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Using Pulses in Food Technology

Today marks World Pulses Day! World Pulses Day was first established in 2019 by the United Nations General Assembly following the success of the International Year of Pulses back in 2016. The day was proclaimed to raise awareness about the nutritional and sustainability benefits of pulses such as their low fat and high fibre content, their water efficiency and their smaller carbon footprint.

However, we know it can sometimes be difficult to get kids to enjoy eating some of these pulses, and it’s even more tough to get the cherubs excited to cook with pulses. So how can we start using pulses in practical Food Technology lessons? Here are four pulses that are easy to incorporate into common, existing recipes which will get our kids loving pulses.

Dry beans

Dry beans consist of products such as black beans, navy beans and kidney beans. They are super healthy, containing protein, antioxidants and amino acids just to name a few. They can also help to increase beneficial bacteria in the gut and could reduce the risk of heart attack in those who eat beans. The best way to incorporate dry beans into meals is by using them in Mexican dishes. Burritos, nachos, chilli con carne, the list is endless!

Dry peas

Dry peas are another type of pulse with numerous health benefits. They are a good source of fibre, vitamin B, phosphorus and protein and best of all, they are quite inexpensive. While the cherubs might find the dry peas to be a bit unappealing, you can introduce this pulse in recipes for yummy curries, soups and you can even make your own crispy split peas to add texture to salads.

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are quite a versatile pulse which can be used in a wide variety of recipes. They are high in protein, iron, potassium and calcium, meaning chickpeas can aid in keeping bones healthy and reducing the risk of high blood pressure. Introduce your students to whole chickpeas in recipes for hummus or a vegan alternative to meat patties.

Lentils

Lentils are another type of pulse that would be super easy to implement into practical Food Technology lessons. Lentils have the health benefits of many of their other pulse counterparts. They are high in fibre, iron and protein and they can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Lentils are also high in folate, meaning they’re a great addition to your diet if you are pregnant. It’s simple to introduce lentils into existing recipes as well, particularly soups or salads.

Even though many kids don’t love pulses, your Food Technology practical lessons are a perfect opportunity to highlight the benefits of pulses and how they can be incorporated into a lot of their favourite recipes. Why not use World Pulse Day as a good excuse to add pulses to today’s lesson.

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