Thursday, November 30, 2017

Grains & legumes: what's trending in 2018?

As another year draws to a close, we’ve been looking at key trends for 2018 – so what’s influencing innovation and driving consumer behaviour for the year to come?

“A key trend is a genuine growth opportunity. It’s a set of changes in consumer beliefs and behaviours, leading to a change in a market. It’s something on which a company can base its strategy to increase sales of existing products or create new products, to boost market share and profitability.”

In the first of a series of trends reports, we’ve taken a look at two of 2018’s top trends (with more to come) and the opportunities they present for industry innovation!

Number 1: Plant Based

Plant based is one of the biggest trends right now and this wide reaching category is having an effect on nearly every other foodie trend out there. In 2017, plant based was the second biggest trend, having a considerable impact on innovation and product development. And during 2018, the lifestyle shift that’s driving plant based is the rise of the inclusive Flexitarian diet, not so much an increase in the number of people adopting a vegan diet as many people think. A Flexitarian is defined as.... ‘a person who has a primarily vegetarian diet but occasionally eats meat and/or fish.’ 

Emerging research is also helping to drive the prevalence of plant based eating with more and more evidence pointing to the many health benefits of eating mostly plant based, including up to a 25% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and a lower frequency of obesity (1). Protein has a part to play here too with many consumers increasingly looking for alternatives to meat. In 2017, a massive 43% of Australians are strongly influenced by protein claims on pack (2).

As a result, consumer demand, changing eating patterns and technological advances are pushing innovation. Legumes are now appearing in all sorts of traditional foods, including breakfast cereals, snack bars and pasta as well as new development with smoothies, savoury snacks and bliss balls. Whole grains feature here too, due to their many health benefits and links with the benefits of increased fibre consumption, cereal fibre in particular. Both categories are driving innovation here.

So what's new within this space?

Plant based meat alternatives - Gold & Green Foods latest product combines oats and beans to create their plant based meat alternative – Pulled Oats...

A focus on plant protein - The Lupin Company’s Lupin Flakes are highly versatile and can be used in baking, added to breakfast cereals or porridge or used in plant based patties to add plant protein, texture and additional nutrients...


Reformulation to up the veggie/legume content of many traditionally grain based foods - the bread market too is seeing diversification with Finnish bakery Fazer adding vegetable and legume purees to breads to create new and innovative offerings...


Plant based is an exciting trend that's set to drive strategy within food for at least the next 5 years.

Number 2: Snackification

The next big trend for 2018, continuing on from 2017 and previous years, is the rise of the snack market. The younger generation is driving most of the growth within this trend, with millennials primarily looking to snack to tide them over between meals and increasingly replacing traditional sit down meals with a snack or two. And with 56% of us eating at least one snack every day (3), consumer demand is higher than it's ever been and is set to continue to grow. This change in the way we’re snacking, from between meal and on-the-go snacks to keep you going until your next meal, has prompted a change in consumer demand, with many of us now looking for healthy snacks instead of typically indulgent snack foods that have dominated this category in the past. This shift has ensured both whole grains and legumes are now featuring prominently within the many innovative new offerings available.

Opportunities here are plenty, but where's the biggest potential gain?

Creation of premium products - we’re increasingly willing to pay a premium for a great tasting snack that caters to our lifestyle and fulfils a genuine need. Good Thins crackers are a prime example with a range of different options for all (premium) tastes...


Ever more innovative offerings - Regrained Cereal Bars use leftover grains from the beer brewing process to create whole grain snacks...
There are no limits on innovation - perhaps the biggest opportunity of all within this space - from meat to dairy to veggies, any category is open for disruption. Health and often a focus on protein drives new development, take Biena’s new chickpea snack for example, which combines a typically savoury food with chocolate to create an unusual but delicious snack option...


Manufacturers and retailers will continue to experiment with new trends to fulfill consumer demand and as we become more adventurous with our food and more of us become food explorers, the opportunities for ever more exciting options continues to grow.

Stay tuned for the next edition of our trends report in the new year, where we’ll be looking at ‘good carbs, bad carbs and the new focus on fat.’

To find out more about the fascinating rise of the snack market, read our article here.


