A Multi-purpose Ingredient for Success
The year 2016 marks the international year of pulses according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Pulses are part of the legume family and are also known as « dried beans » like red kidney beans, white beans, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, dried peas, and many others are ingredients for success!
What is so special about dried beans and what are the benefits of eating them more often?
In general, beans can be a cheaper meat alternative with an interesting nutrition profile:
- Low in fat & cholesterol-free: especially compared to all forms of red meats
- High in fibre: helps improve blood sugar, reduces blood cholesterol, and increases feeling of fullness after meals
- Source of protein: a plant source that can be part of a complete meal
- Source of complex carbs: yes, beans do contain carbs. However, those are harder to digest and stay longer in our digestive tract, therefore making us less hungry!
- Rich in vitamins and minerals: iron, zinc, phosphorus, folate, vitamin B6, and others
- Gluten free: can be enjoyed by people who are intolerant to gluten
How to integrate them in meals?
Let’s get creative!
- Soups and chillis
- Crowd-pleasing Chickpea and Carrot Salad
- Burritos or quesadillas
- Red Lentil & Chia Porridge with Toasted Almonds & Goji Berries
- Dips: Hummus is the most popular. Here is one of my favourite black bean dips: Zesty bean dip and chips
- Baked chickpea burger patties
- Desserts: Yes, desserts!! Beans can be a substitute for fat and add a lot of moisture to recipes. Here is a must-try: Soft chocolate chip cookies
How to prepare them?
- Dry beans require washing and overnight soaking. This step is followed by another washing, and then boiling for 1-2 hours depending on the type of bean. No need to wash lentils and split beans; just wash, cook, and enjoy!
- Canned beans are already cooked, but should be rinsed thoroughly with water before use!
Tip: If you don’t eat beans regularly, add them gradually. Beans can cause uncomfortable gas and bloating. To reduce possible bloating, change the soaking water several times before cooking.
Did you know that bean production is also environmentally friendly, efficient, and sustainable?
Joelle Khairallah, P.Dt., M.Sc, Nutritionist for Zero Diet
The Zero Diet brand is first and foremost the conviction that eating healthy is a primary factor to attain a healthy weight and a balanced lifestyle. Thus, we offer nutrition counselling with nutritionists member of the OPDQ through our Zero Diet nutrition program in our centers and in companies. We also developed a healthy frozen product line that fulfill rigorous nutritional criteria as well as two Zero Diet healthy cookbook.
Eat right Ontario. All about legumes, 2016. https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Cooking-Food-Preparation/Cooking-with-Legumes.aspx
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Surprising facts about pulses you might not know, 2016. http://www.fao.org/resources/infographics/infographics-details/en/c/382088/
Pulse Canada. Food and Health: What is a Pulse?, 2016. http://www.pulsecanada.com/food-health/what-is-a-pulse