So apparently 2016 is the official year of pulses, so there’s that…
A lot of people seem to either LOVE pulses or don’t really get the hype. When was say pulses, what do we actually mean? Examples included ingredients like chickpeas, lentils, beans and dry peas. There are loads of great health benefits to including them more in your diet, plus they are an incredibly versatile ingredient!
Helps you feel fuller for longer
When you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle or perhaps lose weight, the default setting is often to cut things out of your diet. Pulses are actually a really great thing to add. Instead of reducing the total amount of food, try changing the proportions of what you are eating.
Try cooking the same meal, but when it comes to plating up your portion, give yourself fewer potatoes or rice and increase the pulses and veg. Small simple steps like this done often can have a huge difference to your overall health. The bonus is that pulses are a healthy way of bulking out your meal so you won’t get those late night snack cravings. Next time you want to bulk out your meal try out our veggie Bean Chilli, here’s a meal that will really fill you up!
If you are on a restricted diet, whether it’s by choice or not, pulses are a great replacement for gluten. One of the big problems of a gluten free diet is making meals with enough bulk to make you feel fulfilled. You are forever having reduced meals because you can’t eat the bread or pasta element of the dish. This is where pulses like chickpeas and lentils come into their own. You can finally have a big bowl of delicious goodness that is going to keep you feeling full and feeling healthy. Bonus points as pulses also contain fibre, protein and lots of different vitamins and minerals that can be missing from gluten free diets.
They keep forever
I bet if you look in any storage cupboard, even belonging to the laziest student you will be able to find pulses. Whether they are dried in a cheeky Tupperware or a tin of lost looking chickpeas, everyone’s got some somewhere. They’ll always be there when you need them as you never have to worry about them going off! I’m pretty sure when aliens discover a post-apocalyptic earth, it’ll just be pulses left, and nothing else.
All the flavours
The difficulty comes is knowing what to do with them. People often worry that ingredients like kidney beans or chickpeas will be bland when cooked. This doesn’t have to be the case. Pulse are great carriers for any flavour you choose to add. Hummus is a great one to start with as you can be pretty crazy with how you flavour it. Now is the time to be experimental!
What are your favourite recipes that you make with pulses? Let us know over on Twitter and Facebook!
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