Pulses: Protein and Prebiotic Powerhouses

Disclosure: I receive products from Enlightened Foods as well as samples and discounts for my clients. As an affiliate, I am compensated for sales when my discount codes are used. As always, I only work with products that align with my philosophies. Thanks for supporting brands and posts that make Eat Real Live Well possible!

You must have heard by now that 2016 is “The International Year of Pulses”, right? No? What do you mean? Are dietitians the only neRDs that hear these things? Following a plant-based diet, I have been eating pulses pretty much everyday for years.

Now, you’re probably wondering what pulses are. Chances are many of you are already eating them regularly and, if you’re not it may be because you’ve heard they’ll make you gassy or you never ate them growing up.

“Pulses” are dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas and lentils.


The first recipe I ever posted was a bean burger and I love pulses so much that instead of filling containers in my kitchen with flours and sugars to bake yummy cookies, I fill them with dried beans and lentils {thanks to the bulk section at Whole Foods}.

All are rich in fiber, contain vitamins and minerals and, are a great source of plant-based protein. The latter benefit helps recover those muscles when paired with protein rich veggies and grains. The former is a reason many people have avoided eating beans for years. What research shows though, is that the more often you eat them, the less digestive reactions you’ll have in response to their fibers. What is even better is that the more you eat, the more you’re supporting your gastrointestinal bacteria! If you haven’t heard, pre-biotic fiber is a type that supports a healthy bacterial balance in your gut and is important for more than just “keeping you regular”. It also means you’re supporting your immune system, metabolism, and mental health. Beans and fiber for the win!

So, you may not have heard of pulses before now but,  you have to have tried roasted chickpeas by now, right? They’re still one of my fave snacks whether I make them on my own or buy a bag of Biena habanero {Expo East though was these broad bean crisps by Enlightened. There is just something about their texture that I enjoy a bit more than the chickpeas.


Past the awesome texture, a one ounce serving gives you 1-2 grams more protein than roasted chickpeas and less fat. While I am not into counting calories, it does mean your filling snack rings in only at 100 calories versus 120-140.

After chatting with their team a bit, I decided to hop on board as an affiliate so that I could provide samples and discounts to my clients on a healthy and portable snack. Just like with any new thing, you feel better making a purchase for a little less! I only affiliate myself with brands that I believe in and whose philosophies align with mine.


If you take a look at the ingredients for the garlic and herb flavor (my favorite), here is what you get:

INGREDIENTS: Broad Beans (Fava Beans), Sunflower Oil, Garlic, Onion, Sea Salt.

Ummm HELLO real food that won’t go bad while sitting in your desk or car as an emergency snack! They even sell them in single serving packets on the site too so, they’re perfect for stashing in your purse, car, gym bag, or desk at work. (For more on emergency snacks and preventing holiday weight gain check out my article here)

While I have only found them in the Philly area so far at Shop Rite, Home Goods, and Whole Foods, you can also purchase them over at eatenlightened.com. Even if you aren’t a client of mine to get a sample and a coupon, you can use my discount code EATREAL20 for 20% off of your online orders on their website!

If you don’t mind a touch of stevia, you also have to try their cocoa variety. Yeah, chocolate dusted beans. It really isn’t that weird. I am sure you’ve had, or at least heard of bean brownies which are absolutely delicious. Pulse up people!


While I think these crisps are my favorite pulse snack as of late, and they’re perfect for a crunch on salads instead of croutons (above) lentils are my favorite pulse to have in meals whether it be lentil tacos, lentil bolognese, or just lentils mixed with a whole grain and some roasted veggies.

Alright now let’s get to chatting, what’s your favorite pulse?

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4 thoughts on “Pulses: Protein and Prebiotic Powerhouses

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