You’re in the canned legume aisle at the grocery store and you’re surprised to discover lupini beans. You’ve never heard of them before and yet! They are a great snack, much like edamame or peanuts. You can eat them as they are, and it’s ultra trendy in the Mediterranean in bars! But how do you cook them? Are they healthy? Find out more about lupini beans, those amazing yellow beans!
A little more about lupini beans
Well, as you saw in the legume aisle, lupini beans are yellow and have an oval shape. You’ll sometimes find it referred to as “lupini seeds”. Its texture is less floury and firmer than chickpeas and most other legumes.
If you buy it in a can or glass jar, it is recommended that you rinse them well before eating them to lower the amount of sodium (salt!). Indeed, lupini beans are often bathed in a brine solution, which is very rich in salt, to help preserve them.
Do you have to remove the membrane from the lupini beans before eating them?
You can eat lupini beans with or without the skin! Freshly cooked lupini beans that are not in brine can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Otherwise, in the refrigerator, the beans will keep for about 5 days.
Where do lupini beans grow?
Lupini seeds are a variety of legumes. Lupini beans are grown all over the world, but lupini plants like sandy, well-drained soil with an acidic to neutral pH. This is why they are grown mainly in Oceania and Europe.
The plant can grow at any altitude and is a perennial, which is why it is so popular!
Also, there are several varieties of this plant, with flowers of different colors: purple, yellow or red!
Did you know that...
the lupini is the emblematic plant of Texas, one of the largest states in the United States of America?
Where to buy dry lupini beans?
You can buy lupini seeds in different forms:
- Dried (in the dry legume aisle);
- Canned (in the canned pulse aisle at the grocery store);
- Pickled (near the canned olives aisle at the grocery store);
- Vacuum-sealed (in the international aisle);
- In flour (in the deli or organic grocery stores).
How do I cook lupini seeds?
If you decide to buy dried lupini seeds, you will need to soak them first before cooking them. Unlike regular legumes, which require a soaking time of about 12 hours, lupini seeds will need to soak longer, up to 24 hours!
After soaking, the lupini seeds will have a yellowish tint and an oval shape. After that, you will need to cook them for an hour in boiling water. Make sure the beans are always covered with water during cooking. Then drain them and rinse them with cold water.
The next step is another soaking step and this one will last 5 days. Yes, you read that right! Indeed, this step is very important because soaking is necessary to eliminate traces of alkaloids, toxic compounds that give a very bitter taste to lupini beans. To avoid these compounds, add 15 ml (1 tbsp) of salt per liter of water to a large bowl of cold water. Soak the lupini beans.
You should also change the water on average twice a day!
These preparation steps are tedious, so don’t hesitate to get them already cooked! All the preliminary work will have been done for you.
You can eat your lupini beans as an appetizer like nuts or olives, in tagines, pan-fried, as snacks or even to replace any legume in your favorite recipes. Some people use them to make burger patties. Yummy! Don’t hesitate to let your imagination run wild.
What are the benefits of lupini beans?
Lupini beans are an interesting source of plant-based protein. In fact, they provide an average of 25 g per 250 ml (1 cup) serving when cooked. They are also rich in dietary fiber. Much more than chickpeas and olives, which they replace very well.
In addition, lupini beans have a low glycemic index, which is a definite advantage for people with diabetes. Thanks to the high presence of dietary fiber, lupini beans can prevent cardiovascular diseases. Lupini beans also contain B-complex vitamins such as thiamine and folate.
If you are allergic to peanuts, you should know that lupini beans can trigger anaphylactic shock. The European Union even recognizes lupini beans as an allergen!
Also, you should never eat raw dried lupini beans because of the alkaloid content. It’s better this way, because you might also break a tooth!
So when asked if lupini beans are fattening, the answer is no! In fact, they are an excellent substitute for cocktail olives at cocktail hour.
All in all, lupini beans are an easy legume to incorporate into your favourite recipes and are an interesting source of protein and fiber. Since cooking them can be time consuming and complicated, you can buy them canned to simplify your life and get all their benefits!