References

1. Harland J, Garton L. An update of the evidence relating to plant-based diets and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and overweight. Nutrition Bulletin. 2016;41(4):323-38.
2. GLNC. 2017. Consumption & Attitudinal Study. 2017. Unpublished.
3. Choosi. Modern Foods Trend Report. 2017.


Friday, November 24, 2017

Forget activated almonds, this year it’s all about sprouted grains!

Last year the Washington Post predicted ‘sprouted everything’ would be a major food trend for 2017 (1). And based on the steadily growing range of sprouted grain products on supermarket shelves in Australia, this trend is here to stay in 2018. But what exactly is a sprouted grain, and does it boost the already impressive nutrient profile of a whole grain? Read on for a summary of the evidence:

But first, what exactly is a sprouted grain?
There is currently no regulated definition for a sprouted grain, but it’s commonly agreed that it is a whole grain that has been soaked in water, and has started the germination process. So put simply, it has ‘sprouted’ a new shoot, and is in the transition phase between a seed, and a new plant.

How do they differ nutritionally to regular grains?
While the evidence around sprouted grains is still emerging, sprouting grains may boost their nutritional value.
The idea is, once they have started sprouting, the grain uses up some of its own starch as energy to grow, which then makes it easier for us to digest. Likewise, germination is said to boost the availability of vitamins and minerals, increase the grain’s antioxidant levels, and reduce phytates - which inhibit the absorption of minerals like zinc, calcium, and iron, meaning we can absorb more of the good stuff. But, given that there is no standard definition for the process, it’s reasonable to assume that variation may exist between products (2,3,4).
Additionally, as sprouted grains need all parts of the grain intact to germinate, they are always a whole grain, as opposed to refined. This is important, as we know whole grains are brimming with health benefits, being richer in protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals than their refined counterparts. So whether or not sprouted grains have additional benefits, those eating them will be reaping the benefits of including whole grains – so it may be a win-win!

What does the research say?
A scan of the literature brings up a small pool of studies – few of which relate to humans. Early findings suggest sprouted grains may reduce risk and assist with the management of chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, fatty liver disease and depression. However, it’s unclear whether eating sprouted products offers additional benefit beyond simply consuming more whole grains, - supported by the evidence as reducing risk of chronic disease and improving diet quality (5).

Where can we find them?
As well as being used in place of grains in home cooking or on trendy cafĂ© menus, sprouted grains are making their way into a range of commercially available foods. They’re still a niche product, but are growing in popularity in the USA, so it’s no surprise Australia is following suit. We’re seeing sprouted grains appear in cereals and granolas, breads, flours, bars, grain-based drinks, even corn chips!

Can I make them myself?
You can. And on the upside, it’s cheaper than buying pre-sprouted grains, but it can be time consuming and fiddly.
D.I.Y sprouted grains:
1.      Rinse grains and place in a jar
2.      Soak the grains in water for 12 to 24 hours. They will expand as they absorb water, so it’s important that grains are completely submerged
3.      Use a sieve with small holes to drain the water completely from the jar, leaving the grains
4.      Rinse your grains twice a day and leave to drain
5.      Depending on the temperature, humidity and type of grain, sprouting should start to occur within three to seven days
6.      When you are happy with the level of sprouting, dry completely in a low oven or dehydrator and refrigerate for 3 days.

Once prepared, they can be used in the same way that you would ordinarily use grains – such as sprouted brown rice in a stir fry, or sprouted quinoa in a salad.      
Note: it’s important to be aware of food safety when it comes to sprouted grains. As they are prepared under moist, humid conditions, sprouted grains also offer an ideal condition for harmful bacteria to grow, so they can pose a risk for food poisoning. As such, the USA’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggest children, elderly people, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems should avoid eating sprouted grains.

Are they worth the extra effort/money?
Since the evidence is still emerging, it’s too early to confidently recommend sprouting your grains for the health benefits. But, given sprouted grains offer an interesting and tasty way to enjoy whole grains, there’s nothing to be lost from giving them, and the interesting sprouted grain products on the market a go. Watch this space!

