Looking for the next big superfood? The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Here at the Toronto Vegetarian Association, we know that pulses such as lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein. They taste great in curries, dips, soups, stews, and tacos. They’re an essential part of a healthy diet and a more sustainable food system.
A Healthy Pulse – Pulses are low in cholesterol, high in fibre, and a good source of iron and other minerals. This makes them an ideal protein source as part of a healthy diet. According to the UN, eating pulses is a good way to prevent and help manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary conditions, and cancer.
A Healthy Planet – According to the UN, animal agriculture is a major source of methane and greenhouse gas emissions. Eating less animal-based protein and more lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas is a great way to protect the planet from the threat of climate change. Pulses also have nitrogen-fixing properties which help to increase soil fertility. They are among the most water-efficient sources of food, making them an invaluable crop in times of drought.
What can I do? As part of the International Year of Pulses, Canadians are being encouraged to give pulses a starring role at mealtime. You can start by eating more of the pulse-based meals you love; foods like black bean burritos, chana masala, and red pepper hummus.
Need more inspiration? The Toronto Vegetarian Association is pleased to share recipes below from some of our favourite culinary creators. Find additional recipes at veg.ca/recipes.
If you want to make plant-based eating a bigger part of your diet moving forward, please consider becoming a member of the Toronto Vegetarian Association, here.
Recipes with Plenty of Pulses
Yellow Dal from Lisa Le’s The Viet Vegan
Sweet Potato Hummus from Lisa Pitman and Nicole Axworthy’s DIY Vegan
Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Tacos from Doug McNish’s Vegan Everyday
Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf from Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows