The humble lentil, is a part of the powerhouse pulse family. Packed with nutrients and brilliant at carrying flavour while adding texture to a range of dishes, these brilliant additions to your diet are great all year round thanks to their range of varieties and their versatility. Read on to find out why we love pulses so much & you should too!
WHAT ARE PULSES?
Pulses are the dry edible seeds of plants in the legume family that have been consumed for at least 10,000 years and are among the most extensively used foods in the world. Pulses include beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils with many varieties of each available readily.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PULSES AND LEGUMES?
Legumes are any plants that grow in pods, pulses live within this family and refer only to the dry edible seed within that pod. Pulses are shown to have distinct health benefits including compared to other legumes including being low in fat and very high in protein and fibre.
WHY DO WE LOVE PULSES?
With a range of benefits like being Low fat; low in sodium; a good source of iron, protein & potassium; and an excellent source of fibre & folate; not to mention being low G.I cholesterol free and gluten free and a great source of other vitamins & minerals like zinc, folate and magnesium pulses are the ancient food you need in your life.
Nutrition aside there are a number of other reasons why we think pulses need more air-time in your diet.
VARIETY - with hundreds of varieties of pulses grown around the world, there are endless options to fill your needs
VERSITILITY – whether you want to thicken a soup, add texture and protein to a summer salad or are looking for an alternative to wheat flour for the brownies you’re making, pulses come in many forms to fit with what you’ve got cooking.
FLAVOUR – with options ranging from minimal flavour to pulses that pack a flavour punch. Think about easy dishes like hummus – max flavour, delicious texture and healthy to boot.
COST-EFFECTIVE – arriving dried or canned to rehydrate, pulses are a cost-effective way to add to your cooking without compromising on protein, texture or flavour. You can buy them by the kg for just a few dollars, and with a wide array of options out there, it's unlikely you'll get bored of them because you can continually change it up without having to hand over your life-savings.
HOW WE USE PULSES
We use pulses in many different ways in our meals that you see online and in our cafes. We like to think that this shows how versatile they can be, but keep in mind, this is only the start – with pulses, the possibilities are endless!
SOUPS – used by our chefs to add flavour, texture and nutrient-value, lentils are the star in our new Chicken, Vegetable & Du Puy Lentil Soup.
CHILLI, PASTA & RAGOUTS – Check out our slow-cooked Beef Chilli Con Carne - a dish that heroes pulses and uses them in completely different ways. In our Lentil & Mushroom Bolognese with Spaghetti we use lentils to create a great vegan alternative that is hearty & protein-rich minus the meat.
SALADS – Our chefs make amazing fresh salads that can be found in our cafes and stores, one of which is our Cypriot Grain Salad which uses tender du puy lentils to add flavour and texture, as well as additional nutrients.
Tell us in the comments below what your favourite meal with pulses is and what you would like to see added to the menu!