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4 New Ways to Eat More Pulses

4 New Ways to Eat More Pulses


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Part of the legume family, pulses refer to the dried seed in a variety of plant-based foods including dried pea, lentils, dried beans, and chickpeas. Due to increasing demand for highly nutritious pulses, manufacturers are making pulses more widely available. Here are some of the latest ways to try these high fiber, high protein foods.

Milk

This plant-based milk alternative from Ripple Foods is produced from yellow peas, which are blended with water, sunflower oil, and omega-3 rich algal oil to create a creamy beverage with 8g protein per 8-ounce glass (more than any nut milk); half the sugar and 50% more calcium than cow's milk; and 30% of your daily vitamin D, a nutrient that's difficult to obtain from plant sources.

Beans

These specialty beans are worth seeking out if you're a true bean aficionado. They're pricier than their conventional counterparts but are subtly different in taste and texture—an elegance you'll only pick up if you're planning to eat the beans on their own. They may lose that gorgeous speckled, spattered, and vibrant coloring once cooked. Top brands include Bob's Red Mill and Rancho Gordo.

Chickpeas

Unlike most gluten-free flours, Bob's Red Mill chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour) is high nutritious; it's packed with protein, fiber, and all the good-for-you benefits that come with the whole bean. Bonus: At less than $3 a pound, it's very affordable. Use it in savory pancakes and muffins, to bind veggie burgers, to bread meats, and to thicken soups.

Lentils

Light, airy, and pleasantly savory, these lentil-based sea salt chips from Enjoy Life Eat Freely are far from the dense, meaty texture of their whole-lentil counterpart and boast a hearty 3g protein per ounce. Try the Dill and Sour Cream flavor for an herby, vibrant kick.


6 Healthy Recipes That Will Turn You On to Pulses

The United Nations (UN) has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses&mdashso, uh, what are pulses exactly? Unlike other superfoods that seemingly came out of nowhere and skyrocketed to health food superstardom, you might already be eating pulses. At the very least, you'll recognize them. Pulse is basically a fancy word for bean&mdashthe distinction being that pulses are the dry, edible seeds of legumes. This includes kidney beans, navy beans, mung beans, split peas, black-eyed peas, lentils, and chickpeas. Not only are they super healthy, providing tons of protein, dietary fiber, minerals, and B-vitamins, as well as being low in fat, but they're also sustainable. (Don't worry&mdashwe still love beans. We've got 9 Healthy Recipes That Turn a Can of Beans Into a Meal.)

Pulses can be stored for long periods of time before they start to lose nutritional value. Agriculturally, they improve soil quality and reduce the need for pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and they offer profitable employment opportunities in rural areas, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN. Plus, they're super affordable! Restaurants, chefs, and bloggers are taking notice too&mdashcheck out these tasty new recipes from cookbooks that know a thing or two about healthy eating.


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1 Granola

Homemade granola is hard to beat. It&rsquos super simple, you can customize it any way you like, and it makes the kitchen smell so good while it&rsquos baking. Swinehart&rsquos &lsquorecipe&rsquo is easy to remember, too&mdash1½ cups of oats, 1 cup of nuts and/or seeds, ¼ cup maple syrup or honey, 3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil, and a generous dash of cinnamon and salt. Mix everything together and throw it in the oven on a sheet pan for about 20 minutes or so at 350 °F. "That&rsquos all you need as the base, but don&rsquot be afraid to mix it up with different dried fruits like apricots, cranberries or apples, coconut flakes, quinoa, flax seeds, even dark chocolate chips," she says.

