Did you know that the United Nations has declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses?

Stop yawning at the back of the class.  Pulses (aka beans, lentils and dried legumes) are packed with nutrients, and are a fantastic source of protein, which is particularly important for our health.

Pulses are made up of about 20-25% of protein by weight, which is double the protein content of wheat and triple that of rice. When eaten together with cereals, the protein quality in the diet is significantly improved and a complete protein is formed. Pulses have a low fat content and contain zero cholesterol. They are low GI, a great source of dietary fibre and naturally gluten free.

Additionally, pulses are rich in minerals (iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc) and B-vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, and folate) all of which play a vital role in health. And it gets even better – pulses are so easy to cook and really cheap to buy.

So why don’t we all eat pulses every week?  Probably because they’re  seen as a bit hippy and many people don’t really know what to do with them.  Helpfully our chums at Independent Irish Health Foods have produced these handy little guides that explain what pulses are, how to cook them and some tasty recipe ideas to get you started.  We’ll set your pulses racing yet.