World Pulses Day - February 10th
Pulses are a type of legume characterized by seeds that grow in pods. These ancient crops have been used in worldwide cuisine for thousands of years. Pulses include chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), lentils and dry peas. Pulse foods are rich sources of protein, fiber, vitamins such as folate, and minerals such as iron and potassium. They are low in fat and sodium, and are naturally gluten- and cholesterol-free. Researchers have reported that regular consumption of pulses may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
How to Prepare Pulse Foods
Note: For ease of preparation, the recipes in this publication call for canned chickpeas; however, soaked/cooked chickpeas can be substituted.
• Remove any small stones, then place in a strainer and rinse with water.
• Chickpeas require soaking prior to cooking. The following methods may be used to soak chickpeas:
- Traditional slow soak: Cover 1 pound of dry chickpeas with 10 cups of water and refrigerate six to eight hours or overnight.
- Hot soak: Bring 10 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pot, add 1 pound of dry chickpeas and return to a boil. Allow to stand at room temperature for two to three hours.
- Quick soak: Bring 10 cups of water to a boil, then add 1 pound of dry chickpeas. Boil two to three minutes. Allow to stand at room temperature for one hour.
• To cook: Drain and rinse chickpeas, then use 2 cups of unsalted water for every cup of chickpeas. Simmer for 90 minutes to two hours, then use in your favorite recipes.
Yield: 1 cup dry chickpeas + 2 cups water = about 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
• Remove any small stones, then place in strainer and rinse with water. You do not need to soak lentils.
• For every cup of lentils, add 2½ cups of unsalted water. Heat water to boiling, then simmer lentils for 15 to 20 minutes.
Yield: 1 cup dry lentils + 2.5 water = about 2.5 cups of cooked lentils.
Dry Peas (Split or Whole)
• Split peas do not require an overnight soaking. Use 2 cups of water for each cup of dry peas. Heat water to boiling, then simmer split peas for about 30 minutes to desired tenderness.
• Soak whole peas in water overnight or use one of the methods under “Preparing Chickpeas.”
• To cook: After soaking, cook whole peas for 35 to 40 minutes to desired tenderness.
Yield: 1 cup dry split peas + 2 cups water = about 2 cups of cooked split peas