Gleaners, along with many other food banks and food pantries, distributes large quantities of beans, peas, and lentils throughout the year. These foods, collectively known as pulses
, are the dry, edible seeds of plants in the legume family, and they are versatile, affordable, and sustainable sources of nutrition.
However, pulses are not always the most popular foods among pantry shoppers for a variety of reasons:
- Some families are unsure how to prepare them
- Others may not care for the taste or texture
- And still others feel they can’t handle the volume of pulses being offered in pantries.
In response to this (and other less-popular foods), Gleaners is working to provide more nutrition education and healthy recipes to shoppers, agencies, and community partners.
Pulses are great sources
of plant-based protein, dietary fiber, iron, and potassium, and they are low in calories, fat, and sodium. Research has shown that a diet rich in pulses can help:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Reduce the risk of or manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease
- Contribute to a healthy gut
- Provide sustainable energy for physical activity.
Beans, peas, and lentils come in various forms (dried, canned, or frozen) that are easy to store and prepare, and they can be added to a multitude of dishes to boost nutritional benefits. Below are a couple of the recipes that Gleaners has recently shared to educate shoppers on what to do with pulses and encourage them to give these nutrient-rich foods a try.