2 Muffins

&ldquoI like to make a big batch of muffins and freeze some for whenever I need a quick morning or afternoon pick-me-up, or a bite to eat before a workout,&rdquo Swinehart says. Oats are great for muffins because they add flavor, texture, and fiber. &ldquoI also like to add in some applesauce because it&rsquos an easy way to naturally sweeten the muffins and it makes them super moist.&rdquo

3 Pancakes

&ldquoI love using oats in pancakes, especially if you want to make them gluten-free,&rdquo Swinehart says. Her go-to recipe is 1 cup of oats, 1 ripe banana, ½ cup unsweetened almond or oat milk, 1 teaspoon baking powder, a spoonful of chia seeds, and a dash of vanilla extract and sea salt. &ldquoI throw everything into a blender and blend on high until the batter is smooth. They&rsquore so easy to make and the clean-up is a breeze. To kick the protein content up a notch (because what&rsquos worst than a grumbling belly long before noon?), she suggests using RX A.M. Maple Oats Packets. &ldquoNot only do they add extra protein from egg whites and just the right amount of natural sweetness from dates, the maple flavor is so delicious and complements the oats and banana perfectly. Total game changer.&rdquo

4 Baked Oats

You know what TikTok trend we're taking about. To make baked oats, you simply whirl oats in the blender with a banana and a combination of baking ingredients like baking soda and eggs. The resulting batter is so smooth and cloud-like that it bakes into a fluffy, healthy, and breakfast-friendly cake. Don't sleep on this viral baking trick, especially if you love to customize.

5 Smoothies

Adding oats to your morning smoothie is a no-brainer: It&rsquos an easy way to up the fiber so your smoothies are more satisfying, and you&rsquoll love the nutty flavor and texture it adds. Add nut butter for even more of that&mdashplus, you&rsquoll pack in extra protein.

6 Savory Dishes, Like Meatballs or Chicken Tenders

&ldquoYou can also go savory with oats. They add great texture and nutrition to bean-based burgers or meatloaf, and are great for blending up to bread homemade chicken tenders instead of breadcrumbs,&rdquo Swinehart says.

7 Yogurt Bowls

If you know, you know: Oats pair perfectly with creamy yogurt. According to Swinehart, pairing yogurt with your oats will not only be a delicious breakfast, it will boost the protein of your meal to keep you fuller longer. &ldquoI love sprinkling some fresh or frozen berries on top of my yogurt and oatmeal bowls, too,&rdquo she adds.


How to Eat More Pulses

This article was co-authored by Claudia Carberry, RD, MS. Claudia Carberry is a Registered Dietitian specializing in kidney transplants and counseling patients for weight loss at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She is a member of the Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Claudia received her MS in Nutrition from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2010.

There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 3,514 times.

A pulse is an edible seed and part of the legume family that grows within a pod and includes a wide variety of foods, including beans, lentils, and peas. Pulses are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein, particularly for those whose diet does not include meat, fish, or dairy. Pulses are inexpensive and can be easily added to soups, casseroles, and sauces to enhance a meal’s flavor and texture while boosting its nutritional value. Learn how to buy, cook, and incorporate pulses into your diet to reap the benefits of these delicious and wholesome seeds.


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A typical muffin (the sort you’d buy with your takeaway coffee) has puffed up from 85g to 130g in the same time frame, and contains nearly twice as many calories.

Ready meals were found to be around 45 per cent larger, and although a standard bag of crisps still weighs 25g, a typical ‘family’ pack has grown from 100g to 150g — which is a huge difference if, like me, you can happily polish off the lot while watching TV.

Research is clear that portion sizes can influence how much we eat, with larger portions encouraging us to eat more instead of stopping when we feel full, most of us are inclined to finish a packet, no matter how large it is.

Studies show people also don’t compensate for a huge lunch with a light evening meal as a way of managing their overall intake.

Dr Michael puts himself on a self-imposed regime of Fast 800 calorie-counted meals, when he feels his waistband starting to strain. Pictured: Dr Michael and Clare Bailey

Honey, I shrank my waistline

Occasionally, over the years, I’ve taken my eye off the healthy-eating ball because I’m engrossed in filming, travelling or because I am up against a deadline. When that happens, my weight will soon start to creep up once more.

From talking to weight-loss experts, it is clear that the best way to prevent long-term weight gain, or weight regain if you have been on a diet, is to monitor yourself closely and act sooner rather than later.

