth.
When mold develops on food, it will appear green or blueish.
Once more, this could indicate that your leftovers are bad, so get rid of them immediately.
The texture of your lentils must be examined, which is the final and most crucial step.
You shouldn’t consume them if they are sticky, mushy, or soggy since they have probably gone bad.
The lentils are also likely to be rotten if kept in the refrigerator or freezer for an extended period.
The Warm Water Method to Reheat Lentils
Even frozen lentils may be easily warmed up in the water and adaptable. Simply add the lentils in their packaging to warm water if they are frozen. They will be able to defrost as a result over a few minutes. After they have defrosted, stir them in a bowl of warm water. You may also defrost frozen lentils without adding other ingredients or seasonings by moving them to a colander or sieve with tiny holes and soaking them in hot tap water until they are thoroughly thawed. If your lentils are not frozen, you may omit the first step and float the packaging in warm water.
Additionally, there is no need to unpack the spices and mix them until they are warmed up if you do not want to dilute them. To stop water from leaking into the container while it is soaked in hot water, you can also place it inside a Ziploc bag. The warm water method can be combined with the other ones mentioned above if the hot water doesn’t transfer enough heat to defrost and warm up your frozen lentils.
Reference: The roles and potential of lentil prebiotic carbohydrates in human and plant health
Do you Drain Lentils After Cooking?
To get rid of any bean dust and debris, rinse and drain your lentils before cooking them, but you don’t have to drain them once they are done.
You may decide to drain part or all of any leftover liquid, but you may also add it to a sauce or broth for taste, depending on how much liquid is still in your pot and how you prepare your cooked lentils.
To save some of your lentils, you may keep them moist and tasty by storing them in their cooking water.
It is always preferable to use more water while cooking lentils than less. Lentils will absorb a large portion of the water they are cooked in, roughly doubling in size. Therefore there is frequently some water left over.
Lentils are now used and consumed more frequently due to the growing popularity of plant-based dishes.
Even if you are not vegan or vegetarian, lentils can be used as a meat alternative or added to salads for taste.
We hope these three techniques for reheating lentils will prevent you from ever throwing away a batch of this delectable and nutritious legume.
By leaving comments below, let us know what alternative techniques you find most effective.