We’ve been eating them for over 10,000 years all over the world in different forms and cuisines. Pulses, which includes beans, peas and lentils, are an amazing source of plant-based protein. But this wonderful ingredient that's probably already in your pantry has a lot more to offer! Let's take a look at the factors that make pulses so great.
From black, pinto or kidney beans to green peas to lentils of different shapes and colours, pulses are highly diverse and nutritious. Just half of these will give you more potassium than a banana, four times more fibre than rice and twice the amount of protein that you would get from the same amount of quinoa. Pulses are also rich in iron, a nutrient that is hard to find in plant-based foods.
They are also good for the planet! Pulses are what they call, a sustainable crop with a low carbon footprint. They can be grown with less water compared to most other foods. They also help absorb the nitrogen from the air into the soil, reducing the need for using nitrogen-based fertilisers.
Pulses are also less likely to be wasted or discarded as they have a naturally longer shelf life. They can last for years on the shelf in both dried and canned form. You can store them for a long time at home and cook up a tasty dal in a pinch when your pantry is running low.
Although pulses are often used as a replacement for meat, they can even be a great addition to meat-based dishes. Being so diverse in nature, you can throw in some pulses to your soups, stems and meat sauces for added depth and texture. They are fantastic at soaking up all that flavour!
So, embrace your pulses and enjoy them for a healthy dose of nutrition.