How our meals swelled in size

Under rationing in the 1940s, you’d be grateful to see a chicken drumstick on your plate with a selection of vegetables, and you’d be expected to fill up on potatoes. Dessert might be bread and butter pudding (made from leftovers). Total: 694 calories.

But a roast dinner today could feature half a chicken with Yorkshire puddings, stuffing, roast potatoes, vegetables and gravy, followed by sticky toffee pudding with ice-cream and a glass of wine.

Total: 2,212 calories — more than the recommended daily calorie intake for women.

Pictured: Today's roast dinner

It doesn’t have to be by standing on the scales. I wear a belt, and whenever I feel my waistband starting to strain, I put myself on a self-imposed regime of Fast 800 calorie-counted meals for a few days to bring things back in line.

You may think that having to continually restrain what you eat means you will be constantly battling with hunger. But if you get the proportions of your meals right, you will eat really well without feeling hungry.

The key to keeping your calorie consumption down, without feeling that you are starving yourself, is ensuring that every mouthful packs a punch.

Each meal needs to score highly on what dietitians call the ‘satiety factor’ — the feeling of fullness after eating, which suppresses the urge to graze between meals.

That means good-quality protein with most meals (a piece of fish, meat or perhaps tofu weighing about 100g or the size of your palm), plus some healthy fats, such as olive oil (both of which keep you feeling fuller for longer), and unlimited quantities of vegetables.

Yes, I do eat carbohydrates such as rice, pasta and potatoes, but they take up a much smaller part of my plate than they used to and they tend to be brown — that is, with fibre. ‘Carbohydrates’ has become a dirty word, but along with fats and proteins, they play an important role in our diet.

The ones you need to minimise or avoid eating are rapidly digestible carbs, such as white bread, cakes and biscuits — the sort that are quickly absorbed by your body and which create an instant spike in blood sugar.

If you have raised blood sugar you can end up feeling constantly hungry, so the more you eat, the more you want. It can be a slippery slope.

Rice and potatoes are fine, but it’s not a good idea to pile your plate high with them. Think of them as a side dish rather than a staple and find alternatives among the wide selection of complex carbohydrates (such as vegetables, legumes and wholegrains), which contain lots of fibre, making them harder for your body to absorb.

If you cut out white carbs, your blood sugar levels should improve and the normal feedback system will re-establish itself, leaving you feeling comfortably full after eating.

Load up on leafy vegetables

When it comes to vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables, the health benefits are so high, and the calories so low, you can throw all caution to the wind and eat as much as you like.

Vegetables, of all sorts, are a great source of fibre, which will help keep you feeling full for longer, and they are packed with health-giving nutrients.

Dr Michael said vegetables are a great source of fibre, which will help keep you feeling full for longer (file image)

At home, we pack our meals with vegetables, plus we tend to have at least one fully vegetarian, meat-free day each week.

We eat like this because we enjoy it. It is also because of numerous studies which have shown that consuming lots of fruit and vegetables can help reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure and boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system.

When researchers from Harvard Medical School analysed dietary data and death rates, they found that, compared with people eating two servings of fruit and veg a day, those eating five portions had a 13 per cent lower risk of death from all causes, including a 12 per cent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke), a 10 per cent lower risk of death from cancer, and a 35 per cent lower risk of death from respiratory disease.

Most people don’t come close to the recommended five-a-day in this country. The latest health survey information from NHS Digital shows that in 2018, only 28 per cent of adults said they were eating five portions daily.

The average was 3.7 portions. And even those figures are optimistic, since people tend to overestimate their consumption of healthy foods and underestimate the portion sizes of the stuff they know is unhealthy. But if you do increase your vegetable intake, your waistline — and your health — will thank you.

Studies show we are less likely to get up and help ourselves to more, but very likely to pile in if there are extra roast potatoes in a bowl right in front of us (file image)

And let’s face it, when your plate is piled high with greens or salad, there’s less room for unhealthy foods. Hopefully, you’ll be so full you’ll feel less inclined to reach for a biscuit afterwards. So it helps you control your weight, too.

