When this week’s Foodie Friday guest said they wanted to do a recipe with lupin, I was so there. Not only is La Trobe University doing research into this new “supergrain”, I had to admit I haven’t really checked it out. I know! A new food and I’m slow on the uptake. Let’s explore all things lupin.
Yvonne is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited nutritionist who also holds a certificate in Basic French Patisserie from Le Cordon Bleu Paris and documents her love on her blog Baking & I. Yvonne is also the resident dietitian for one of Melbourne’s biggest fresh produce market and works in private practice and aged care. Having spent her early childhood in the coastal regions of northern China and experiencing paddock to plate, Yvonne sees food as more than fuel for the body rather it’s nature’s best medicine.
Have you come across the new craze on the market, lupins? Lupin products are hailed to be the next big super food with claims including stabilising blood sugar, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
So what are they exactly? Lupins belong to the legume family and are a crop with a bright yellow flower harvested for their seeds or “beans”. We are lucky to have lupins produced in Western Australia, which provides over 85% of the world’s supplies.
Lupins are rich in protein, 40% to be exact, making it one of the highest sources of plant protein available. They are gluten free and also have one of the highest sources of dietary fibre (37%). They are lower in carbohydrate compared to their wheat counterpart and naturally low GI, which can help improve insulin sensitivity and keep you feeling fuller for longer. These little beans are also packed full of nutrients and minerals, making them a convenient and healthy option for people with Coeliac disease and others following a gluten-free diet.
Lupin can be found in flour form, which is great for baking. I recently came across Lupin flakes at the Gluten Free Expo, which has opened up my gluten free culinary experiments. These flakes are so versatile and minimally processed which is a plus for me. You can the flakes as a breadcrumb in savoury cooking, to make dips as well as in desserts. Lupin products are not quite main stream at the moment, however some health food and Middle Eastern grocery stores (including Oasis Bakery in Melbourne) are starting to stock them. It won’t be long till everyone catches onto these wonderful beans. As for the flakes, Lupin Foods based in Western Australia currently do online shipping orders.
I put these lupin flakes to test and made a batch of gluten free asparagus fries- a healthy and nourishing alternative to potato fries baked to perfection.
1 cup lupin flakes
1/2 cup grated cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
½ kg of asparagus
1/2 cup of rice flour
2 egg, light beaten
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a large bowl combine grated cheese and lupin flakes, season with salt and pepper, set aside.
Cover asparagus in flour, dip into eggs then coat it in lupin mixture.
Place asparagus in a single layer onto a prepared baking tray and bake in the oven for 10-15minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
Enjoy as is or as side to a delicious dinner. It may also help get the kids into their vegetables!
Editor’s comment: Thanks Yvonne. So interesting. The La Trobe University Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition are currently in undertaking research into the health benefits of lupin, with the hope of increasing the commercial availability of lupin-based products. You can listen to a podcast discussing the research and potential health benefits of lupins lovelies. I’d love to know if you have tried?