Move over, quinoa, kale, and açaí– 2016’s newest superfood might come in a familiar package (or can). Pulses — the dried edible seeds of legume plants, which include things like lentils, dried peas, and beans — are hoping to get their moment in the spotlight, thanks in part to a United Nations campaign to make 2016 the International Year of Pulses.
Pulses have twice the protein of quinoa and require just 1/10 the amount of water needed to produce beef.
Pulses are already a well-known entity outside of the developed world — according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, pulses make up nearly 75 percent of the average diet in developing countries. Nutritionally, pulses are a key source of protein for those who don’t have access to, cannot afford, or choose not to eat meat — containing between 20 and 25 percent protein by weight, pulses have twice the protein of quinoa, making them an attractive replacement for meat-based protein.