  • Serve your food and leave any extra on the kitchen side, not on the table. Studies show we are less likely to get up and help ourselves to more, but very likely to pile in if there are extra roast potatoes in a bowl right in front of us.
  • Eat slowly. It takes time for food to travel from your gut to your small intestine, where receptors tell the brain, ‘I’m full.’ If you wolf down food you will eat more.
  • Sit at the table to eat, with no TV, no books, no distractions. This will allow you to enjoy your food mindfully, and you’ll be less likely to eat more than you need.
  • Shrink your plate size. Use medium-sized dessert plates for everyday meals and save your big dinner plates for special occasions. The same applies to wine glasses. Studies have shown that if you serve alcohol in big glasses, you drink more — a trick restaurant owners are all too aware of.
  • Eat less as you get older. Your calorie requirements reduce with age as your metabolism slows and your muscle mass shrinks, so get used to putting less on your plate. If you’re losing weight to try to reverse your type 2 diabetes (good for you!) be aware that your smaller body means you will be burning fewer calories than before, and you can’t go back to the feasts you may have once enjoyed without risking gaining weight again.

There are plenty of healthy recipes, like those above, in the Fast 800 Recipe Book by Dr Clare Bailey.


14 Ways to Use a Can of Spam

Whether it’s a mainstay in your pantry or you’re trying it for the first time, here are some fresh ways to use budget-friendly Spam.

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Photo by: Roberto Machado Noa/Getty

Since its release in 1937, Spam has gone from household innovation to celebrated World War II staple to American icon. As the first canned meat product that didn’t require refrigeration, it was met with skepticism, but eventually embraced by its initial target demographic – housewives looking for quick meal solutions that required little preparation. Despite a decades-long stronghold on grocery store shelves, there are plenty of consumers who have simply never tried the curiously preserved pork-and-ham product. However, there are those of us who grew up with it, whose pantries were never without it. Once you try (and enjoy) it, it’s hard not to have a couple cans stocked somewhere in your kitchen.

Spam Classic (12 oz, 8 pk.)

Although skepticism around the product still remains, Spam has remained popular in places where U.S. troops were stationed – like Hawaii. And in recent years, especially with the growing popularity of Hawaiian food in the continental U.S., it’s become not only a convenient – and versatile – meat option, but also an ingredient in its own right. It’s not just musubi – it’s Spam musubi. It’s not just fried rice – it’s Spam fried rice.

Whether you love the canned meat or are just trying it for the first time, here’s a list of ways you can cook with this tried-and-true, budget-friendly pantry staple.


Related

#7. Eat Beans With Your Greens
Toss some white beans (navy or cannellini) with leafy greens such as kale, spinach, broccoli rabe, turnip greens or any mixture of greens sauteed in olive oil with garlic. For more flavor, add rosemary or lemon juice, or top with grated Parmesan cheese.

#8. Fish and Beans
Another classic bean salad combines canned or cooked fresh tuna with white beans or lima beans in a lemon-mustard vinaigrette. Serve over a bed of shredded spinach or Romaine lettuce. You can substitute fresh or canned salmon for the tuna and use any type of beans you have on hand. A simple side dish of warm white beans and halved cherry tomatoes is also a tasty accompaniment to a seafood main dish like roasted salmon or grilled tuna.

#9. Chili Beans Today, Hot Tamale
Update an old-fashioned ground beef and kidney bean chili by replacing the beef with lean ground or shredded chicken or turkey, using more beans and less meat, and using a combination of different beans, such as kidney, black and white beans. Substitute or add a small amount of chipotle chili powder for smokier, spicier, truer chili flavor than you get with just regular chili powder. (Start with ¼ teaspoon of chipotle and gradually add more to taste.) To boost flavor further, add an ounce or two of unsweetened chocolate during cooking.

