Lentils are a healthy food that is rich in fiber and protein.
This healthy food can be used with various dishes and replace some ingredients that are not good for your diet with lentils.
The protein-rich lentils can make a part of a balanced and healthy diet as it contains nutrients like potassium, folate, and phosphorus.
However, cooking lentils takes a lot of time, which is not suitable for your busy life.
That is why today, many people prefer to freeze pre-made lentils in the freezer for later use, and it is also an excellent solution for those who want to save time when they are in a hurry.
Can you freeze lentils? Yes, you can safely freeze cooked lentils or even leftover canned lentils for later use.
Cooked and dried lentils can stay fresh for up to six months in the freezer.
However, if you want to freeze canned lentils, you should use them within two months as they taste better for only two months maximum.
Also, thawing the lentils is an easy process.
You can place them in warm water, microwave, or put them in the fridge overnight.
You can as well add your frozen lentils directly to your dish. Dry lentils can be stored in a dry, cool area like your pantry.
This storing process can keep your lentils fresh for up to one year.
But, dry lentils are not much of use when you are on a tight schedule and have no time to make lunch or dinner.
Though lentils do not take much time to cook and don’t need soaking, if you freeze, the cooked lentils can help you even better and helps you speed up your cooking.
That is why it is always better to cook a few batches of lentils and freeze them for later use.
Does Freezing Affect Lentils?
Freezing does not affect lentils if you follow proper storage procedures.
However, you should know that all types of grains are not a good choice for freezing.
Green lentils are the best varieties of lentils that you can cook and freeze for later use.
Other lentils’ verities can become mushy and disintegrate when you freeze the cooked lentils.
If you don’t find green lentils, you can use brown lentils as the cooked brown lentils also freeze well.
Frozen cooked lentils allow you to prepare a quick and nutritious dish within minutes; especially, it is very useful when you are in a hurry and have no time to make super dishes.
Cooking your favorite lentils and freezing them in batches will save a lot of time but also helps you save money.
Many people spend a lot of money buying canned lentils, which is why freezing cooked lentils is a better and more efficient option than buying canned lentils.
On the weekend, you can cook a lot of lentils in portions so that you can quickly freeze them in the freezer.
Also, you can quickly defrost the amount on lentils and reheat it whenever you want to eat your favorite lentils dish.
Frozen cooked lentils can stay fresh for up to 6-months if you store them in an airtight container and freeze it in the freezer.
The quality of lentils remains the same and safe if you have followed all the steps correctly and provide the necessary conditions.
However, make sure to check thoroughly and examine defrosted lentils closely before using.
If they smell different or have mold, then discard the lentils immediately.
How to Freeze Cooked Lentils?
Before freezing cooked lentils, you have to follow some essential steps that include:
- Ensure to clean lentils and remove dust particles and then rinse them properly.
- Do not cook lentils thoroughly, it should be semi-cooed, still firm, but in the middle, it shouldn’t be hard.
- Before freezing lentils, make sure to drain all the water after cooking lentils. The liquid content that remains in the cooked lentils can make them soft and mushy when you freeze them.
- Strain the water/liquid from cooked lentils and dry them on a clean dishtowel or paper towel. Once they cool down to room temperature, you can store them in a freezer bag and freeze them.
- It is recommended to store the cooked lentils in an airtight container so that they do not get mushy when you keep them in the freezer. Also, label and date the lid for better use.
To keep frozen cooked lentils longer is by getting a food saver.
This device can seal perfectly whatever you want to freeze in the freezer.
This will extend the life of the cooked food in the freezer and preserve the texture and flavors better.
How to Thaw Fzozen Lentils?
To defrost the frozen cooked lentils, you have to follow a few vital steps that help you thaw cooked lentils perfectly.
The first step is, take out the frozen cooked lentils from the freezer and put them in the fridge overnight or for a few hours if you want to them early.
Make sure they are completely defrosted before serving them or cooking.
You can add the cold lentils in salads or hot recipes.
You can also thaw the frozen cooked lentils in the microwave, or you can add them directly to dishes as they are cooking.
Thawed cooked lentils must be consumed within two days, and also it is not advisable to freeze again thawed frozen cooked lentils.
If you like your cooked lentils a bit crispy, then do not cook them well before freezing.
When you defrost the frozen lentils, they won’t get too soft and mushy after thawing.
Also, if you don’t want your cooked lentils to get sticky and out of shape once thawed, then put the cooked lentils on a baking sheet and spread them before putting them in the freezer.
Once they froze, transfer them into an airtight container or a freezer bag.
Can you freeze lentils? Yes, you can freeze cooked lentils like any other cooked food.
However, you have to follow specific steps to keep your frozen cooked lentils nutritious and safe.
When you want to freeze cooked lentils, make sure that they reach room temperature before freezing them.
It is also advisable to freeze portions of lentils so that you can use the entire batch whenever you want.
Frozen lentils stay fresh for up to 6-months.
When you want to defrost your frozen cooked lentils, put them in the fridge overnight until they defrost entirely.