Pulses, such as legumes, beans, and chickpeas, have always been considered a valuable addition to a healthy diet. This year, however, they’re truly getting the recognition they deserve, after the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations declared 2016 “The Year of the Pulse.”
So, why is this food group getting so much hype as of late? Well, just one look at their nutritional resume, and it’s easy to connect the dots. Pulses are protein-packed, low in fat, high in fiber, and contain little to no cholesterol. Pretty impressive! The FAO states that pulses are “a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the globe and should be eaten as part of a healthy diet to address obesity, as well as to prevent and help manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary conditions, and cancer.”
Well, getting pulses into your diet has never been easier! Whether it’s lentil-based pasta, a savory roasted chickpea snack, or yellow pea flour in your pancakes, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the benefits of pulses, even if beans and peas aren’t necessarily your cup of tea. Need to see it to believe it? Check out these 15 pulse-based foods you can buy online right now!
1. Beanitos Black Bean Chips
Who would’ve thought the day would come where we could get a daily serving of protein through chips? Beanitos Black Bean Chips makes this dream a reality. Each serving of the savory corn-free and gluten-free chip has five grams of protein and five grams of fiber. And with no added sugars, artificial colors, or preservatives, you know your chips are all bean, as it should be.
These past couple years, chickpeas have finally been getting their fair share of press outside of the hummus container. Products like The Good Bean Chickpea Snack make it apparent why this form of eating chickpeas is doing so well in the supermarkets. Just one serving contains as much protein as almonds, as much fiber as two cups of broccoli, and as much folate as three cups of spinach. Plus, they’re low in fat and gluten free. And you can enjoy this snack in plenty of different delicious flavors such as Smoky Chili and Lime, Sweet Cinnamon, Mesquite BBQ, Thai Coconut, and even Chocolate!
3. Orgran Gluten-Free Apple Cinnamon Pancake Mix
Pancakes tend to be that Sunday morning breakfast, when you’re not as worried about calories, and just want someone to pass the maple syrup. Pancakes don’t just have to be an indulgent breakfast option, though. Just take a look at the Orgran Apple Cinnamon Pancake Mix. On top of being fluffy and delicious, like most pancakes, these have the added nutrition of yellow pea flour! Simply mix with your favorite non-dairy milk and voila! Pancakes that are yummy AND healthy.
4. BBQ Bean Stalks
You know those types of snacks that are just so tasty you can’t believe they’re actually good for you? Mediterranean Foods BBQ Bean Stalks are that kind of snack. They’re zesty, crunchy, savory, and super addicting, to the point that it’s hard to believe they are made from beans and contain four grams of protein per serving! Plus they have no gluten, trans fat, or GMOs. It’s almost too good to be true!
5. Beyond Meat Beastly Sliders
Usually, when people think of peas, they just think of a tiny, somewhat sad, green pile of beans taking up room on their dinner plate. What some people might not realize is how nutrition-packed these humble little vegetables are. Beyond Meat Beastly Sliders, take the power of peas and transform them into a beef-tastic veggie burger with 23 grams of protein! And don’t worry, the 14 patties in this bulk purchase may seem like a lot, but we guarantee you’re going to be having a lot of barbecues after trying this tasty patty.
6. Freedom Foods Pro-Teen Crunch Cereal
Putting protein inside of cereal is not exactly a new idea, but have you ever seen cereal made from chickpeas? Freedom Foods Pro-Teen Crunch Cereal is made from chickpea flour, a protein-dense flour that has become popular in the grain-free community as of late. The flour creates a fluffy and airy texture, packs a generous amount of protein, and is free of nuts, wheat, dairy, and artificial flavor. Pair with your favorite dairy-free milk and enjoy a breakfast that will actually fuel your day!
7. Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Penne Pasta
Usually, pasta needs to have vegetables, beans, and greens added to it for it to have any nutritional value. With Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Penne Pasta, however, you can enjoy the pasta with just a bit of sauce and still get a hefty amount of nutrition! The gluten-free penne delivers 21 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber per serving. You know what that means right? Guilt-free pasta is now a thing!
