Beans, lentils, peas. An array of hues, forms, and dimensions characterize these little starchy grains, comprising of crimson spurts, speckled browns, milky whites, blacks, yellows, and greens. They can display characteristics of being sugary or containing no sugar at all, smooth and creamy or coarse and grainy, or a combination of both. What similarities do these objects share apart from being dry, starchy, and adorable?
Well, a whole lot, actually. They’re all considered pulses.
What are pulses?
In brief, pulses are edible, dry seeds of yearly bean plants. The pods of the plant produce anywhere from one to twelve seeds, which are collected like grain. All types of pulse crops such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, and dried peas are grouped together. Despite soybeans and peanuts coming from the same family of plants as pulses, they have a higher fat content and are not considered to be in the pulse group.
Why should we eat pulses?
Four principal explanations exist for consuming pulses: pulses are good for our biology, our environment, our budget, and our palates!
Humans have been consuming pulses for more than 11,000 years, originating in ancient times, particularly in the area generally known as the ‘Cradle of Civilization’. They’re an important part of the Mediterranean diet.
Vegetarian and vegan diets can reap the nutritional advantage of pulses by utilizing them as a low-fat protein source. Pulses contain a lot of dietary fiber, which is helpful in keeping body weight in check, preventing heart disease and bad cholesterol, and maintaining proper digestion. Complex carbs act to control sudden increases in blood sugar, thereby lessening the chances of developing diabetes. Pulses are not only packed with vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial elements such as iron, potassium, magnesium, folate, and antioxidants.
Not only do pulses have numerous benefits for humans, they are also beneficial for the environment. They are an exemplary example of environmental friendliness, easy to cultivate and requiring much less water than other protein sources such as meat. Soil fertility can be improved by incorporating pulses into the soil, as they provide nourishment to the microorganisms in the dirt and supply nutrients to the subsequent crop grown. Pulses also help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere while they are being cultivated because they use bacteria present in the soil to pull nitrogen from the atmosphere.
Pulses are to be had for a small price, at only a dollar or two per pound, and they are both nutritious and scrumptious to make.
Read More: Purium’s Plant-Based Protein Options
How to Buy and Store Pulses
Pulses, which have already been harvested and dried, are usually stored in large sealed plastic bags. They are greatly appreciated when they come in a can, so there is no need to pre-soak or cook them. Some pulses are sold frozen, too.
Pulses may be kept in a container that is cool, dim, and well-sealed where they can remain fresh for up to 1 year or more. Canned pulses will last indefinitely. Pulses that have been prepared can be stored in the fridge for approximately five days, or in the freezer for approximately six months.
How to Cook Pulses
We’ll be exploring plenty of dishes involving canned beans and legumes, which are already prepared for use. If you’re starting with dried pulses, this is how you should prepare them for cooking. It is noteworthy that there is no requirement to soak either lentils or mung beans.
- Sort for debris. Pour out the beans for your recipe and pick out any shriveled or broken pieces, stones, or other debris.
- Give ’em a rinsein cold water.
- Pre-soak method #1 (overnight).Soaking hastens cooking time, helps pulses cook more evenly, and removes some of the undigestible sugars that cause the toots the “musical fruit” is known for. The traditional way is to soak them overnight in cold water.
- Pre-soak method #2 (quick-soak).If you’re in a rush, a quick-soak can do the trick, too. Cover your dry peas or beans with unsalted water and bring them to a rolling boil on the stovetop. Then turn off the heat and let them sit for an hour.
- Simmer until tender.Cover and simmer your pre-soaked beans or peas in their soaking liquid (for a beanier flavor and darker beans) or fresh water (for a lighter touch). You can also add chopped onions, garlic, or bay leaves at the start for more flavor.
- Tips for best results.For best texture, simmer pulses gently until they’re just tender. For the most tender pulses, wait to add salt and acids such as tomatoes until about three-quarters through cooking.
Wondering what are the different kinds of pulses? Keep going to check out some of the most popular types of beans, peas, and lentils and learn how to make the most out of them.