References
1. The Washington Post, Plant proteins, healthy fats and more 2017 food trends. Accessed 16/11/2017 from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/checking-the-crystal-ball-for-2017-food-trends/2016/12/07/ead326ac-ac2a-11e6-8b45-f8e493f06fcd_story.html?utm_term=.e07c0af6033e
2. Chavan JK, Kadam SS, Beuchat LR. Nutritional improvement of cereals by sprouting. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 1989;28(5):401-37.
3. Jaenke R, Barzi F, McMahon E, Webster J, Brimecombe J. Consumer acceptance of reformulated food products: A systematic review and meta-analysis of salt-reduced foods. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 2017;57(16):3357-72.
4. Mbithi S, Van Camp J, Rodriguez R, Huyghebaert A. Effects of sprouting on nutrient and antinutrient composition of kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris var. Rose coco). European Food Research and Technology. 2001;212(2):188-91.
5. Lorenz K. Cereal sprouts: composition, nutritive value, food applications. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 1980;13(4):353-85.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Grains are back: new research shows fewer Australians are avoiding grains!

After years of going against the grain, promising new research from the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) has found fewer Australians are limiting grain foods, and more of us are enjoying legumes.

The triennial Consumption Study found 47 per cent of Australians limit grains, significantly less than the 60 per cent recorded in 2014 (1). While the persistence of Paleo, low carb, and gluten free diets are likely still pushing the trend of grain-avoidance, these results suggest the wide-spread fear of grains is slowing – and that’s great news for Aussies’ health.

The evidence for grains and health is strong, and continues to develop. Grains like wheat, oats, rice, barley, and rye are nutrition powerhouses, boasting more than 26 nutrients and phytonutrients that help to protect us against chronic disease and arm us with good health. In fact, an in-depth review of more than 300 studies found whole grains and high fibre foods to be the most protective against diet related diseases of all food groups – even more so than fruit and vegetables (2)!


And the evidence around legumes (think chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans) is equally exciting, with every additional 20g eaten daily (around a tablespoon) reducing risk of early death by 7-8 per cent (3).

Overall, we’re not a country of big legume-eaters, but it’s encouraging to see a greater proportion of Australians are including them in 2017 - 28 per cent, up from 24 per cent in 2014 which continues the upward trend of consumption. This was likely fuelled by the United Nations naming 2016 the International Year of Pulses, which saw celebrity chefs showcase legumes’ versatility and simplicity to prepare, through a whole range of different recipes.

The study also picked up on some interesting trends around the grain and legume foods Australians are eating. The percentage of people eating porridge, for example, has doubled between 2014-2017, while fewer people are choosing wheat breakfast biscuits. The way we eat is evolving too, with snacking on the rise.  Bars for example, were previously eaten as part of a meal at lunch or breakfast, but this year’s results showed they are more commonly eaten as a morning or afternoon snack. We’re also eating more alternative breads like flat breads and wraps.

The GLNC 2017 Consumption Study revealed a number of
encouraging trends in the grains and legumes categories
So how can you reap the wonderful benefits grains and legumes offer? It’s as simple as adding half a cup of legumes, or an extra serve of whole grain foods to your day! Try subbing half the mince in your Bolognese with lentils, or adding a handful of oats to your morning smoothie.

Check out the infographic below to find out what a serve of grains really means, and for more foodie inspiration, check out the recipe section of our website.



References

1. GLNC. Australian Consumption & Attitudes Study. 2017.
2. Fardet A, Boirie Y. Associations between food and beverage groups and major diet-related chronic diseases: an exhaustive review of pooled/meta-analyses and systematic reviews. Nutrition reviews. 2014;72(12):741-62.
3. Darmadi-Blackberry I, Wahlqvist ML, Kouris-Blazos A, Steen B, Lukito W, Horie Y, et al. Legumes: the most important dietary predictor of survival in older people of different ethnicities. Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition. 2004;13(2):217-20.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Plant Foods Offer An Unexpected Protein Hit

Grain foods, including bread, can contribute a surprising amount of plant-based protein to our daily requirements.

While young Aussies are forking out on pricey supplements in a bid to build muscle and cut weight, new evidence has revealed an unexpected source of protein: the humble loaf of bread.

The new findings, from the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council’s (GLNC) annual food category audit, revealed that close to one in every five loaves of wholemeal/whole grain bread assessed was considered a ‘good source’ of protein¹, boasting at least 10g per serve – the same amount found in a glass of milk or two boiled eggs.

