They’re on trend. They’re great for plant-based menuing. Rich in fiber and protein, colorful and full of appealing flavor and texture. That’s right… we’re talking about legumes—plants that bear fruit that grows in pods, including beans, lentils, peanuts and peas. These powerful foods are perfect for enlivening an incredible array of dishes, keeping patrons interested in your menu even as flavor preferences change and evolve. Bowl meals, for example, are ideal for showcasing legumes while helping to control ingredient costs—especially as takeout and delivery continues to be a crucial point of focus for operators.
Legume bowls inspired by global cuisines, such as Mediterranean and Middle Eastern hummus bowls, have wide-ranging appeal, too. Imaginative new uses for legumes—such as garbanzo bean waffles, tamarind vinaigrettes and soy/pea protein “scrambled eggs”—have emerged as chefs and food manufacturers look to enliven their offerings. And wonder ingredients like aquafaba—the liquid left over after cooking garbanzo beans—can serve as a sweet or savory substitute for egg whites and dairy in applications such as tzatziki, aioli, meringue and even cocktails.