White Beans: Cannellini, Great Northern, Navy, and Lima
Essentially the same as white kidney beans, cannellini beans are hugely popular in Italian cooking – to the point that the Italians used to make fun of people from Tuscany for their supposed high intake of the beans. However, it looks like the joke’s on them! Cannellini beans have a delicate flavor and soft consistency, making them perfect for topping salads, using in dishes that do not require a long cook time, or just throwing them into soup right before serving. Great Northern beans are also an excellent choice when making soup as they maintain their shape after cooking. The texture is a bit grainier and more flavorful with a nutty taste, but they remain tender and delicate.
Lima beans have often had a bad reputation because they are usually cooked in a dull way… however, there is a particular purpose for which they are known as “butter beans”. If correctly prepared, these thin, pale-colored beans can be smooth and tasty.
Eventually, in this group there’s a white-colored bean which you likely only noticed as brown. Sound like a riddle? It’s true that baked beans are created using white navy beans, which are even more closely associated with the USA than the classic apple pie, since that variety of beans is native to the United States. Their current name came from being an essential food item for people in the United States. Navy forces have been consuming this energy-providing snack since the 1900s, and it is still a great way to get your daily fiber intake with 19 grams per cup.
Be sure that your selection of beans has a variety from black beans to cannellini beans before you check out these delectable and uncomplicated bean medley dishes!
Constructing a classic rendition of the country French meal known as cassoulet, which combines beans and meat, can require several days of work. This recipe requires approximately one hour to complete and does not involve duck, duck confit, or any other meat besides sausages. Additionally, this dish utilizes creamy canned cannellini beans in place of dried beans.
Escarole, Cannellini Bean & Sausage Soup
Meaty, sweet, and nutty, cannellini beans complement greens well. The heftiness of their potatoes and the presence of meat in the soup guarantee a satisfying dish. Little morsels of frittata provide extra protein and an interesting texture.
Mediterranean Baked Lima Beans
Cooking limas creates an enjoyable plant-based and gluten-free entrée with lots of taste. Tomatoes lend the food an energetic, new taste, and a mixture of Mediterranean herbs adds complexity.
Classic succotash showcases corn as the chief ingredient and has lima beans as its supporting actor. Everything else, including squash, are just extras. This dish is brought to life with its summery, Mediterranean ingredients of tomatoes, feta, and basil.
This autumn-inspired chilli necessitates the use of pumpkin purée, smoked paprika, and a couple cans of cannellini beans, providing a substantial amount of substance to every reassuring bowl. In addition, employing the utilization of lean ground turkey makes this chili concoction numerically less heavy in comparison to numerous other chili dishes. Add some chopped cilantro and a splash of creamy sour cream to each plate and you will be good to go!
Refried Bean and Cheese Melts
You’re about to love this Mollete, an open-faced sandwich packed with cheese and major comfort vibes. A well-known Mexican meal is crafted with a can of refried beans, pungent Manchego cheese, and a baguette brushed with butter. This dish can make for a simple lunch or dinner if accompanied by pico de gallo and a side salad. If you want to elevate it further, try putting a fried egg and some avocado slices on top for a brunch that you’ll never forget.
White Bean and Farro Salad
If you want to add a high-protein element to your salad, this recipe is a great choice. In this dish, you’ll get a generous portion of farro, feta cheese, baby arugula, a complete can of cannellini beans, slices of shallot, and a sprinkling of dill. A flavorful and airy dressing made with sherry vinegar holds the entire dish together.
Skillet Pork Chops and Beans
This quick and easy dinner, inspired by the usually time-consuming French cassoulet, can be made in only half an hour. You can locate sautéed pork chops accompanying two cans of fragrant cannellini beans and an assortment of diced vegetables here. Crushed, seasoned croutons add a satisfying crunch.
White Bean and Barley Soup With Tomatoes and Greens
If you don’t know what to do with a canned bean product, try adding them to a soup. In this dish, a can of cannellini beans is combined with squashed tomatoes, kale, and barley to make a meal that is sure to make you feel satisfied. Shred some Parmesan cheese over each bowl for extra protein and a creamy flavor.
Barley grass juice powder is a supplement made from the young, green leaves of the barley plant. It is a rich source of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Some people take barley grass juice powder for its potential health benefits, which may include improving digestion, boosting the immune system, and reducing inflammation.
