Oh, lentils! Why do you hate me so?

To discourage seed predators, pulses contain t...

To discourage seed predators, pulses contain trypsin inhibitors that interfere with digestion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, I decided to be good and made a nice big pot of lentil stew.  I followed the recipe to the letter, and it turned out, if I do say so myself, quite delicious.

There is a small quirk to my lentil stew though.  You know how anti-freeze is crazy poisonous, but for some reason it tastes delicious to animals and babies, so they can mistakenly ingest it, not knowing that they are in fact slurping down poison?  Yeah, so, under cooked lentils are also pretty poisonous.  They have proteins that cannot be broken down and require a full, good hard boil to make them safe to eat.

Did you know that?

I didn’t know that.  If the under cooking of a food could cause severe illness and food poisoning, don’t you think that should be general, common knowledge?  You know, like how we all know you should’t eat raw cookie dough or lick your fingers after touching raw meat?

I didn’t under cook my lentils on purpose.  As I said, I followed the directions exactly.

Luckily, I was the only one that ate it.  Unluckily, it took two completely separate days of what felt like painful, near death illness, for me to put two and two together and realize what made me ill.

Abe had to stay home for half of the day today to help me take care of the babies because I was just too sick.  Again.

Guess what I will never eat again?  Did you say raw cookie dough?  Naw, I would probably eat that, that stuff is delicious.  But lentil anything?  Oh my.

No.  Just no.

I tend not to forgive things that make me violently ill.  Did you read the caption under the lovely lentil photo at the top of this post?  “To discourage seed predators, pulses contain trypsin inhibitors that interfere with digestion.

Consider this “seed predator” discouraged!

8 thoughts on “Oh, lentils! Why do you hate me so?

  1. I’m thinking that by now you may have found out that lentils are not poisonous when undercooked, you can even sprout them raw and eat them in salads. You were confusing them with other types of beans as being poisonous. Adzuki, chickpeas and lentils are not toxic🙂

  2. “One key piece of information about lentils is that they should not be eaten raw. This is because raw lentils have “anti-nutrients” which interfere with the absorption of nutrients. Soaking lentils overnight removes the anti-nutrients. Some lentils need to be soaked before cooking, while others do not have to be soaked and should be boiled immediately upon opening the package.” From here: http://suzyeats.com/lentils-mediterranean-healthy-beware-do-not-eat-them-raw/

  3. No need for colonic irrigation , just eat slightly under cooked lentils. Thanks for this post, I have struggled with lentils, I love them but have not taken the time to pre-soak them and I am talking about the little lentils ‘Lentilles vertes’ which are sold in the U.K.
    In future I will soak them well, and then I hope that the wretched gut ache which always follows, will be a thing of the past. I guess also, some peoples stomachs esp as they get older are just that bit more sensitive.

    • I have now soaked my Lentils and have experienced no such problems as I had in the past, I normally soak them for 48-72 hours,rinsing regularly with clean water. Once I cook one lot I start to soak another- they tend to sit better if I have them for lunch as opposed to supper.

      • I am so glad to hear that soaking the lentils has helped with the digestive upset! Something like this should be common knowledge, I could have saved myself an awful lot of pain and suffering had I known! 🙂

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