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Beans, Lentils, and other Legumes

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In this Lesson you will Learn

  1. What are examples of legumes?
  2. Are legumes healthy?
  3. How to prepare dried beans and chickpeas
  4. How to prepare dried peas and lentils

Beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, and green beans are all legumes (so are peanuts, by the way!). Most legumes are high in fiber, low in fat, and contain a generous amount of protein as well as folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium.1 Legumes are popular among vegetarians and vegans as a meat-free protein source.

Many legumes can be purchased dried or canned, including black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, and kidney beans, while peas and green beans can be purchased fresh, frozen, or canned.

Dried beans and chickpeas must be soaked in water before they can be cooked. After soaking at least 8 hours, cover beans with water (do not add salt!), bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer until soft. Soaked beans will need 1 or 2 hours to cook. Dried peas and lentils are a bit easier - you will just need to add them to boiling water and simmer them for 30-45 minutes.2

Canned legumes are great options for people pressed for time, but they do contain more sodium. Look for reduced-sodium versions and rinse the legumes before eating to remove a little more sodium. Note: if you're concerned about BPA in the lining of cans, keep an eye out for legumes in glass jars!

Nutrition DNA

The nutrition DNA of beans, lentils, and other legume. For example, you can see that 100g beans cover 33% of your daily need of Folate and 30% of the recommended Fiber intake. Hover over the bars to see which nutrient is covered.


  1. Mayo Clinic - Beans and other legumes: Types and cooking tips
  2. Whole Foods Market - Beans


  1. Examples of legumes: beans, lentils, peas, green beans, peanuts
  2. Legumes nutrition: high in fiber, low in fat, good source of protein and minerals.
  3. How to make dried beans: soak at least 8 hours, cover drained/soaked beans with water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer til soft
  4. How to prepare dried peas and lentils: add to boiling water and simmer 30-45 minutes
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