Even white bread, often shunned as nutritionally inferior, came out on top with protein content; almost three quarters (73 per cent) of white sliced loaves were a ‘source’ of protein, with at least 5g per serve.

Felicity Curtain, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutrition Manager for GLNC, said this brings perspective to our nation’s protein fixation.

‘Australians are protein-obsessed, with at least 10 per cent of adults over 15 using sports supplements², but most of us can easily reach our daily needs through a range of whole foods, including bread!’

Curtain said grain foods like wheat, rye, barley and oats are naturally rich in plant-based protein, on top of other nutrients like vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and phytochemicals.

‘When combined with other good quality protein foods like meat, eggs, dairy foods or legumes, grains will get you well on your way to meeting your protein needs.’

While individual needs vary based on age, gender, body size and activity level, protein requirements range from between 0.75-1g of protein per kilogram of body weight; around 50g per day for a 65 kilogram woman.

So forget protein shakes, try these post-exercise alternatives that offer at least 15g protein per serve:

· Two slices of whole grain toast with nut butter and sliced banana
· A bowl of whole grain cereal with Greek yoghurt and berries
· A delicious smoothie made with milk, yoghurt, fruit and rolled oats
· A whole grain roll filled with lean ham, cheese and salad
· Whole grain crackers with cheese and hummus

Visit the GLNC Website for recipes, factsheets and up-to-date information on the latest evidence around grains and legumes.

References

  1. GLNC. 2017 Bread Audit. Unpublished.
  2. https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/publications/Documents/Sports%20Foods%20Quant%20Report.pdf  

Monday, September 25, 2017

Australians Are Falling Short on Cereal Fibre

by Eden Barrett,  Accredited Practising Dietitian and PhD candidate from the University of Wollongong 

When we think about the benefits of fibre, we typically think about its role in digestive health and staying regular. While this is certainly one of fibre’s great benefits, there are many more you may be less familiar with. For example, did you know that a diet high in fibre has also been found to protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers (1,2,3). Additionally, fibre helps you to feel full eating fewer calories, which may explain why higher intakes of fibre are also associated with lower body weight (4).

What is particularly interesting is that these associations are often found to be strongest with high intakes of cereal fibre specifically (3,5,6,7), meaning the fibre that comes specifically from grain foods such as breads, pasta, rice and breakfast cereals.

To understand how much cereal fibre Australians are currently eating, we recently conducted some research with the University of Wollongong to develop a database of more than 1,900 foods containing cereal fibre, expanding on the current AUSNUT 2011-13 food composition database. This database allowed us to estimate how much cereal fibre Australians are getting through the foods they eat. In addition, we were also able to determine the main foods which were contributing to cereal fibre intake as well as how the amount of cereal fibre a person is eating may be related to their likelihood of meeting daily total fibre targets.

On average, Australian adults ate 6.4g of cereal fibre each day, while Australian children and adolescents ate 6.2g each day (8). This is the equivalent of about 2-3 slices of whole grain bread or 1 cup of wholemeal pasta. The main food items contributing cereal fibre within the Australian diets were:

  • Breads and bread rolls (29% of adult intake and 27% of child intake)
  • Ready to eat breakfast cereals and porridge (29% of adult intake and 22% of child intake)
  • Cereal-based mixed dishes (e.g. spaghetti bolognaise or risotto) (13% of adult intake and 16% of child intake).
Australians who ate the most cereal fibre were not only eating more cereal foods in general but were also choosing higher-fibre varieties, such as whole grain breads and breakfast cereals, porridge, whole wheat pasta and bran-based products.

Interestingly, those who ate the most cereal fibre also ate the most total dietary fibre and were more likely to meet the recommended daily target for dietary fibre (30g/day for men and 25g/day for women):

  • Men with diets highest in cereal fibre were 4.4 times more likely to meet the recommended target for total dietary fibre.
  • Women with diets highest in cereal fibre were 3.1 times more likely to meet the target for total fibre.
With that in mind, how much cereal fibre should you be eating, and how can you increase your intake? Within Australia, there is no guideline on how much cereal fibre to eat. However, the Australian Dietary Guidelines suggest adults should aim for four to six serves of grain foods each day and we should aim to choose whole grain, high-fibre options at least half of the time.