Glorious Green Dip
The two main components of this dip are burnt scallions and spinach, whereas the cannellini beans act as a counterbalancing factor, completing the outcome of the dish’s flavors. You’ll discover vibrant chives, vivid lemon juice, and the correct amount of mayonnaise for an excellent creamy feel. You can dip vegetables or chips into this dip, and if you have any remaining, you can pour it over grilled chicken or fish.
Green Chile Enchiladas
Vegetarian enchiladas? Yes, please! The corn tortillas here are stuffed with a savory blend of vegetables spiced with cumin that are cooked in a sautéed until a caramelized, tasty flavor. The entire dish is cooked in a savory green sauce and topped with a layer of melted cheese. What’s not to love?
Slow-Cooker Black Bean and Zucchini Chili
Use two cans of black beans for this substantial recipe, which is cooked in a slow cooker. This chili has black beans, ground beef, fire-roasted tomatoes, veggies, tomato paste, and spices to give it flavor. Finish the dish by adding a dollop of sour cream, a few slices of avocado, and a sprinkle of cilantro in each bowl.
Tuna and White Bean Salad
This pasta salad is the perfect combination of everything! This dish consists of pasta combined with cannellini beans, crunchy celery, salty Castelvetrano olives, and meaty tuna. This dish is also covered with a sauce similar to that of a Caesar salad that is easily prepared in a short amount of time. Savor it as a principal dish, or as a filling barbecue accompaniment.
Black Bean-Oat Burger
The foundation of these vegan burgers is two cans of black beans. Every patty is constructed from rolled oats, garlic, soy sauce, chili powder, and chopped spring onions. Place salsa (either from a jar or freshly made), lettuce, and tomato slices on each hamburger patty served on a hamburger bun to complete the burgers.
Buttery Shrimp With Marinated White Beans
Incredible as it may seem, this restaurant-quality dinner is ready to be served in a mere 25 minutes! In this recipe, cannellini beans and shrimp are provided with a tasty twist from lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, butter, and white wine. This dish needs cannellini beans, however if you don’t have any, gigante beans, cranberry beans, or chickpeas will do.
Mole-Spiced Black Bean and Quinoa Bowl
This plant-based meal utilizes pre-packaged mole sauce in order to provide a quick and easy option, and it also includes roasted cauliflower, black beans, quinoa, and arugula. If you have any rotisserie chicken in the fridge, you may choose to include it in the meat-free meal – it will make it even more filling.
Fast Italian Fish Stew
Although it may appear intricate, this nourishing fish meal can be prepared in a mere half an hour. To create the dish, place pieces of halibut with a crispy exterior into a garlic-spiced tomato and bean blend that has been seasoned with lemon and herbs. If you can’t get your hands on halibut, cod or grouper would be a suitable alternative. This flavorful stew should be paired with crunchy bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
Spiced Chicken and Chickpea Soup
Chickpeas—AKA garbanzo beans—add some heartiness to this flavorful soup. Start by browning chicken thighs which have been spiced with coriander and turmeric. Put the chicken thighs into a pot with carrots, canned chickpeas, garlic, lemon, and ginger and let them simmer. Once the chicken is done cooking, shred it with a couple of forks and return it to the pot together with lemon juice and some handfuls of dark leafy greens such as spinach.
Sweet and Tangy Baked Beans
This delectable summer dish only needs 25 minutes of active preparation and three cans of pinto beans. Bacon creates a smoky, salty taste, while barbeque sauce, mustard made with whole grains, and a pinch of brown sugar provide even more flavor. The addition of freshly chopped pineapple adds a pleasant contrast to the bacon-flavored beans in this delightful dish.
Spiced Rice With Crispy Chickpeas
This dish, made from two commonly found ingredients, rice and chickpeas from a can, is a great side or vegetarian entrée. Fragrant basmati rice is combined with softened shallots, a spice blend known as garam masala, and dates. The chickpeas are transformed into crunchy little morsels that have been seasoned with turmeric. Pistachios contribute a hint of nutty taste, while cilantro brings out the grounding essence.
Crunchy Mediterranean Chickpea Bowl
Crispy chickpeas strike again! The beans here have a nice crunch, and there’s also marinated beets with caraway spice, couscous, tahini, and baba ghanoush purchased from a store.