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Friday, July 1, 2016

2016 is International Year of Pulses

2016 Is International Year of Pulses

The United Nations (UN) declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. A “pulse” is the edible seed of certain legumes such as dry beans, peas and lentils. Pulses were chosen, according to the UN, to “heighten public aware­ness of their nutritional benefits as part of sustainable food production aimed toward food security and nutrition.”
Cooked dry beans are an excellent source of fiber, potas­sium and folate. One-fourth cup of cooked beans counts as a one ounce-equivalent in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Protein Food Group. Other protein foods include meat, poultry, seafood, dry peas, lentils, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds. As an illus­tration: 1/2 cup of cooked beans and 2 ounces of cooked meat would both be counted as 2 ounce-equivalents of protein.
Some bean facts:
• A 15-ounce can of beans provides about 3-1/2-cup servings of beans.
• One pound of dry edible beans yields about 6 cups of cooked beans.
• The cost of a 15-ounce can of beans ranges from about 33–67 cents per 1/2-cup serving, depending on whether people buy the store brand instead of the national brand.
• A half cup of dry beans, cooked from scratch, costs about 17 cents.
• One type of bean can usually be substituted for another type in recipes. Taste and color may vary slightly.
Source: Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, Extension Educator, Lancaster County Extension, Lincoln, NE

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