While different grains differ in the amount of fibre they provide, opting for whole grain cereal foods is a good way to increase your cereal fibre intake. Importantly, whole grain foods also contain other important nutrients such as magnesium and iron, as well as many B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate).

There are many ways to add whole grains in to your diet at every meal or snack. Here are just a few simple ideas to get you started:

  • Use wholemeal or whole grain bread for your sandwich at lunch
  • Go for plain popcorn or whole grain crackers as a high fibre snack
  • Try porridge in the colder months or muesli in Summer as an easy breakfast option
  • Give wholemeal pita breads a go for healthy homemade pizzas
  • Substitute regular flour for oat flour when baking muffins or making pancakes
  • Try wholemeal pasta or brown rice to boost the fibre content of your favourite family dinners
And remember, even small changes can have big benefits for your health. Just starting with one of these simple swaps to a higher fibre, whole grain option will help to boost your cereal fibre intake and contribute to a healthier you!

References

1 Yao, B. D., H. Fang, W. H. Xu, Y. J. Yan, H. L. Xu, Y. N. Liu, M. Mo, H. Zhang and Y. P. Zhao (2014). "Dietary fiber intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: a dose-response analysis of prospective studies." European Journal of Epidemiology 29(2): 79-88.
2 Wu, Y. H., Y. F. Qian, Y. W. Pan, P. W. Li, J. Yang, X. H. Ye and G. Xu (2015). "Association between dietary fiber intake and risk of coronary heart disease: A meta-analysis." Clinical Nutrition 34(4): 603-611.
3. Aune, D., D. S. Chan, R. Lau, R. Vieira, D. C. Greenwood, E. Kampman and T. Norat (2011). "Dietary fibre, whole grains, and risk of colorectal cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies." BMJ 343: d6617.
4 Du, H., H. C. van der A Dl Fau - Boshuizen, N. G. Boshuizen Hc Fau - Forouhi, N. J. Forouhi Ng Fau - Wareham, J. Wareham Nj Fau - Halkjaer, A. Halkjaer J Fau - Tjonneland, K. Tjonneland A Fau - Overvad, M. U. Overvad K Fau - Jakobsen, H. Jakobsen Mu Fau - Boeing, B. Boeing H Fau - Buijsse, G. Buijsse B Fau - Masala, D. Masala G Fau - Palli, T. I. A. Palli D Fau - Sorensen, W. H. M. Sorensen Ti Fau - Saris, E. J. M. Saris Wh Fau - Feskens and E. J. Feskens "Dietary fiber and subsequent changes in body weight and waist circumference in European men and women." (1938-3207 (Electronic)).
5 Hajishafiee, M., P. Saneei, S. Benisi-Kohansal and A. Esmaillzadeh (2016). "Cereal fibre intake and risk of mortality from all causes, CVD, cancer and inflammatory diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies." Br J Nutr 116(2): 343-352.
6. Schulze, M. B., M. Schulz, C. Heidemann, A. Schienkiewitz, K. Hoffmann and H. Boeing (2007). "Fiber and magnesium intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes - A prospective study and meta-analysis." Archives of Internal Medicine 167(9): 956-965.
7. Koh-Banerjee, M. F., M. Franz, L. Sampson, S. Liu, D. R. Jacobs, Jr., D. Spiegelman, W. C. Willett and E. Rimm (2004). "Changes in whole-grain, bran, and cereal fiber consumption in relation to 8-y weight gain among men." Am J Clin Nutr 80(5): 1237-1245.

8. Barrett, E. M, Probst, Y. C & Beck, E. J (2017). “Creation of a database for the estimation of cereal fibre intake”. Submitted to Journal of Food Composition and Analysis.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Declaration of Lupin as an Allergen

On the 25th of May 2017 the Australia New Zealand Foods Standard Code added lupin to the list of allergens that must be declared on food packaging. This amendment to Standard 1.2.3 means that it is now mandatory for lupin to be declared when it is present as an ingredient, compound ingredient, additive or processing aid.

