One of the coolest parts about my job is the places it brings me. I spent the weekend in the beautiful Napa, CA with USA Dried Pea and Lentil Council learning about and cooking all things pulses! The event celebrated 2016 Year of the Pulses and was held at the amazing Culinary Institute of America (which actually got me thinking about culinary school) in the Napa Valley Region in California. The attendees ranged from bloggers to food editors to RDs to farmers. Oh hai Ambitious Kitchen, Inspiralized, Simply Quinoa, Detoxinista, and Culinary Hill!
I’m sure you are wondering what in the heck a pulse is because in all honesty- I didn’t know what they were until recently. Turns out the word “pulses” refers to a category of foods.
What are Pulses?
Dry peas, lentils, chickpeas and dry beans
The United Nations named 2016 as the International Year of the Pulses (IYP) and I am excited to share that I am a PULSES AMBASSADOR. Dats right people…I’m reppin’ some of my favorite food – beans, lentils, and dried peas and taking the pulse pledge in 2016! If you take a look at FFF’s recipe database, you’ll see that I’ve been team pulse for a really long time. From soups, to dips, dessert…pulses are an easy protein-packed addition to any recipe! Pulses have been around for hundreds of years and are staples in many international diets. They’re versatile, packed with good stuff, and affordable! I personally love that you can pretty much add them to everything, sweet or salty and that they’re so cheap. Let’s take a looksi at why pulses rock my world…
10 Things You Need to Know About Pulses
- High in Protein: Did you know that a serving of lentils has double the amount of protein than quinoa?
- Gluten-Free: No gluten…none!
- Vegetarian: They’re vegan too, for that matter!
- Affordable: Get this…the US cost per serving of lentils is $0.10, compared to $1.49 for beef and $0.63 for chicken. Dats nuts.
- Versatile: We’re talking sweet, savory, and everything in between!
- Sustainable: That’s right…pulses have the lowest carbon footprint of any food group AND they require little to no irrigation.
- Easy to Cook with: Easy is an understatement.
- High in Fiber: Let’s stay regular, people.
- Sodium and Cholesterol-Free: YES PLEASE.
- High in Antioxidants: Who needs berries?
- BONUS: A chickpea is a pea…not a bean!
Since I had such a great time in Napa with my blogging friends, I couldn’t leave without sharing some photos! A large part of the event was hands-on and we actually got to work with the CIA chefs to cook with pulses (this was definitely my favorite part!). We were separated into two groups and we cooked our own lunch feast. I was on the pastry team and we made gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, and pound cake, which all had some sort of pulse flour in it. COOL, right? We also made homemade pizza, which had green lentil flour in it. I am super excited to recreate that bad boy in my own kitchen.
If you check out the hashtag #PulsePledge, you can see tons more photos from the trip and get inspired by a bajillion and one pulse recipes.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by USA Dried Pea and Lentil Council. I was compensated and all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting Fit Foodie Finds!