Full of beans: RRC dishes up local pulse products, promotes innovation in healthy cuisine

IMG_0604Red River College helped to showcase the latest in culinary research and innovation today, incorporating bean flours and purées into delicious and healthy dishes.

The ‘Plating Pulses’ showcase, held at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, was the product of a research partnership between RRC and the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association (MPGA), a not-for-profit organization representing 3,000 farmers of edible pulses such as soybeans, dry beans and peas.

“We are thrilled with the work the College has been doing to develop nutritional and delicious recipes that demonstrate to consumers how locally-produced pulses can be incorporated into their everyday diets,” says Kyle Friesen, MPGA president.

Research has shown that only a half-cup of beans per day can reduce bad cholesterol, help manage hunger, and provide a sustainable source of protein.

“That is why we partnered with College,” says Friesen. “We know about the amazing health benefits of pulses, but we wanted to create more awareness among consumers and the Manitoba food industry by modifying traditional dishes that feature pulses, without affecting the taste or texture of the food.”

The dishes showcased include perogies made from bean flour dough, chicken potpie with a bean flour crust, and crème brulée with half of the fat cut using navy bean puree.

“This showcase is an excellent example of the role that our culinary institute plays in supporting the growth of Manitoba’s food producers,” says Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research and Commercialization at RRC. “Along with training the culinary innovators of tomorrow, RRC provides a wealth of applied research resources for local businesses, including recipe development, test marketing and demonstrations.”

The College’s Paterson GlobalFoods Institute opened in 2013 and was supported with funding from the Paterson Foundation and Western Economic Diversification Canada to fill an innovation gap for food product development and service in Manitoba.

“Our government is pleased to support the applied research being conducted at Red River College,” says Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “The partnership between RRC and the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association demonstrates how locally-grown produce and grains can be transformed into healthy and delicious foods.”

Click here to see a gallery of photos from the event.