Lupini beans (also known as lupins) are becoming increasingly more popular. And with good reason. In addition to doubling the amount of protein compared to their legume relatives, lupini beans also provide a multitude of advantageous nutritional components.
What are Lupini Beans (Lupins)?
Legumes have long reigned as a superfood. In addition to lowering the risk of developing obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, or strokes, eating legumes every day can effectively treat these diseases in individuals who already possess them. You have probably heard of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, which are commonly found in falafel and hummus.
But what about lupini beans? As a member of the legume family, lupins are a staple in many Middle Eastern dishes. Originating from the Lupinus albus plant, they are often pickled and served as snacks, salad toppers, or as antipasti dishes in Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
Lupini Beans aka Chickpeas Hot Cousin
Lower in starch and fat than many legumes, lupins outscore their popular counterparts in dietary fiber and protein amongst others.
Comparatively, lupins pack 1.77x more protein, 1.55x more dietary fiber, 41.09x more potassium, 1.56x more copper, 34.17x more thiamin, 3.09x more calcium, 1.16x more iron, and 2.51x more magnesium per 100g than chickpeas. This begs the question, where have lupinis been all this time?
Lupini beans possess a high amino acid profile, similar to soy. While most legumes provide 15 grams of protein per cup, lupins have a grand total of 26 grams per cup. This constitutes them as a perfect meat substitute and offers a new form of plant-based protein. According to USDA, 1 cup of cooked lupins equates to 3 cups of cooked chicken breast.
Lupini beans are the perfect choice for low carb diets, including keto. Compared to other beans (garbanzo, black, kidney), lupins contain approximately one-third of the carbohydrates per 1 cup serving. In addition to losing weight, reducing carbohydrate intake can decrease risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.
Fiber comes from the indigestible parts of plants called cellulose. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Not to mention prebiotic fiber. Luckily all three are good for you.
Prebiotic fiber helps develop and maintain healthy gut bacteria.
Soluble fiber is the type primarily found in legumes. Soluble fiber slows absorption in the small intestine and binds up molecules having to do with cholesterol. Moreover, a low glycemic index result in lower blood sugars, less insulin is released after eating them, cleans out blood vessels, and lowers cholesterol levels.
Powerhouse of Nutrients
Lupini beans harness a plethora of vitamins and minerals that we could all use more of. All of which restore and build cells, tissues, and muscle in the human body.
- B vitamins: Looking for an energy boost? Lupins provide 111 kcal of energy per 100g serving.
- Phosphorus and calcium: both bone-strengthening components, helping prevent injuries and keep your internal organs safe.
- Manganese: essential for blood clotting
- Magnesium: aids in muscle contractions
- Iron: Aiding in growth and development, iron delivers oxygen to the body via the bloodstream. It also has many muscular and metabolic functions.
- Antioxidants: Reduces inflammation and boosts the immune system
In our current society, it seems as if everything has a meatless substitute, with good reason. A meatless diet can lower the risk of heart disease, cholesterol levels, as well as increase energy levels, and improve digestion and gut health. Registered dietitian Megan Wong notes that lupini beans are a great source of protein, especially for those who follow plant-based diets. Except for soybeans, lupini beans provide more protein than any other legume, making them the perfect substitute for vegan diets.
How to Cook Lupini Beans
Due to the abundance of bitter alkaloids, if prepared incorrectly lupins can emit high levels of toxicity and classify as poisonous. Nonetheless, do not worry. In stores, lupini beans are becoming increasingly accessible. Available in raw and dried bean form, you can also find them pressed into flour.
Prepping the Beans
According to little sunny kitchen, the preparation of lupini beans can make or break your dish. The length of which you soak is crucial. Soaking cuts the naturally bitter taste of the beans, meaning they will be sweeter.
- Soak in cold water – time will vary depending on the type of lupini beans (read the package to find out).
- Rinse the beans, transfer to a pot or pressure cooker and cover with the lid. If you’re using a pressure cooker, then pressure cook on high for 20 minutes. If you’re cooking them over the stove, then they will take about an hour.
Lupini Recipe – Turmus
Turmus is a simple, yet flavorful, middle eastern side dish commonly sold by street vendors.
Following the preparation steps, soak your beans and rinse thoroughly. Boil until tender enough to peel the skin. Finally, season with cumin, salt, and a gluttonous dose of lemon juice. Now enjoy this healthy and satisfying snack!
Keep reading for more healthy recipes!