What Are Legumes?

Welcome to A Legume a Day! Thanks for stopping by.

For starters, what exactly are legumes? These plants belong to the Fabaceae family and are incredibly diverse. For instance, many people know that dry beans are legumes, but so are soybeans, peanuts, and alfalfa.

Legumes fulfill important roles in agriculture (e.g., cover crops, forage for livestock, nitrogen fixation, etc.) while also supplying us with a wide variety of tasty dishes enjoyed by cultures all across the globe. I hope to highlight some of the versatile uses of these powerful plants in the kitchen and incorporate a bit of what science currently has to say about legumes, from health benefits to cooking methods that maximize nutrition.

More to come soon, but for now, here are some legumes you may already have in your kitchen!

  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Green peas
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Mung beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Snap peas
  • Split peas
  • Peanuts
  • Pulses (My PhD project focuses on pulses so definitely more to come! Basically, ‘pulses’ is a term for the dried, edible seeds of leguminous plants, with some of the most common pulses including chickpeas, common beans, dry peas, and lentils.)
  • Soybeans – also think soy products like soymilk, tofu, etc.
  • And many more!!

If you have any particular questions about legumes, please let me know in the comment section and I will do my best to provide a response founded in the science!

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