Pulses are part of the legume family, but the term “pulse” refers only to the dried seed. Dried peas, edible beans, lentils and chickpeas are the most common varieties of pulses. Pulses are very high in protein and fibre, and are low in fat.
Pulses are a great tasting addition to any diet. They are rich in fibre and protein, and have high levels of minerals such as iron, zinc, and phosphorous as well as folate and other B-vitamins. Eating a diet high in fibre is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Pulses are often bought in tins which is fine and indeed a time saver but do check the label and try to choose ones that have no added salt or sugar.
Pulses come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours and can be consumed in many forms including whole or split, ground in to flours or separated into fractions such as protein, fibre and starch.
Pulses do not include fresh beans or peas. Although they are related to pulses because they are also edible seeds of podded plants, soybeans and peanuts differ because they have a much higher fat content, whereas pulses contain virtually no fat.
Pulses include all beans, peas and lentils, such as:
- baked beans
- red, green, yellow and brown lentils
- black-eyed peas
- runner beans
- broad beans
- kidney beans
- butter beans (Lima beans)
- haricot beans
- cannellini beans
- flageolet beans
- pinto beans
- borlotti beans
Chilli (serves 4)
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 600g passata
- 50g tomato purée
- 2 x 400g tins black beans
- 1 x 400g tin red kidney beans
- 1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Place the carrot and garlic into a large saucepan. Add the passata, tomato purée, both the beans, jalapeño pepper and the chilli flakes to the saucepan along with some salt and pepper, to taste.
- Meanwhile be cooking some brown basmati rice to accompany chilli.
- Cook the chilli for about 10 minutes, stirring it well, until everything is hot and mixed together.
- Pour the chilli over brown rice and enjoy.