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Montana Ag Network: Using pulses in your holiday meals

Posted at 1:02 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 15:02:15-05

BILLINGS — As you put the finishing touches on this year’s Christmas menu, Columbia Grain International (CGI) says a great addition to your holiday menu are delicious and nutritious and American-grown pulses and beans.

“Pulses have a great, earthy flavor,” said CGI Quality Assurance Manager Eric Flickinger. “They're really great for stews and soups. They’re also a great side dish to any kind of meat that you want to pair it with, as well as a great salad topper.”

He says compared to other plant-based protein sources; pulses are a more affordable option which makes them a great addition to your holiday meals.

“According to the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, the amount of protein in pulses are two to three times higher than the levels found in cereal grains like corn, rice and oats,” said Flickinger. “For instance, a half a cup of lentils provides about the same amount of protein as eating two cups of corn or rice.”

There’s a lot more versatility to cooking with beans and pulses, he says, than you’ve probably ever dared to imagine.

“Some of my favorites include chickpea and lentil loaf, which looks great on the table and also makes any vegetarians in the family happy,” said Flickinger. “Another favorite is ham bone soup which includes lentils and beans. It’s a great meal for the day after Christmas. Lentils as a topper for sweet potatoes are also great. And one of my family's favorite snacks in between meals are roasted ranch chickpeas.”