Everyone (Including Beans) Needs A Day In The Sun
Beans, beans, beans! Not the green beans that add some colour to your plate but the smaller dried or tinned variety. All beans are special but they are extra special in February because it is Gut Health Month and World Pulse Day. This doesn’t mean that we just do stuff for our gut health in February but it seems like a good time to start.
What The Heck Are Pulse’s?
It is clearly a good day when we all wake up with a pulse but in this case we are referring to the pulses that belong to the wider legume family. This is a group of plants whose fruit or seed is enclosed in a pod. Pulses refer specifically to the dried, mature seeds of these plants and include dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. The term legume, includes these dried varieties as well as fresh peas and beans and is a more commonly used term than pulses.
Everyone is familiar with the good old baked bean but there are so MANY other varieties out there. Some that you may know of include chickpeas, lentils, peas and beans like butter, kidney, cannellini and soybeans.
I include legumes in my cooking at least three times a week and I don’t think anyone in my household even knows! Not that there is any need to hide pulses but they are super easy to add to almost any dish.
If you are starting the legume/pulses journey, some easy ways to introduce these nutrition powerhouses into your day include adding a tin of brown lentils to a bolognaise sauce (as they virtually disappear once they are put into a dish) or throw them into a green salad or any kind of mince dish. Kidney or black beans are perfect for burrito bowls or wraps, chick peas are delightful when they are added to a curry and lentils can make a rather tasty salad.
The Nutrition Lowdown On Pulses
Legumes and pulses are truly multi-skilled and are:
- a budget friendly source of plant based protein
- higher in protein than most other plant based foods
- usually low in fat
- rich in low glycemic index carbohydrates
- a good source of B vitamins including folate, plus iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium
- super high in fibre – both soluble and insoluble with the added benefit of resistant starch which is fabulous for maintaining good gut health
Product Review – Edgell Snack Time With Beans
The pulse gang have been around for ages and we have established over and over that they are great for our gut and overall health. Yet, as a population we still don’t eat enough of them. Let’s make it easier. One of my favourite meals for lunch, is a fridge salad (whatever YOU have in your fridge) topped with a tin of Edgell Snack Time.
There are nine varieties to choose from and they are really delicious. Think chickpeas in a zesty vinaigrette, black beans and charred corn with lime and herbs and other just as delightful combo’s. I am not sponsored in any way, shape or form by Edgell but I do appreciate how easy they make getting beans and legumes into a meal.
So, what about making inroads on your gut health and getting those beans in your day at the same time? If you have an easy way of doing this, I’d love to hear it!