Food trends: What are Pulses?

Have you heard of pulses? Do you know that pulses are predicted to be the number one food trend of 2016 by a variety of people in the food industry? Today, we are talking all about pulses- specifically, what they are, their nutritional benefit and why there is so much hype surrounding them!

Do you know what Pulses are and would you guess that these are predicted to be the top food trend in 2016? Check out our post explaining what they are and their nutritional benefit!

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What are pulses?

Pulses are an alternative name for the seeds of dry crops. In fact, there are 12 kinds that qualify: including lentils, chickpeas, dried beans and peas.  You may be thinking – I have been eating these for forever! Why is there so much talk about them now? The United Nations has declared that 2016 is the year of the pulses causing much of the excitement and increase in usage around the world so far this year.  What is the difference between a pulse and legume? Legumes are plants with the seeds enclosed in a pod and pulses are a part of the legume family but are the dried seed from the interior of the pod.

Do you know what Pulses are and would you guess that these are predicted to be the top food trend in 2016? Check out our post explaining what they are and their nutritional benefit!

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Aside from the general usage of boiling these items to serve at meals or making hummus, you will see an increase in pulses in other areas. For instance, you should expect to see an increase in pulse based flour, as it is gluten free and a high protein/high fiber alternative to the typical white flour. Also, with the focus from the World Health Organization on eliminating meat from the diet and instead choosing other vegetarian protein options, pulses are an easy and inexpensive way to meet a person’s nutritional needs. You will likely see some baked goods with pulses as an ingredient or even bean based pastas like these from Ancient Harvest. You may also see roasted chickpeas as a crunchy snack option.

What are the nutritional benefits?

Not only are pulses a source of lean protein (as much as 9 grams per serving), but they are also a great source of fiber – both insoluble and soluble (anywhere from 7 to 17 grams of total fiber). Pulses are low on the glycemic index, meaning that even though they contain carbohydrates, the rate at which blood sugar rises after eating will be slower. Not only are pulses high in folate, but they also provide potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and B vitamins.  Pulses are unique in that they cover two food groups: vegetables and protein. And for those with allergies, intolerances or preferences, pulses are a gluten free, vegetarian protein and vegetable option!

Should I incorporate them into my weekly meal plan?

Yes! Check out a few of our recipes using pulses: Green Pina Colada Smoothie (using pea protein powder)// Avocado Lime Hummus // Eggplant Chili

Talk to us! Have you tried pulses? What are some of your favorite recipes that use them?

Do you know what pulses are and would you guess that these are predicted to be the top food trend in 2016? Check out our post explaining what they are and their nutritional benefit!

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  1. […] with another installment of ‘Food Trends’ to talk about teff. We previously looked at Pulses, Monkfruit and Sprouted Grains. You may be seeing this grain even more over the next few years, if […]

  2. […] with another installment of ‘Food Trends’ to talk about teff. We previously looked at Pulses, Monkfruit and Sprouted Grains. You may be seeing this grain even more over the next few years, if […]

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