Lupins: properties, calories, uses and contraindications

What are the properties of lupins and why these legumes should be introduced more in our diet. But how to cook them? And how to use them in the kitchen?

The lupines are ancient legumes known since the days of the Egyptians and Maya. They were already cultivated 4000 years ago in regions bordering the Mediterranean. Already the Greeks and Romans knew and appreciated the lupines.

For a long time lupins have been cultivated both for the improvement of the soil, given that they are rich in nitrogen, both for grazing and for human consumption. Now their rediscovery concerns above all the preparation of protein-rich food products suitable for vegetarians and vegans but also gluten-free foods.

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  • Lupine properties
  • Calories and nutritional values ​​of lupines
  • Uses and recipes of lupines
    • How to cook lupines
    • Recipes with lupines
  • Where to find lupines
  • Contraindications of lupines

Lupine properties

Just like other more well-known and widespread legumes , for example chickpeas and beans, lupins are legumes rich in proteins and are naturally gluten-free. They are considered an important source of vegetable proteins and due to their richness in fiber they are believed to contribute to preventing diseases affecting the intestine since they favor the purification of the organism and the elimination of toxins.

We can consider lupins as a food rich in nutritional properties that definitely needs to be rediscovered since lupins are not only a source of protein and fiber but also of vitamins and minerals , in particular magnesium, calcium and iron.

From the point of view of iron, it is interesting to know that consuming legumes in combination with sources of vitamin C, for example by seasoning them with lemon juice, promotes their absorption. We can consider lupins as vegetable sources of protein and iron suitable for everyone, even vegetarians and vegans, including those who must follow a gluten-free diet.

The protein content of lupins is comparable to that of soybeans , but also to that of meat and eggs, always taking into account that for lupins we speak of vegetable proteins and that the suggestion is to consume legumes and whole grains if not in the same meal at least on the same day so that our body has all the amino acids necessary to make proteins available – a good advice especially for those who are vegetarian or vegan.

Calories and nutritional values ​​of lupines

Lupins are valued above all for their high protein content . In fact, by consulting the nutritional values ​​of lupins we discover that these ancient legumes contain an almost equal content of proteins and carbohydrates, given that in 100 grams of lupins we find 40 grams of carbohydrates and 36 grams of protein.

Here are the nutritional values ​​corresponding to 100 grams of lupins:

  • Calories 371
  • Fat 10 g
  • Saturated fatty acids 1,2 g
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids 2.4 g
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids 3.9 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Sodium 15 mg
  • Potassium 1,013 mg
  • Carbohydrates 40 g
  • Dietary fiber 19 g
  • Protein 36 g
  • Vitamin A 0 IU
  • Vitamin C 4.8 mg
  • Vitamin B6 0.4 mg
  • Vitamin B12 0 µg
  • Magnesium 198 mg
  • Calcium 176 mg
  • Iron 4.4 mg

Uses and recipes of lupines

Lupins are mainly used as a side dish and to prepare legume meatballs and vegetable burgers . For these preparations it is very easy to use the pre-cooked lupins that we find on sale in grocery stores.

With these legumes, lupine flour is produced which is used in particular to prepare vegetable burgers, vegetable meatballs, pasta, bread, breadsticks, porridge, soups and velvety, crackers, batters and breadcrumbs, focaccias, savory pies.

You can use lupins especially as a side dish , as an ingredient for rustic soups, in soups and among aperitifs.

How to cook lupines

To delete a toxic substance present in the lupine, the lupinina , these legumes are cooked by boiling and then are put to soak in brine. Sailors in the past put lupins to soak directly in seawater. Modern agriculture has allowed us to have lupins available which contain lower quantities of lupine than ever before.

Dried lupins need a long soak in order to eliminate unwanted substances, therefore for the common use in the kitchen it is better to buy pre-cooked lupins, preserved in brine , ready and safe for consumption.

Recipes with lupines

Lupins and lupine flour are well suited as ingredients in the preparation of baked goods such as bread and focaccia, but also meatballs and vegetable burgers. Whole are also excellent in salads. Here are some of our lupine recipes:

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