PASS THE PULSES, PLEASE

 Photo credit: www.pexels.com. 

Photo credit: www.pexels.com. 

The year is almost over and we had no idea that the United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. In fact, we didn't even know what pulses were. But an article in a recent issue of Dr. Oz: The Good Life magazine explained it all: Pulses are beans. The word is common in Europe and Canada but is just catching on in America.

Beans, uh, we mean pulses, deserve all the attention. Just a half-cup serving has as much protein as three eggs and almost a day's worth of fiber plus zinc, iron and B vitamins. The article suggests several ways to pack some pulses into your diet. You can puree them and spread them on sandwiches, turn them into hummus or toss them in salads or soups.

The most unusual suggestion is to mix them into your next batch of brownies. We haven't tried this yet but it does sound intriguing. Use a 15-ounce can of black beans in place of a cup of the recipe's flour and it's supposed to make the brownies extra moist (and extra nutritious) without sacrificing the taste.