Pulses come in both canned and dried forms and can be found in most grocery stores. Canned pulses are pre-cooked and ready to eat, though they should be rinsed to remove any extra sodium. Dried pulses require a bit more attention when it comes to storing, soaking, and cooking them, but the extra effort can pay off.
Keep these things in mind when buying and storing dried pulses:
Soaking pulses is an easy extra step when you're cooking with dried pulses. When soaking pulses, keep these things in mind:
Follow these soaking instructions, courtesy of Pulse Canada, for dried beans, whole dried peas, and dried chickpeas.
|Long Cold Soak or Overnight||Let stand 12 hours or overnight in refrigerator.|
|Quick Soak||Bring pulses and water to boil in a saucepan and boil gently for two minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for one hour.|
|Microwave Soak||Combine pulses and water in a suitable microwave casserole dish, cover, and microwave on high for 10 to 15 minutes. Let stand for one hour.|
For each method, add 3 cups (750 mL) of water for every 1 cup (250 mL) of pulses.
Dried pulses will need to be cooked before you eat them, either on the stove, in a slowcooker, or in a pressure cooker. One cup (250 mL) of dry pulses will yield around two to three times more cooked pulses.
When cooking pulses, keep these things in mind:
Follow these cooking instructions, courtesy of Pulse Canada, for dried pulses:
|Pulse||Soaking Required||Cooking Time|
|Beans||yes||45 to 60 minutes|
|Whole Peas||yes||1 to 1 1/2 hours|
|Split Peas||no||40 to 45 minutes|
|Green Lentils||no||30 to 45 minutes|
|Split Red Lentils||no||10 to 15 minutes|
|Chickpeas||yes||1 to 1 1/2 hours|
Cooking times may vary, so keep an eye on the pulses as they cook.
Cooked pulses will store in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for several months. To freeze cooked pulses, let the pulses cool and store in plastic bags or containers in serving sizes that will make them easy to add to your favorite meals.
Puréed pulses can be used in a variety of recipes, including baked goods and smoothies. To purée pulses, place cooked or rinsed and drained canned pulses into a food processor, add ¼ cup hot water for every 1 cup of cooked pulses, and purée until the mixture is smooth, adding more water in small amounts to reach desired consistency, similar to baby food, about 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl as needed. Unused purée can be frozen and kept for several months in the freezer.