Lupin Beans Making a Comeback
One bean, many benefits.
Lupin (or Lupini) beans, originated in the Middle East dating back before Ancient Rome. They are native to the Mediterranean region and were commonly used in ancient Egypt and Rome as a popular food source for animal feed as well as for human consumption.
During the Middle Ages, lupin beans were also used for their medicinal properties to treat conditions such as indigestion, skin disorders, kidney and bladder problems. Certain cultures believed lupins to have magical properties and used them to ward off evil spirits. In addition to their medicinal uses, the bean was also a substitute for wheat and other grains when food supplies were scarce. They were also used to make flour, which helped with the production of bread and other baked goods. This flour was commonly consumed in some European regions, particularly in the Mediterranean.
Fun fact: lupin is commonly eaten by the Egyptians as the main snack during the national Sham el-Nessim festival and is sold by street vendors as well as local markets.
Today, the versatile and natural ingredient is still used for their various health benefits and as a food source in some parts of the world.
Some key benefits include:
· Low in calories and high in protein, containing about 35 grams of protein per 100 grams of dry beans
· Full of magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron and many more vitamins and minerals
· They contain about 13 grams of fiber per 100 grams of dry beans
· Raw lupin beans are 10% water, 40% carbohydrates, 36% protein and 10% fat
· Help support the immune system, healthy bones and promote a healthy heart
All these benefits make them a popular ingredient in vegetarian and vegan diets as a meat substitute for lupin-based patties, meatballs and sausages in which we can produce. As a popular alternative, the beans can be ground into flour as an additive to wheat flour, enhancing the flavour of a meal. Traditionally, they’ve been eaten as a pickled snack, great for your appetizers and cheese boards. As of 2020, only 4% of lupins were consumed by humans, with the majority used as stock feed. Now, they are under the spotlight as food innovators (Country Cooked) are finding new ways to utilize its versatility such as a replacement for other legumes and grains. At Country Cooked, lupins are an obvious choice, the Research and Development team experiment with cooked products and processes to provide customers with high protein, innovative products.
Tip: if you are wanting to try lupin beans for yourself, remove the skin first and rinse methodically as the beans are high in alkaloids and are extremely bitter!