This section is from the book "Practical Dietetics With Special Reference To Diet In Disease", by William Gilman Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Practical Dietetics with Special Reference to Diet in Disease.
Lentils are much cultivated in the south of France, and also near Paris. They are usually dried and split, in which condition they make a nutritious soup. They are used more on the Continent of Europe than in this country, and they are eaten in England, usually in the form of puree. Lentil flour contains twice as much protein as that of oats or wheat, and nearly twice as much lime (Roberts). The Hindoos rely upon the lentil for its staying power when undertaking arduous journeys.
Lentils are sold under the name of "revalenta Arabica " of which they form an ingredient (p. 160). Their taste is somewhat bitter, and on that account, unless disguised by some vegetable flavour, they* may be disliked. Like the other legumes, they contain protein and fat, and are nutritious.
The peanut is not a nut at all, but a legume growing under ground. It resembles nuts, however, in its large content of fat - 50 per cent.
Peanuts are nutritious, but indigestible when roasted whole. Peanut flour is made from the ground and bolted nuts, and it is claimed that a pound of it contains as much nutritive material as three pounds of beef or two of peas. The peanut grits may be boiled like oatmeal or made into biscuits. Experiments have been made with the view of possible introduction of this food into the German army to be used like the Erbswurst of fame in the Franco-Prussian War. Peanuts contain considerable oil, which is extracted and sold largely as spurious olive oil. It is also sometimes used in the preparation of oleomargarine, and the roasted nuts themselves make a sort of imitation coffee. A form of peanut meal is prepared for diabetics which is said to contain little or no carbohydrate. Pancakes may be made from it. The meal contains 52 per cent of protein, 27 per cent of carbohydrates, and 8 per cent of fat. Four million bushels of peanuts are raised annually in the Southern States of this country.