Lupin is a type of legume (like kidney beans or lentils) which is available in several formats including flakes, flour and whole beans and can be incorporated into grain foods such as bread, breakfast cereal or pasta. The decision to identify lupin as an allergen on food packaging will make it easier for people with a lupin allergy to identify and avoid foods containing lupin and enjoy those that are lupin free.

This amendment to the Food Standards Code occurs with a 12 month transition period, meaning that the food industry will have until 26 May 2018 to update product information and declarations. All products, new and existing, will be required to comply with this requirement. For more information, click here.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Increasing Legume Intake Among Australians

by Courtney Rose-Davis, APD, PhD Candidate

These days, we’re seeing more and more research suggesting that legumes possess significant health benefits, different to that of other food groups. Studies suggest that consuming legumes 4 times per week, compared to only once, reduces risk of coronary heart disease [1,2]. When legumes are added to our diet, levels of total and LDL cholesterol are lowered [3]. Legumes, including chickpeas, lentils, kidney, fava and black beans, amongst others, are a key feature of the Mediterranean diet, which is predominantly eaten by people living coastally in Southern Europe [4]. This balanced diet has been proven to lower our risk of heart disease and diabetes. Although just one part of this dietary pattern, legumes provide important nutrients including protein, fibre and other minerals, especially as the Mediterranean diet is low in meat. In terms of health benefits, one study showed that the Mediterranean diet would only be 90% as effective if legumes were excluded [5]. 

In Australia the story is very different, where adults eat very few legumes. Data from the most recent National Nutrition Survey suggests legume intake is only 20 g/week for males, and 16 g/week for females [6]. The health benefits of following a Mediterranean diet with legumes could be enormous; however this previously hadn’t been well studied. So we conducted a research trial where older Australians (aged >64 years) were asked to follow a Mediterranean diet for 6 months. Around 80 participants were asked to consume at least 3 servings of legumes per week, at a serving size of 75 g or half a cup (225 g/week). Three servings of legumes were provided to participants as canned legumes, to make this easier for them. The participants had their diets analysed before they commenced the study and median legume intake was 0 grams/week, meaning at least half the study participants were eating no legumes at all. The average intake however was 140g/week, which was quite high compared with national data, however still less than half the amount needed to provide health benefits.

Surprisingly, over the course of the study, legume intake increased to an average of 340g/week, with the median increasing from 0 to 231 g/week. Anecdotally, participants said they found legumes not only tasty, but versatile and useful when making filling lunches and salads. Recipes and instructions to incorporate legumes were provided, such as making legume patties and dips, adding legumes to soups, casseroles and salads and even replacing some meat with legumes.

It’s difficult to say with certainty which of these factors contributed to the legume increase, however, it appears that with some instruction and encouragement, older Australians could greatly increase their intake and enjoy legumes more often. The easy provision of legumes might have played a large role, although participants clearly went and bought their own on top of our provisions suggesting that participants genuinely enjoyed this part of their diet. It's most likely that several factors contributed, including providing them for free, provision of innovative recipes, additional suggestions on how to incorporate them in their daily diet, but most importantly - the enjoyment factor. Legume intake likely promoted the intake of other healthful dietary components too, like olive oil and vegetables, as these are often consumed together.

The potential health benefits of such a change are exciting! Legumes on their own have been associated with considerable health benefits, and even more so when being consumed as part of the Mediterranean diet. Our encouraging results suggest that given the right resources, such as recipe inspiration and handy tips, most people can become a legume fan. Here are our easy tips to help you enjoy legumes more frequently:

- If using canned legumes, make sure you rinse them well before using – this can help reduce the sodium content by up to 40%.

- If using dried legumes, soak and cook in large batches and freeze in individual portions for quick and easy additions to midweek meals.

- Use lentils or black beans as a substitute for mincemeat – mix into patties, meatballs, spaghetti bolognaise and taco mince.

- Add to salads for a filling protein and fibre hit.

- Add to soups and casseroles to bulk out.

- Mix in with pasta dishes - this works especially well with lentils and chickpeas.

- Make nachos with kidney beans or black beans.

- Add mixed legumes to tomato, onion and canned fish and drizzle with olive oil  and lemon juice for a delicious, Mediterranean salad.


 References