What did one pulse say to the other pulse?

“How you bean?”

Okay, that’s a pretty feeble pun, but it’s a cute segue for introducing a food item that most of us know only as beans. “Pulses” are a type of leguminous crop harvested solely for the dry seed. Dried beans, lentils and peas are the most commonly known and consumed sorts of pulses. There are hundreds of varieties, but those you are likely to have eaten include kidney beans, lima beans, butter beans and broad beans. Chickpeas, cowpeas, black-eyed peas and pigeon peas are also pulses, as are lentils of every variety.

All of this to say that the United Nations has declared 2016 International Year of Pulses to raise awareness about the protein power and health benefits of beans and peas, boost their production and trade, and encourage new and smarter uses throughout the food chain.

If you’re trying to eat a more plant-forward, plant-strong diet, pulses are a sensible choice. For more information on how to use them in recipes or how to support 2016 IYP, go to http://iyp2016.org .

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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