to the top of the page

Northern Pulse Growers Association

  Home  »  Pulse Growers Home »  Food & Health »  


Search Recipes

Culinary Tips

· Lightly dust a chicken breast with chickpea flour to give it a beautiful pan-seared crust with just the right hint of nuttiness and gorgeous color.
· Mix a pulse flour (lentil, pea or chickpea) with butter to make a flavorful roux to thicken a sauce or soup.
· Sauté chickpeas with heirloom tomatoes and pancetta and serve with basil chiffonade.
· Stuff squash, game hen or pheasant with red lentils, sausage, garlic and onion.
· Serve up a main course salad by topping a colorful array of cool lentils with shallots, olives and lemon zest. Move over chicken breast – they’re also a perfect protein option to the menu’s mixed green and goat cheese salad.
· Add lentils to meatloaf. Or, crush them to make a healthy breading.
· Offer hummus or seasoned and sauced lentils as a baked potato topping in place of sour cream.
· Puree cooked yellow split peas, seasoned with oregano and red wine vinegar and spread it on bread or thin into soup.
· Send the nutrition and flavor profile of your soups and stews through the roof by making pulses do double duty. Use chickpeas, lentils or split peas as a whole ingredient and puree some as part of the thickening agent.
· Keep that familiar crunch but add more healthy color to salads by replacing bread croutons with the delicious crispness of roasted peas and lentils.
· Baking soda – Some recipes call for baking soda to shorten the cooking process, especially if using hard water. Baking soda increases the absorption of water, but it also destroys thiamin, an
important B vitamin found in pulses. Baking soda may also make the texture of pulses too soft, an
undesired side effect.
Using baking soda to aid in cooking pulses is not recommended. If hard water is your only choice and you need to add baking soda, limit the amount to 1/8 teaspoon per 2 cups water.


Gluten Free Foods - Special Diet Solutions

Gluten-free foods and meals are increasingly popular today, because even though many who avoid gluten aren’t formerly diagnosed celiac, they have sensitivity to gluten. People who must avoid gluten suffer from celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder. When a celiac-afflicted person eats gluten, it triggers an immune reaction that can damage the intestinal tract leading to poor absorption of nutrients.
Finding nutritious substitutes for gluten is a challenge for celiac because gluten, a protein form in wheat and many other cereal grains, is found in a huge array of everyday foods. But growing consumer demand promises to fuel improved gluten-free products and pulses are poised to become a major player in this trend. Whole pulses, pulse flours, pulse starches, protein and fiber components offer great opportunity to make gluten-free foods more wholesome.  In this section you will find great recipes to accommodate your special diet. Enjoy!
Tips: Many gluten-free baked good recipes call for more than one type of flour. The reason for this is because different gluten-free flours have different ratios of proteins and starches, not to mention flavors. Combining flours helps produce optimal end products in texture and taste.
Xanthan gum is a very common ingredient in gluten-free baking.  Be sure to follow amounts listed exactly, as using too much could lead to chewier, dense products, while using too little could result in crumbly product.

Pulses and MyPlate

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage most Americans to eat fewer calories, be more active and make healthier food choices. MyPlate is a part of a large initiative based on 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to help consumers make better food choices. MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by going to
Pulses are increasingly being recognized for their role in promoting good health. Researchers have reported that regular consumption of pulses may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Pulses are a versatile, easy-to-prepare ingredient that can be used in entrees, salads, breads and desserts.
Because of pulses high nutrient content, consuming peas, lentils and chickpeas is recommended for everyone. Pulses can count either toward the “Vegetable Group” recommendation or toward the “Meat & Beans Group” recommendation.
Vegetable Group: Vary your veggies. The Guidelines and MyPlate use 5 vegetable subgroups to encourage variety and healthier food choices. Pulses are a part of the Legume subgroup. The guidelines recommend eating more pulses, such as, dry peas, lentils and chickpeas. Adults consuming 1,800 to 2,400 calories daily should eat 1 ½ cups, or 3 servings, ½ cup per serving, each week.
Meat and Bean Group: Vary your protein routine: eat lean or low-fat. Choose more pulses.  One-half cup cooked peas, lentils and chickpeas is a two-ounce serving of protein.  Adults who eat 1,600 to 2,000 calorie diets should eat 5 to 5 ½ ounces of the lean meat and pulse group daily. Pulses are naturally low-fat.
The Dietary Guidelines are depicted on the website, where you can print a daily food guide.
The amount of food you need from each food group varies depending on your age, gender and physical activity.
                                                      Health Facts
· Healthier diets dictate a change in ingredients. But whether you’re trying to satisfy an adventurous palate or match familiar expectations of taste and texture, pulses can help meet the challenge of better nutrition.
· Children require more protein than adults because of their rapid growth. Each day, a one-year old child needs about 15 grams (two cups) of protein, such as beans, milk, cheese, tofu, fish, poultry and lean meats. Combination foods such as grains (bread, pasta, rice) with beans, lentils, avocados, cheeses or tofu will provide the balance needed for vegetarian babies.