Pulses – The Hottest New Food Trend
Pulse vs Legume: What Is the Difference?
Plants with their fruit enclosed in a pod are legumes. A pulse is the dried seed from the interior of that pod. Pulses include pinto beans, navy beans, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, mung beans, adzuki beans, lima beans, haricot beans, broad beans, and yes, black-eyed peas.
Why Should People Try Pulses?
Pulses are wonder-foods for vegetarians and vegans as they are high in protein, fiber which is good for digestion, extremely low in fat that is good for BMI indexes and have high levels of minerals such as iron, zinc, phosphorous, and B-vitamins.
Pulse comes from the Latin “puls” which means potage, or “thick soup,” which is another great benefit of this food. When pureed, it makes a thick porridge texture perfect for meat-based dishes. When combined in a dish, grains and pulses give you the full range of proteins required for a healthy diet, making them very suitable, even recommended for vegetarians.
Where Do Pulses Grow and What Is Their Origination?
From Britain to Mesopotamia, pulses have a fairly easy time growing all over the place. Currently, India is the world’s largest producer and consumer of pulses.
Archeologists found traces of pulse production in Punjab from the Indus Valley civilization circa 3250 BC. Archeologists also discovered lentil cultivation in Egyptian pyramids and dry pea seeds in a Swiss village from the Stone Age period.
Who Loves Pulses and Why?
“Greenpeace”, farmers and soil experts love.
An interesting fact about pulses is that they help to fix soil nitrogen levels, so they’re excellent in crop rotation. Pulses produce compounds that feed soil microbes and benefits soil health to help ease crop turnover. Pulses’ crop residue contains a different biochemical composition than other crops, which ends up being a positive thing for soil because it enlivens its nutrient system with its array of soil organisms.
Pulses also help break disease, weed, and insect cycles. It’s not that bad for teeny-tiny pods. Isn’t it?
What Kind of Meals Can I Cook from Pulses? Well, it's horses for courses.
Vegetable and pulse-based soups are hearty, thick, high in protein and great in winter.
Try a hummus, perhaps one of the simplest vegetarian dishes imaginable. Or, experiment with halloumi cheese, chickpeas, and peppers, this is a Cyprus-inspired meal.
We have to remember that whole grains and pulses are packed with fibre and important nutrients. They are incredibly affordable and add body and flavour to soups. Because of their slightly earthy note, it is often good to finish a soup laden with grains and pulses with a top note of perhaps lemon or yoghurt and a hint of green such as fresh parsley or dill.
You need a marrowfat pea if you're from the north of England and making mushy peas. If you were to make a Greek “Avgolemono” (chicken and lemon soup), you'd need short-grained rice and white broad beans, and if you're in Iceland simmering lamb soup, “Kjotsupa”, you would need oats and green lentils.
Recipe options for pulse-based meals are truly endless. Take a cue from its biggest supplier and consumer, India. Most of their dishes are pulse-based and utterly delicious. Experiment with different dals (split, dried peas) based on a variety of pulses.
Soak them overnight in cold water, simmer them, then fry them with spices, onions, chilies, and garlic. Add vegetables and serve with rice and you have one of the cheapest dishes around.
Bon appetite. Eat pulses, save the nature.