2016 is the International Year of the Pulses

Chicpeas and chana dal cooked together 

The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of the Pulses. By making this declaration, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) aims to "heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses [aka legumes] as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition. The Year will create a unique opportunity to encourage connections throughout the food chain that would better utilize pulse-based proteins, further global production of pulses, better utilize crop rotations and address the challenges in the trade of pulses."

Recognizing that leguminous crops are important in several ways, the FAO spells out the advantages of focusing on these crops. Not only do they provide critical proteins for humans, they are also an important source of plant-based protein for animals.  In addition, pulses are leguminous plants that have nitrogen-fixing properties which can contribute to healthier soils and they require less water than many other protein sources.

Indexed blog Food52 has a handy guide to different types of legumes, and of course the EYB Library can help you find great dishes that help celebrate the Year of the Pulses. Try one of these highly rated recipes:

Mixed bean goulash from BBC Good Food Magazine
Chickpea and paneer basmati bowl from Food & Drink by Emily Richards
Radicchio and red onions on white bean puree from Diana Henry at The Sunday Telegraph
Navy bean and lentil soup with sweet potato and kale from Edible Toronto
Chickpeas and chana dal (split peas) cooked together in a mint sauce from  Eats Well with Others by Joanne Bruno and Madhur Jaffrey (pictured top)

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