Pulses, Pulses & more Pulses

  Stunning  photography provided by Stephanie Partridge, APD of  The Behaviour Beet  . Check out more of her photos below and make sure to follow her on Instagram. 

Stunning photography provided by Stephanie Partridge, APD of The Behaviour Beet . Check out more of her photos below and make sure to follow her on Instagram. 

It is ABOUT TIME that I chat with you about pulses - arguably my favourite ingredient! Also, 2016 is conveniently the 'International Year of Pulses' - so they are finally starting to get a bit of the fame that they deserve. 

 

Okay, so first of all, what are they? 

Pulses are the dry, edible seeds of legumes, including:

  • dry peas (ex: split green peas & yellow peas),
  • beans (ex: kidney beans, black turtle beans, & pinto beans),
  • lentils (ex: red lentils & french green lentils), and
  • chickpeas.

Check out a full picture-list here

 

Why do I love them? (My top 5!) 

 Adzuki beans (from  The Behaviour Beet )

Adzuki beans (from The Behaviour Beet)

1. They are jam-packed full of nutrition:

Are you ready? This list is long…Pulses are high in vegetarian protein, fibre, antioxidants, iron, potassium, folate, magnesium, and zinc. All of which we should try to consume MORE of! 

 
 Blackeye peas - a type of  bean  (from  The Behaviour Beet )

Blackeye peas - a type of bean (from The Behaviour Beet)

2. They improve your health:

Evidenced-based research links eating pulses to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, improved digestive health, better blood sugar control, and healthy body weights (by increasing feelings of fullness). 

 
 Black turtle beans (from  The Behaviour Beet )

Black turtle beans (from The Behaviour Beet)

3. They are sustainable food: 

Because pulses are able to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, they require little, if any, fertilizer, and have one of the lowest carbon footprints. They are also able to grow in our cold Canadian climate!

 
 Butter beans (from  The Behaviour Beet )

Butter beans (from The Behaviour Beet)

4. I love to eat local:

Canada is one of the largest producers of peas and lentils worldwide. DYK that in 2010 we produced 32% of the peas around the world, and 38.5% of the lentils?! Right here in our backyard. In Alberta, dry peas are the most widely grown pulse crop, but we grow all types of pulses. Read more about that here and here

 
 French green lentils (from  The Behaviour Beet )

French green lentils (from The Behaviour Beet)

5. I can afford them:

Per serving, pulses cost less than many other protein-rich foods, like beef or chicken. 

 

What are my top 10 (err, 11) favourite ways to eat pulses? 

 
 Pulse Canada

Pulse Canada

1. In soups:

For lunch on a brisk fall day, try this 'Beet and Bean Borscht' using white kidney beans. 
 
 Pulse Nutrition YK

Pulse Nutrition YK

2. In dips:

For dessert or an afternoon pick-me-up, try this 'Dessert Hummus' using canned chickpeas. 
 
 Pulse Canada

Pulse Canada

Or for a savoury appetizer dip, try this 'Spinach and Pea Hummus ' using cooked split green peas and chickpeas.
 

3. To boost salads:

Make your co-workers jealous at work, and try this 'Julienne Salad' made with blackeye peas, cucumber, capsicum, coriander and carrot. 
 
 Pulse Canada

Pulse Canada

4. As the protein in smoothies:

For breakfast or after a workout, try this 'Chickpea Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl'.
 
 Jasper Nutrition Counselling

Jasper Nutrition Counselling

5. In powerbowls:

For a quick and easy meal, try this 'Fresh Protein Powerbowl' with roasted chickpeas, smoked tofu, brown rice, kale, beets, carrots, mushrooms, cucumber and 'Lemon Tahini Dressing' from Oh She Glows. 
 
 Minimalist Baker

Minimalist Baker

6. In baking:

For your next celebration, try these "Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies'. 
 
 Pulse Canada

Pulse Canada

7. In addition to meat: 

If you are a meat lover, try out these 'Pork Tacos with Pinto Bean Radish Salsa'. 
 
 Minimalist Baker

Minimalist Baker

8. As a meat replacement or substitute:

For a Meatless Monday extravaganza, try these 'Easy Lentil Meatballs', using cooked green lentils.   
 
 Pulse Canada

Pulse Canada

9. In energy bites: 

For your next hiking trip, try these 'Peanut Butter and Coconut Pea Protein Bites', using pea protein powder. 
 
 Minimalist Baker

Minimalist Baker

10. As sandwich fillers: 

For a shoo-in with kids, try these 'Vegan Sloppy Joes', using green lentils. 
 
 Vincci Tsui, RD

Vincci Tsui, RD

11. As a stand-alone snack:

For an afternoon snack, to get you through until dinner, try these 'Roasted Chickpea Snacks'
 

The list could have went on forever, but figured you would all get tired of scrolling…Enjoy! :)

Stay tuned for a continuation of Pulses, pulses & more pulses, tailored specifically to the athlete

 A big thank-you to Stephanie Partridge, APD of  The Behaviour Beet  for the lovely photography.

A big thank-you to Stephanie Partridge, APD of The Behaviour Beet for the lovely photography.