8. Pacific Natural Foods Organic Garlic Hummus
Perhaps the most popular form of chickpea-snacking, Pacific Natural Foods Organic Garlic Hummus, is creamy, flavorful, and extremely versatile. It’s perfect for dipping pita chips and veggies, is a tasty spread for falafel sandwiches, or can be simply mixed with some rice for some added garlicky flavor. Yum!
9. Hodemadad Split Dried Fava Beans
Hodmedod’s Split Fava Beans are a great staple to have in the kitchen. They’re tasty, versatile, and easy to cook. They don’t even need soaking like traditional beans! Use them to make dal, falafel or some creamy hummus. You can even add a handful or more to soups, stews, or curries. The longer you cook the beans, the softer they get, so cook to your desired texture!
10. Beyond Meat Chicken Strips
Similarly to the company’s Beast Veggie Burger, Beyond Meat Chicken Strips, combine soy and pea protein to create a remarkably realistic meat alternative. These strips are formulated to cook, crisp, and taste like grilled chicken (char marks and all). Whether they succeed at that endeavor or not is something you’ll have to try out for yourself, but with over 20 grams of protein per serving, these babies sure do pack the protein like meat! Use these to top salads or bulk up wraps.
11. Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps
Pea protein isn’t just
sneaking its way into the frozen food aisle, it’s carving out space for itself on the snack shelf! Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps are delicious, puffed “chips” in the shape of pea pods. They’re not only super-addictive, but with each serving containing 4-5 grams of protein, and 3-4 grams of fiber, they’re way healthier than the average potato chip! Better yet, they’re gluten-free, and most of the flavors they offer are vegan as well. We suggest getting more than one pouch on your next grocery trip; they go pretty fast…
12. Lesser Evil Super 4 Bites
Lesser Evil White Bean Quinoa Lentil and Chia Chips are part of the company’s “Super 4 collection” which as you probably guessed brings together four super nutritious ingredients to create one seriously delicious snack. In this particular one, creamy white beans, super grain quinoa, lentils, and chia seeds make up the crispy puffs, and then they are seasoned with kale and roasted garlic. Deeee-lish!
13. Larabar AltBar
While Larabar already succeeded at making a tasty and nutritious snack with their fruity nut bars, this year they decided to go one step further and create the gluten-free Larabar AltBar. Instead of some other companies who use whey or soy protein, the AltBar is made with pea protein! Meaning these bars not only pack a 1/4 cup of fruit but a whopping 10 grams of protein! Try the Peanut Butter Cookie, the Chocolate Chip Macaron, the Lemon Pound Cake, or the Chocolate Peanut Butter. Getting pea protein never tasted so good…
14. Banza Chickpea Penne
Banza Chickpea Penne aims to re-transform the pasta experience into something that is not only tasty and indulgent but nutritious! Their penne is made with chickpeas and pea protein and can be cooked just like the traditional variety. With 2 times the protein, 4 times the fiber, and nearly half the net carbs, you can make every night pasta night! Once you’ve tried the penne, they also have elbows, shells, and rotini, so you’ll never run out of new nutritious pastas to try!
15. Breads From Anna Black Bean Brownie Mix
Black beans in brownies? Yes, at first the combination may sound completely bizarre, and even completely unappetizing to some, believe us, the fudgy and sweet chocolate in Breads From Anna Black Bean Brownie Mix completely masks the savory taste of this pulse! To make these decadent gluten-free brownies, you simply have to mix it with a can of black beans and your favorite non-dairy milk. The only thing that transfers from the beans are their nutrition and thick texture. So, don’t worry, leave these out for guests with a glass of cold almond milk. They won’t know the difference!
What’s your preferred way of eating pulses? Tell us in the comments!
Lead Image Source: Roasted Chickpeas With Chipotle and Lime