Since they’re such hearty (and delicious) protein substitutes for many vegans and vegetarians in the UK, at Wholefoody we’re pretty passionate about pulses. But lentils and beans (and pretty much all pulses) have been popular across the world for centuries, making up a vital part of Indian, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Asian and Lebanese cuisines.
The popularity of these small but mighty grains is easy to understand, especially for those following an organic lifestyle. They are packed with various nutrients, vitamins and minerals, which can supplement a vegan or vegetarian diet, and they’re incredibly diverse in the many ways they can be used.
High protein beans
Wholefoody’s love of pulses means we’ve got an amazing range of these high protein, fibre-rich, low-fat grains. Because we know how important a healthy source of carbohydrates is in maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. What we particularly like about pulses is their shelf-life and versatility, though. Which makes them excellent value for money, especially when bought in bulk.
Beans, lentils and pulses of all kinds are a nutritious and filling addition to all sorts of recipes, as well as being the key ingredient in vegan and vegetarian alternatives.
Pulses in food
Pulses can be used to create hearty chilli sin carnes (or the non-vegetarian chilli con carne), warming campfire beans, stews, curries and even burgers and meat alternatives. All it takes is a little imagination for pulses to become a cheap and cheerful addition to your meal plan. One of our foody favourites at Wholefoody is a classic (and delicious) lentil dahl, made using chickpeas and lentils to add a wealth of protein to an already tasty and nutritious meal.
As a meat replacement, lentils are a particularly excellent choice. Filling and aromatic dishes such as Bolognese can be a great way to start if you’re not quite sure what to do with your pulses. Or perhaps you fancy some homemade houmous, in which case try perusing Wholefoody’s range or chickpeas. Blend with garlic, lemon and oil for a fresh and delicious dip.
Pulses are also a superb choice for bulking out cold-weather meals such as stews. Soft and smooth in texture, pulses such as butter beans respond well to slow-cooked meals, whether that’s in your home slow cooker or hanging over a campfire!
Throw in some vegetables, stock and seasoning and you’re on your way to the heartiest stew you ever did… well, stew.
And the possibilities don’t end there. Many beans and pulses can be used in making sweet treats and baked goods. It might surprise you to hear it, but black beans actually make a great addition to gooey chocolate brownies, providing that all-important soft texture.
When it comes to cooking our lentils, beans and pulses, you’ll find your job gets easier if you soak the dried grains beforehand. But don’t worry, this is no Herculean task - stick them in a bowl of water before you go to bed, and you’ll find they’re ready to use the next morning.