African beans and lentils make good vegetarian food recipes (

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Getting more vegetable and plant-based proteins is an impactful way to care for our planet. Whenever we reduce our meat intake, we help to lessen the burden the industrial meat industry places on fossil fuels, fresh water and antibiotic resistance.

Lentils and beans are grown locally all over Africa. Bean plants, in particular, play a valuable role in replenishing the soil because they are nitrogen-fixers. The plants host a fungi on their roots that takes nitrogen from the air and brings it as a chemical compound into the soil. Because nitrogen is a fertilizer, growing bean plants literally fertilizes your garden!

Lentils and beans are bought dried by weight from the market, in the dried goods section. Perhaps they will be already packaged in plastic for you, but in most places the seller will still scoop them for you into a bag that is weighed on a balance.

Local lentils and beans are often sun-dried and processed by hand, so please be sure to wash them carefully and make sure there are no small stones. It is very useful to get used to checking them for stones as you apportion them before rinsing. Rinsing your lentils and beans under cold water is a good way to remove any particulate matter that might’ve attached themselves during processing.

To learn more about how lentils and beans are used in African cooking, check out:

Cooking with Lentils and Beans