Did you know that 2016 is the International Year of Pulses?
We've been celebrating it, and learning lots about these nutritious little seeds, with 3 sessions on this theme so far this year at Global Generation.
Silvia and I have hosted 2 different Lunch and Learning's and a Friday Night Out Project based on these diverse, cheap, protein rich beans and peas that are staples in dishes all over the world, writes Chef Sadhbh Moore. Along with our eager young year three particpants from St Aloysius' school and interested local business employees we've made dhal and naan breads and humous and carrot sticks. The local footie fanatic kids of Friday Night Out project made themselves veggie chilli (packed with corn, carrot, mushroom and peppers as well as the kidney beans and tinned tomatoes) accompanied by rice mixed with pearl barley and buckwheat, topped with cheddar, sour cream and coriander. A very healthy, cheap, easy to make and tasty crowd pleaser of a meal!
We've introduced the sessions with chats about the benefits of pulses as part of a balanced, healthy diet, as well as a major player in sustainable food production. There's lots of interesting infographics and resources on the FAO website.
Participants planted their own peas and learnt about how good pulses are for the soil (they're nitrogen fixers!), seeing broad beans growing in our 3 Skip crop rotation cycle. We also discovered that it only takes 50 litres of water to grow 1 kg of lentils, but it takes a whopping 13,000 litres of water per 1 kg of beef!
Making the most of the diversity of colours, shapes and sizes of pulses available we devised games and arts and crafts - with mosaic style pulse drawings, the name game; matching the name labels to the bowls of beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas to broaden our knowledge of just how many types there are, and finally drawing our own pulse people (personification can help us remember names) - like Bobby The Broad Bean, Chickpea Charlie and Sydney the Kidney Bean.
And of course we all got stuck in to trying our delicious pulse based dishes that we made from scratch in the Skip Garden Kitchen.