#10. Fritter Away
Fritters are a tasty way to use up any type of leftover beans. Mash cooked or canned beans with finely chopped scallions or parsley, finely chopped sweet peppers, and grated cheese. Shape into patties and saute in a spoonful of hot oil in a nonstick skillet until browned on both sides. Serve your bean fritters topped with chopped tomatoes and olives or a combination of plain yogurt and shredded cucumber.

#11. Fun with Soybeans
Edamame, or green soybeans, are available frozen, with or without pods. To serve in pods, boil in lightly salted water according to package directions.(They can also be microwaved.) Eat out of hand, popping the beans from the pod with your teeth and discarding the pods. For shelled beans, pop the beans from the pod with your fingers into a bowl, season with chili powder, garlic powder or sesame seeds to serve as a side dish, or toss into salads or Asian-style rice mixtures. They are also delcious in cold salads of any kind and pasta dishes, too.

#12. Bean Dips to Delight

Although normally made with chickpeas, a hummus-like dip can also be made with pureed navy or cannellini beans, or a combination of chickpeas and beans. Other good bean dip combos include white beans, plain yogurt and sage black beans, lime juice and cumin, chickpeas, avocado and cilantro. Top any dip with finely chopped green or ripe olives for extra flavor and texture. Even lentils can be used to make a dip when you puree them with ginger and curry or walnuts,garlic, and paprika thin the mixture with a spoonful of lemon juice or plain yogurt, if necessary.


Pulses: 15 Game-changing ways to eat the food of the year

The United Nations has declared 2016 the “Year of Pulses.” But what the heck is a pulse &mdash aside from what Channing Tatum’s performance raises in Magic Mike XXL?

Pulses are part of the legume family and include dry beans that, for the most part, aren’t usually eaten fresh (as opposed to green beans, for example). They’re super nutritious and can be dried and stored for long periods of time, which gives them enormous potential for feeding a growing world population.

That’s the big picture. But more simply, pulses are a yummy way to introduce more protein and fiber into our diets. Here are some recipes to help you get to know this year’s most important food.


Lentils

This lentil loaf comes packed with lots of heart-healthy ingredients like walnuts, quinoa and vegetables plus it&rsquos packed with fiber!

Lentil Sloppy Joes, Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, Prediabetes: A Complete Guide

Sweet and savory. Delicious and nutritious. Fiber-rich and protein-rich. And a bit of comfort too. You&rsquore going to like these lentil sloppy joes!

Mini Curried Lentil Cakes, Julie Kay Andrews, RDN, The Gourmet RD

This recipe is packed with protein and fiber and low in saturated fat and sugar &ndash it&rsquos also loaded with flavor from the fresh herbs, lemon, and curry powder!

Baby arugula topped with black beluga lentils, slow-roasted garlicky tomatoes, fresh burrata and basil. This dish is packed with fiber, protein, healthy fats and TONS of flavor. For a lower saturated fat option, sub a scoop of part-skim ricotta for the burrata.

This healthier vegetarian chili calls for red lentils and lots of veggies instead of meat. It&rsquos perfect for meatless Mondays, or any day of the week!

Creamy Oats and Lentils with Sweetly Spiced Apples, Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, Prediabetes: A Complete Guide

This oatmeal takes a common pairing of oats and apples and adds lentils and milk to boost the protein. And cardamom and cinnamon make the taste AMAZING!

Kale Lentil and Beef Stew, Andrea Mathis, MA, RDN, LD, Beautiful Eats & Things

This stew can be made in a slow cooker, pressure cooker, or on the stove, and is full of both heart-healthy fiber, and protein.


The Pulse Pledge

Dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas—these nutritionally dense seeds of legumes are a food staple for people around the world. They are also sustainable, able to grow in harsh environments and require little to no water. The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses to increase awareness of the many benefits of pulses, including their nutritional, environmental and sustainability qualities, plus their affordability and potential to address global food security.

It’s not too late to take the Pulse Pledge. It’s easy: Commit to eating pulses once a week for 10 weeks. Sign up at pulsepledge.com, where you’ll find a plethora of information and recipes.

