Excellent Pulses—Excellent Meals | alive
Legumes are getting a lot of attention these days. We’re not talking about your heart rate, we’re exploring – and enjoying – the perfect plant-based diet.
Legumes are some of the healthiest foods in the world and offer plenty of goodness that can certainly be linked to a healthy heartbeat. They are an excellent source of protein, practically saturated fat free and very high in minerals and fiber. And that’s not all: Scientific studies have shown that diets high in legumes have been shown to lower cholesterol – a key factor in reducing heart disease.
There is some confusion in the mind of some people about what exactly is included in the term “pulse”. Is it a lens? Is it a legume? Is it a bean and / or a pea? The word “pulse” refers to the seed in the legume; “Legume” refers to the entire plant – leaves, stems, and pods – while the “legume” is the edible seed of the legume plant. The most commonly known and consumed legumes are dried beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas.
Canada is a major producer of legumes. Our prairie climate provides the perfect landscape for growing these food power plants. Saskatchewan is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of lentils, while Southern Ontario and Quebec are the major bean producers.
As the world focuses on the crucial benefits of choosing plant-based diets, legumes are the trending and popular foods of our time – and they are here to stay. Legumes are not only the stars in delicious plant-based recipes, but are also used in common plant-based artificial meat products.
Did you know already?
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations named 2016 the International Year of Legumes as “nutritious seeds for a sustainable future”. Legumes were highlighted not only for their high nutritional content, but also because their production “helps farmers keep households safe and economic stability”. Legumes can also promote soil biodiversity and climate protection by reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers.
In our uncomplicated recipe collection this month, we present legumes in their truest form – with tons of lip-tasting taste. In addition, legumes are cheap to buy – especially in large quantities – and easy to store. But more importantly, they take any dish a long way towards satiety and provide both nutrients at the same time
Smoky Roasted Tomato and Bean Soup
Warming up the Moroccan turkey stew
Colorful roasted vegetables and lentils with crispy kale and creamy vegan mayonnaise
Red lentil dip
Black “caviar” lentils with mint fell over creamy yogurt
Beat the bean bloat blues
Eating legumes is an excellent way to increase the amount of vegetable protein in your diet. But what can be done about possible side effects? If you’re not used to eating legumes, start with smaller servings and go from there. Follow these simple steps to outgas high carb pulses. As your body adapts, the side effects go away.
- Soak the dried beans well and for a long time – the longer the better. Then rinse well before cooking.
- Sprout lentils to aid digestion when they are smaller and more easily digested but still pose a problem for you.
- Cook beans until very soft. This can also be applied to canned beans.
- Add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of baking powder to the soaking or cooking water. It helps digestion and also speeds up cooking. Be sure to rinse well and remove the oligosaccharides – the puffy sugar – after cooking.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Chew your food thoroughly and slowly.
- Add ajwain (Indian spice, also known as caramel seeds) or epazote (Mexican herb used for flavoring and for its anti-flattening properties) to your dish. Ginger and cumin can also help.
- Rinse the canned beans well.
- Visit your health food store for over-the-counter digestive aids.
Impulses help the environment
Legumes are not only good for you, but also good for the environment.
- As they grow, legumes produce compounds that feed various soil microbes, which in turn is beneficial for soil health, displacing disease-causing bacteria and fungi, and creating healthy soils for other plants in rotation.
- Legumes require fewer greenhouse gas emitting fertilizers, including the ability to convert nitrogen in the air into a form of nitrogen that plants can use, because of the microbial diversity they produce in the soil.
- Less water is needed to grow legumes. They can grow in semi-arid conditions and tolerate drought stress.
For more pulse wisdom
Good carbohydrate fuel
Usually high-carb foods break down the inner glucose meter, but not all carbohydrate fuel is bad. Legumes – rich in fiber, proteins and vitamins – offer something completely different: During digestion, they provide slow-releasing fuel and control blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes or are at risk of diabetes, replacing other starchy foods in your diet with legumes is one of the best ways to control blood sugar and, as a bonus, lower blood cholesterol.