year_of_pulses

There are a few factors around this time of year that have me slipping off track with my eating habits and exercise. For starters it seems like everywhere you go, from work to family functions, there are an abundance of delicious treats calling my name. Then there is also the weather; it makes me want to hibernate and stay at home with a cup of tea and a movie on the T.V. My healthy habits start to slip and it’s sure hard to get back on track.

There are some great ways to help keep your diet on course and one of those ways is to incorporate pulses into your meals a few times a week. Not sure what pulses are? Read on to find out how great they are for your health.

 

What are pulses?

When I first heard the word pulse referred to as a food I have to admit I was pretty confused. I quickly found out they are simply the dried version of a legume such as beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas.

containerThese dried pulses are very high in protein and fibre and low in fats as well as full of healthy minerals like iron and zinc. I’ve also recently learned that they’re also environmentally friendly because of the way they are grown. They reduce greenhouse gases and require significantly less watering than many other crops.

Pulses are also easy to keep and store since they are dried. A durable airtight container like this Oxo FlipLock Canister Set would work perfectly and then you simply keep the container in the cupboard.

 

Pulses are easy to incorporate into any meal

brownie-ppanPulses are extremely versatile and if your kids enjoy them they are easily incorporated into many meals. Luckily my boys like them and I put them into chili, soups and stews, quesadillas and soft tacos and because of their high fibre content it keeps their tummy’s full for a long time. If you like spice then nothing beats a lentil curry, especially after a long work day and when it’s cold and rainy out.

I have yet to try to make them myself, but I hear that black beans make a delicious brownie and they even have baking pans specifically for brownies like this Nordic Ware Brownie Squares Pan.

Include pulses in your holiday mealstake your pulses

When I think of holiday meals I picture your traditional turkey dinner or potlucks full of heavy appetizers and mains, but there are plenty of days in between family get togethers, work functions and friendly gatherings where you can enjoy a lighter and more health conscious meal.

The idea of “meatless Mondays” has really taken off and making a meal with pulses on these days will ensure you’re getting a protein packed meal that’s non-animal based.

While it’s not always easy to get a healthy home cooked meal on the table because life is busy, on the days where you have the opportunity to create a delicious meal for yourself, your family or your friends I challenge you to try to incorporate pulses, your body will thank you.

You can find some great storage containers and cooking accessories for your pulses at bestbuy.ca.

Main image @ www.foodtank.com.

NOW: do you have a recipe involving pulses that you can recommend to everyone?  Share in the comments section below!