Adding Pulses to Our Meals for Back to School #FamiliesLovePulses

A big part of my healthy changes journey is adding more protein and fibre to my family’s diet. Feeding them foods packed with nutrients that keep them going throughout the day. Pulses is one of these foods that make this easy and affordable to do. Almost every meal we make we have the opportunity to change it up and substitute an ingredient or add a new one that will benefit our health.

What are Pulses

Pulses are part of the legume family, but the term “pulse” refers only to the dried seed. Dried peas, edible beans, lentils and chickpeas are the most common varieties of pulses. Pulses are very high in protein and fibre, and are low in fat. Like their cousins in the legume family, pulses are nitrogen-fixing crops that improve the environmental sustainability of annual cropping systems.

Adding Pulses to our meals

I am a huge fan of ethnic cooking and many of the recipes call for Pulses to be added. As a mom of picky children I also like that I can make the addition without the kids really knowing. Over the last couple of weeks I have made a South Western Lasagna with black beans, a South western chicken chili that was full of beans and a yummy hummus that is perfect for school lunches. Hummus is great for dipping or spreading on sandwiches and wraps. It is one of my faves for snacking as you can really change it up.

Pulses come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours and can be consumed in many forms including whole or split, ground in to flours or separated into fractions such as protein, fibre and starch.

Start your day with Pulses

Kids are headed back to school and if they are like mine, they are super sluggish in the mornings. I like to give my kids an energy filled smoothie they can drink on the go. we usually walk to school while my daughter drinks hers and the boys take theirs on the bus. Being teens this is allowed. The smoothie below is fabulous for school mornings. You can make the night ahead and just give it a quick blend in the morning if pressed for time too.

Green Get up and Go smoothie

Green Get Up & Go Lentil Power Smoothie
Servings: 4-6
Preparation time : 5 minutes
  • ½ medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup (250 ml) chopped kale, spines removed
  • ¾ cup (185 ml) cooked green or red lentils
  • 1 whole apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 medium banana, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup (125 ml) cold water
  • ¾ cup (190 ml) crushed ice
  • ½ cup (125 ml) vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) honey
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) spirulina powder (optional)
1) Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
2) Scrape down sides and blend again. Serve immediately.
This and other recipes for your morning, and anytime of day, can be found online here. I bet you will find something your family will love!
Snacking throughout the day
Using Pulses in snacking is super easy like I said above. My kids are always looking for something tasty to take for lunches or grab after school. Hummus is a great dip or spread you can make even with limited culinary skills.
homemade-hummus
Roasted Red Pepper and Lentil Hummus
(Adapted from the Pulses site)
Ingredients

  • 2 cans chickpeas drained and rinsed (14 oz each)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup cooked green or French lentils
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until smoothly pureed.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle olive oil on top before serving.

I used hummus as a spread on our sandwiches. It keeps better in the kids lunches than mayo and has so much flavour. Here is the beginning of a turkey on rye with hummus.

hummus-bread

Check out www.pulsecanada.com for nutritional information, cooking tips and yummy recipes that include Pulses.

Take the Pulse Pledge  

I recently took the Pulse pledge. Signing up is quick and easy!

Commit to eating pulses once a week for 10 weeks and join a global food movement! Eating dry peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas helps reduce your carbon footprint – and it’s great for your health. Every 1/2 cup of cooked pulses delivers 9 grams of protein. Get rewarded for eating these miraculous superfoods. Sign up for recipes, inspiration and the chance to win great prizes along the way. It’s FREE!

This school season give your children the energy and nutrition they need by adding more pulses to their diet.

Do you have a fave recipe that includes these? I would love to hear about it below.

Disclosure-This post has been compensated, As always all opinions are my own. 

Comments

  1. Yes! We use pulses all the time to make smoothies!!

  2. Never thought to add them in my smoothies! I recently found lentils (well last year) and fell in love. I can’t believe I want so long without them.

  3. I never heard of the term pulses! Love learning new things! I have yet to try lentils… OUPS! But it’s on my list of things to try this year. Thanks for the smoothie recipe!!

  4. I have never heard of that term either. My kids love hummus so I would try that one. I like the nutrition and variety in the ideas here. I might add pulses to my fall dinner rotation.

  5. We love doing pulse to make smoothies for breakfast.Thanks for this wealth of information!!

  6. I just picked up some hummus for schools lunches this week. I should try making my own next time, thanks for the recipe.

  7. I have never thought to use pulses in smoothies; but it would be a great way to get in added nutrition. I love adding red lentils to so much as they ‘melt’ down really so they blend well into many dishes

  8. Oh, YUMMY! I’ve been wanting to try creating my own hummus for forever. We spend close to $10 a week for store stuff. I love the sound of your Roasted Red Pepper and Lentil Hummus, and can’t wait to try it this week. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂 And thanks to MIL, we have every lentil under the sun in our pantry, so pretty I’ve got all the ingredients right now, WOOT.

  9. We love our chickpeas and lentils. Thanks for sharing the recipes. Great idea putting pulses them in smoothies as well.

  10. kathy downey says

    Honestly i have never heard of the term pulses but i do love learning new things…thanks so much for the recipe.

  11. I've never heard of Pulses before but this is exactly something I would want to add to our smoothies, spreads, and sandwiches!

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