Ways to Swap in Pulses

Hummus for mayonnaise: Build a better sandwich by spreading chickpea hummus on the bread instead of mayo.

Lentils for meat: Swap cooked lentils for half the meat in your favorite recipe filling (for example: lasagna, chili, burgers) to lower the sodium and cholesterol content.

Chickpea flour for all-purpose flour: Replace half the all-purpose flour with an equal amount of chickpea flour to add iron, folate, fiber and protein.

White bean puree for butter: When baking, substitute half the butter or oil with equal amount of white bean puree to lower fat content and add nutrients.


A Diet Change to Fight Climate Change: Eat More Pulses

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Climate change may seem to many of us a challenge too daunting to tackle directly through our own actions. But there is one small change each of us can do to play our part – shifting our diets to be healthier and more environmentally sustainable.

The type of food we choose to eat makes up a big part of our personal carbon footprint. The meat and dairy that make up 22 percent of developed world diets are responsible for emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases, particularly methane and nitrous oxide. But there is a food group which is highly nutritious, rich in protein and essential micronutrients, with a tiny carbon footprint. Pulses.

An understated food group, pulses include common beans, chickpeas, faba bean, dried peas and lentils, and have an extraordinary range of health and environmental benefits.

Pulses reduce the use of fossil fuels, since they don’t require nitrogen fertilizers (a main component of nitrogen fertilizer is natural gas, a fossil fuel). With a unique ability to “fix” nitrogen from the atmosphere, pulses are able to directly draw nitrogen from the atmosphere and convert it into nutrients vital for plant growth. Growing pulses makes soils fertile, reducing need of fertilizer for even for other crops.

In addition, pulses are highly water efficient. It takes only 43 gallons of water to grow a pound of pulses, compared to a whopping 1857 gallons for beef! By the year 2030, demand for fresh water is expected to increase by more than 50 percent, and agriculture alone accounts for around 70 percent of freshwater use globally. Pulses are the most water-efficient source of protein foods.

Meat consumption per capita has more than doubled in the developing world since 1963, while pulse consumption has dropped by almost 50 percent over the same period. As consumers, by swapping out meat a few times a week and replacing them with pulses, we can substantially reduce our carbon footprint, not to mention enjoy their many health benefits like reduced risk of heart disease and managing healthy bodyweight. With virtually no fat, pulses are high in essential micronutrients such as iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium and selenium, dietary fiber, and ‘good’ carbohydrates. To top it all, they are a rich source of protein – three times more than cereals like wheat and rice.

The Climate Clock is Ticking

With climate change, crop resilience to rising temperatures and droughts will become very important for continued food and nutrition security. While pulses are already relatively climate-hardy, they are being developed to be more tolerant to these conditions. For example, the Kabuli chickpea, ‘Gokce’, developed by International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) with Turkish national scientists withstood severe drought in Turkey back in 2007 and grew when most other crops failed. Similarly, heat-tolerant faba bean and chickpea lines, being developed by ICARDA scientists in research partnership with Sudan, can withstand temperatures as high as 40 degree Celsius which is important to cope with global warming.

In the dryland areas where ICARDA’s research is focussed, 12 million hectares of productive land is lost every year due to soil degradation – that’s an area about the size of Greece or Bangladesh, so pulses are an important part our strategy for increasing land productivity.

Pulses for the Future

It is clear that pulses are an incredible food and deserve greater attention in both our consumption and production. Pulses crops have not seen the jump in yields as have cereal crops in the past few decades from improved technologies. In the developing countries, there is still a significant yield gap for pulses – 25-60 percent less than their attainable yield.

This gap can be bridged if more funds for research are made available. Improving the supply of pulses would also keep prices affordable for many for whom animal protein is out of reach – we must not forget that around 805 million people in the world are still undernourished, and that pulses are the main source of protein for millions of people, including the 360 million vegetarians in India alone.

For these many reasons, the United Nations has declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP 2016). Now is the time to to incorporate more pulses into our own diets.


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