This new year I’m keeping my food resolutions relevant and attainable. In fact, I only have one: eat more pulses in 2016.
I’ve just returned from a quick trip to Toronto to celebrate Pulse Feast, the kick-off to the International Year of the Pulse (#IYP2016). United Nations has declared 2016 the year we sit up and take notice of this incredible crop, a harvest that is mainly grown here in Canada.
What is a “pulse”? That’s a good question and one that I am getting asked frequently. Chances are you already are familiar with beans, chickpeas, lentils and dried peas – yep those are all pulses. They are good for your health, good for the environment, and mighty good to eat. The following list demonstrates the sheer variety of pulses available.
Available canned or dried, in many varieties such as black, kidney, navy, pinto, fava, lima, black-eyed peas and more.
Also known as garbanzo beans. Available canned or dried. Kabuli (larger) and Desi (smaller). Chickpea flour. Hummus.
Green, Red, Brown, French Green/du Puy and Black/Beluga. May be dried or canned. Pre-cooked lentils can be found in the frozen of refrigerated section of most healthy grocers. Lentil flour.
Split Green and Yellow, Whole Green and Yellow. Pea protein powders. Pea flours. Soup mixes.
At Pulse Feast last week, chefs, farmers, food writers and local media and I sampled over 20 dishes featuring the very versatile pulse. It was an inspiring evening, hosted by Chef Michael Smith, the Lentil Hunter himself.
That night I signed the Pulse Pledge, a commitment to eat pulses once a week for 10 weeks. Easy? Easy. In fact, I’m vowing to eat pulses once a week for all of 2016. And if you think that is wild, consider that I met a lady at Pulse Feast who has resolved to eat pulses every day this year. Now that is impressive.
Won’t you join me and sign the Pulse Pledge? Once a week, grab a handful of cumin roasted chickpeas or dip into a bowl of hummus. It’s that simple. It can also be a pot of chili or bowl of soup, a plate of salad or maybe a lentil dinner. In other words, eating pulses once a week is totally doable.