One of my earliest experiences of the practical aspect of becoming a nurse was learning to take pulses. My vocabulary took on words such as temporal, carotid, brachial, radial, femoral, tibial and dorsalis pedis; all important pulse sites in the human body.
Here we are in the year 2016 and it is the INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF PULSES as declared by the UN General Assembly. Since 1959 which was declared World Refugee Year, there have been the year of Human Rights, Women's Year, Year of Peace, Year of Rice, Year of Potato, Year of Quinoa and possibly others.
After all these years of understanding the significance of my own healthy pulse I have been introduced to an entirely different definition and understanding of the word PULSES and how important they are in maintaining those vital pulses in our bodies.
Pulses are the edible seeds of various leguminous plants such as beans, lentils, dry peas and chickpeas which are a good source of low fat protein, high fibre and packed with iron, potassium, zinc and B vitamins. This lowly food has been elevated to international importance and so it behooves us to take note and consider how we can incorporate more of them into our culinary experiences.
Besides being packed with nutrients, pulses are inexpensive, versatile, easy to prepare and native to our Canadian prairies. As a child I remember stomping sacks of dried bean pods to sift out those little white pulses to be cooked into a hearty ham soup. The name pulse is derived from the Latin word puls meaning a thick soup or potage.
In this International Year of Pulses I have already in the first month used pulses in a potage of split peas, a delicious Curried Chickpea Tomato Soup, a pot of Chilli with mixed beans, Sweet Potato and Chickpea Koftas (Yummy), and lentils hidden in a pizza.
|Some of my favourite pulse dishes: |
Tomato/Apple/Lentil Sloppy Joe,
Quinoa/Black Bean/ Mango Salad,
Curried Chickpea /Tomato Soup with Peanut Butter,
Mixed Bean Chilli
Join me in raising a toast to PULSES and a healthy year.