Aside from checking my heart rate, talk of “Pulses” was completely new to me. But once I had a quick lesson on this low fat, high-protein, affordable, good for the environment food… I was instantly a [renewed] fan!
Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family, which grow in pods and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Pulses Food List
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recognizes 11 types, check out this pulses food list:
- dry beans
- dry broad beans
- dry peas
- cow peas
- pigeon peas
- Bambara beans
- pulses nes (“not elsewhere specified”)
Ok, honestly I’ve only heard of about 5 of those. How sad.
They are healthy, nutritious and easy to cook with. They are a key ingredient in traditional cooking around the world and are used in soup, stew, falafel, hummus, curry, dal, tacos and more.
Here are 4 reasons why you (and I) should care about pulses.
4 Reasons Why You Should Care About Pulses
- Pulses have the lowest carbon footprint of any food group, indirectly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Pulses use less water than other crops – they can be grown in dry environments, and can be stored for long periods without spoiling.
- Pulses increase soil health – by fixing nitrogen into the soil, naturally improving soil and extending farm productivity.
- Pulses are an inexpensive source of protein, and have more fiber & protein than other plant-based sources. Nice!
So in addition to being cheap and good for you – they promote sustainable agriculture.
Health-wise, they are an easy, convenient way to add fibre, protein and nutrients to meals. Plus, they’re low in fat.
The Perfect Earth Day Celebration
Every year Earth Day comes around, and I think to myself. “I love the Earth. I really should do *something* in honor of Earth Day.”
This year I’ve decided on the perfect way to honor Earth Day: I’m going to add more pulses to my family’s diet! So many fabulous reasons to do so, and they all align nicely with Earth Day.
If you are looking for a tasty pulses snack option, check out World Peas – a pulse-based snack brand. They sent us a few samples, and my family really likes their savory flavored dried fava beans and chickpeas. My go-to favorite is Ranch, which tastes slightly sweet.I also plan to be more conscious of using pulses when cooking our meals. Low cost, delicious, and healthy… that’s a winning mix.
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