Food For Thought (5 of 8) – Can’t find a Pulse, then how about Cereals?

In this week’s blog we will be looking at introducing pulses (beans, lentils, peas) and also, cereals too. They offer an economical yet tasty alternative in which to complement and boost your protein, carbohydrate, and fibre intake.

So once again (and still keeping it simple), here we go...

Pulses: (tinned varieties are fine but check out those ingredients - no added salts and sugars please)

  1. Kidney Beans
  2. Butter Beans
  3. Soy Beans
  4. Split Mung Beans
  5. Haricot Beans - (great for making your own baked beans)
  6. Red, Brown, Green, and Yellow Lentils
  7. Garden Peas
  8. Black-eyed Peas
  9. Chickpeas

Pulses in home cooking are simple to use, and, if you have bought the tinned varieties, require little in the way of preparation. There are countless recipes available for them so go ahead and try some for yourself. Oh, and remember, the herbs and spices we introduced last week, well they work great with pulses.

Cereals: (with all breakfast cereals, check sugar, sweeteners, and salt content too)

  1. Maize
  2. Wheat
  3. Barley
  4. Rice
  5. Oats
  6. Rye

Cereals, usually (but not always) consumed as breads, pasta, and breakfast cereals, are a great source of carbohydrates (your body’s preferred energy source). Again, look at the ingredients; many breakfast cereals are notorious for having high levels of added sugars, and as for breads, again, look at those ingredients; try to introduce rye, sourdough, and wholemeal varieties, and, if your budget allows, buy your bread from a real bakery (think fewer additives). As for pasta, buy wholemeal variants where available (for the gluten intolerant amongst you, try rice pasta instead).

Finally, take your time - get to know which staples you prefer preparing, cooking, and eating: no point in choosing healthy foods which you don’t enjoy eating, so broaden your horizons and get to know the tastes and textures you prefer.

That's all for this week.

Yours, Al

Please note: my next blog in this series will be in three weeks’ time, as opposed to the usual fortnightly publication; this is due to the celebration of Eid which commemorates the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Back to the blogs >>