Peas, beans, lentils: year of the pulse

By Amy Campbell, Community Health Promoter

It is time to join the movement to discover and use peas, beans and lentils as part of your healthy eating plan.

Beans are inexpensive and can be used to create great main meals or sides. You can use canned beans or learn how to re-hydrate them to save more money. There are few things to know about beans, they expand a lot when hydrated, 1 cup of dried bean will bloom into 2-3 cups. Soaking beans is an important step to give them a good texture. Most beans should be soaked except lentils, split peas, black eyed peas and mung beans. Adding a small amount of baking soda to the soaking water helps to soften beans. Start by rinsing your beans in cool water, discard any damaged beans.

There are 2 easy soaking methods so choose the one that works for you. For the overnight method measure use a large pot, for every cup of rinsed beans add 3 cups of cold water and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. Allow the beans to soak for 6-8 hours in a cool spot. If that takes too much time use the quick soak method. Using the same proportions place in a pot over medium high heat, bring to a boil for 2 minutes then remove from heat. Place a lid over the beans and allow them to soak/sit for an hour. Check them occasionally and add more water to keep them covered. Drain and they are ready to use in your recipe.

Chick Pea Salad
3 cups cooked chick peas (or 2 cans 19 oz (540 mL)
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, shredded
½ cup green onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Prepare chick peas. Drain and rinse. Place in a bowl.
  2. Cut up vegetables and add to chick peas.
  3. In a small bowl combine, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Mix well. Pour over vegetables.

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