Not exactly a food group you hear dripping off people’s tongues when sharing weight-loss tips, but pulses get the job done!
What are Pulses?
Pulses are a sub-set within the legume family.
- dry peas
Why does it help?
Protein leaves you feeling full and pulses boast a healthy amount! Most have 6-9 grams of protein per serving for a 1/2 cup. In addition they have fiber and vitamin B12. They don’t require a lot of chemical fertilizer to grow strong so they can be grown more naturally.
Studies have shown adding more pulses to your diet also helps to reduce cholesterol and stabilizes blood sugar (which is why you don’t experience the energy crash after eating like you do from sugar).
These belly fat burners include:
- split peas
- beans such as black & red beans
- cannellini which are high in iron, while being low on the glycemic index
The list also includes:
- chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
If I open a can of organic beans and don’t intend to use it all, I’ll freeze the unused portion in a well marked container for future meals.
How to Cook
I cook split peas and lentils in low-salt chicken broth with fresh herbs on the al-denté side. I prefer a bit of bite to them when adding them to salads or with sautéed spinach or kale. Sometimes I’ll cook the raw pulses after washing and draining in the pot with a teaspoon of coconut oil and fresh garlic at medium to high heat for fruit & smokey added flavor before I add the cooking liquid.
For a quick sauce for pasta or to make brown rice more creamy, you can cook lentils as packages direct and add to a blender with 2 tablespoons olive oil (even also add 1/2 of an avocado). Blend well and add salt and pepper to taste. Then fold into your complex carbs.
Finding opportunities to add more fiber and protein to your food choices will always leave you feeling more full, which allows you to manage your portions while adding health benefits. Explore, and enjoy!