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30 April, 2019

‘Pulses are edible seeds that grow on a legume. Pulses and legumes are part of the pea, bean and lentil families.’, Hunker.com explains.

Including pulses in your recipes is a cost-effective way to increase dietary fibre, protein, carbohydrates (mostly low glycaemic index) as well as phytonutrients, B group vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium into the diet. The Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council https://www.glnc.org.au/ has a wonderful website with recipes and helpful resources.

As the cooler weather kicks in why not make a start by adding to your soups and wet dishes.

Below is a Maggie Beer Foundation fact sheet with cooking guide ‘Pulses with Maggie Beer.’

There are three basic categories of pulses: dried lentils, beans / peas, and chickpeas; there are varieties of each. They can be characterised by whole, hulled (skin off) and / or split. The seeds are removed from the pod during summer when they dry off, if they are skinned they are usually termed ‘hulled’. All are high in protein with low GI, which means sustained energy.

Chickpeas are classified by the origin of the seed: the larger Afghani kabuli (garbanzo) or the smaller, more fibrous Indian desi.

SOAKING: Most legumes need to be soaked to make them easier to digest and absorb the nutrients. **split peas and lentils don’t need to be soaked

CANNED LEGUMES: Canned legumes are a handy alternative to dried legumes. Sodium is added during the canning process to preserve the integrity and appearance of the legumes. The sodium can be lowered by almost half simply by rinsing them thoroughly.

TIP: Cook extra to what you need and freeze drained and rinsed beans in small zip lock bags to throw into a soup or casserole or as a wrap filling when you need a quick lunch or dinner.

The Maggie Beer Foundation believe the inclusion of pulses in dishes is a cost-effective way to increase protein, fibre, energy, variety and diversity to dishes. The cooked pulse is soft, which when approached appropriately makes it a perfect choice for texture modified diets.

How to cook guide

There are many varieties, below are just a few as a guide. Please use the below as a guide – fresher pulses will have a reduced cooking time.

Brown Lentils 100g 140g if desired 15-25 minutes
Green Lentils (whole) 100g 140g Variable- up to 12 hours 30-45 minutes
Puy Lentils 100g 200g Not needed 25-35 minutes
Red Split lentils 100g 227g Not needed 10-20 minutes
Black eyed peas (beans) 100g 165g Overnight 60-90 minutes
Borlotti beans 100g 200-250g Overnight 60-90 minutes
Butter beans 100g 200-250g Overnight 60-90 minutes
Cannellini beans 100g 200-250g Overnight 60-90 minutes
Chana dal (split chick peas) 100g 190g 30mins- overnight 20-25 minutes
Chickpeas 100g 165g Overnight 60-120 minutes
Green split peas 100g 190g Not needed 45 minutes
Haricot beans 100g 250g Overnight 60-90 minutes
Kidney beans (all types) 100g 160g Overnight 60-90 minutes
Soya beans 100g 155g Overnight 2-3 hours

Reference: Simon Bryant, Pulses Australia and Eat2healthblog