Lupini beans are a nutritious and delicious snack option that is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the Keto, plant-based, and fitness communities.
In this post, we would like to share a super easy and delicious recipe for lupini beans in your granola for your keto diet. But before that, let's understand this unique bean and learn more about its origins, nutritional values, benefits, and preparation.
So if you want a super simple and healthy granola recipe for your low-carb diet and are curious about this healthy treat, you've come to the right place.
What in the world are lupini beans?!
The Lupini bean is an ancient legume that has been around for centuries and is loaded with nutrients as well as an abundance of health benefits.
Lupini beans are yellow legume seeds of the Lupinus plant and originate from the same food family as chickpeas and lentils. A staple snack in places like the Mediterranean and across the Middle East & Australia, these beans would have been eaten by everyone from peasants to Gladiators during the Roman Empire, who ate them frequently to sustain their strength and vigor.
Historical records show their seeds were even discovered in the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs and were written about with fascination within the Incan Empire. It's no wonder, either, since they are a nutritional powerhouse! For every 100g serving, lupini beans have around 40g of gut-healthy prebiotic fiber that not only helps your microbiome thrive but also aids in keeping you feeling full, leaving less opportunity for hunger and overeating on empty calories.
Lupini beans are also a great source of clean plant-based protein, are low on calories, and happen to be composed of all 9 essential amino acids, a rarity for plant-based foods. This makes them a complete protein and an incredible solution and alternative for those who happen to be on a Vegan or Vegetarian diet.
To put this in perspective, they surpass common foods such as chicken, pork, salmon, almonds, oats, and even eggs in their protein content.
The news gets better, however. Lupini beans are not only better for you, but they are also better for planet Earth. They are a regenerative crop that requires little to no pesticides to grow and actually enhance the soil around them, aiding in greater future crop yields.
You may be wondering how they do this. The farmers we work with directly enrich their soil naturally by planting a perennial that produces amazing flowers as colorful as the rainbow while attracting and feeding bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies!
Lupini plants are eco-friendly because they are a nitrogen fixing crop with deep taproots. That simply means they are a natural fertilizer for your plants! How? Well, they take nitrogen out of the air and add it to the soil with the help of symbiotic bacteria that live in nodules on their roots.
Their taproot stretches deep into the earth, allowing it to be drought-tolerant while also helping to break up compacted soil. As a bonus, when lupini plants die back, the taproot will breakdown slowly, increasing the organic content in your soil. This will help the soil retain more water, reducing the amount of water needed to help this plant grow. As a result, farmers keep their costs down while simultaneously saving the planet’s water! …Proof that not all super heroes wear capes!
Are lupini beans a superfood?
For something to be considered a "superfood," it has to be rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals essential for optimal health. It typically has more nutrients than most other foods and can help enhance the body's ability to stay healthy.
Lupini bean's nutrition
Lupini beans are a great source of protein, fiber, and different vitamins and minerals.
Lupins can be a great plant-based source of protein, perfect for vegan, vegetarian, and weight loss diets. They are also a good source of fiber, which can help promote regular bowel movements and lower cholesterol levels.
The beans are also good sources of B vitamins, such as folate, niacin, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins help support a healthy metabolism, energy production, nervous system function, red blood cell formation, and DNA synthesis.
They also contain minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc. These minerals give you strong bones and teeth. They also help promote proper muscle and nerve function, regulate fluid balance, metabolism and hormone production, and absorb other essential nutrients.
There's more! Lupini beans also contain essential nutrients like polyphenols, mainly flavonoids and phenolic acids. These antioxidants fight free radicals and decrease inflammation in our bodies.
So if you are wondering if lupini beans are a superfood, indeed they are! Toss it on your nut mix, granola, or salad to make a satisfying and healthy treat.
Are lupini beans Keto?
Lupini beans are a great plant-based protein source for vegans and vegetarians. But are they fit for those on a keto diet? The answer is yes! Although at first glance they seem moderately high in carbs, they are incredibly high in fiber.
These beans make a great addition to your ketogenic diet as you will subtract total fiber from total carbs per serving leaving you with a low net carb ratio. You can easily follow a recipe for lupini beans mixed in your salad or granola snack. This way, you can enjoy all the nutrients and health benefits of this superfood in your low-carb diet.
Benefits of lupini beans in granola
Now let's talk about the benefits of lupini beans.
Being a superfood, it offers plenty of health benefits, including aid in weight management, better digestion, a healthy heart, skin health, and more. Especially when you mix it with your granola, you'll reap many benefits.
1. Supports weight management
Compared to other legumes, lupini beans are low in calories and fats. This makes them a great option if you want to lose or maintain your weight with a low-calorie diet.
2. Promotes better digestion
Lupini beans are rich in fiber that helps sweep waste and toxins out of the gut, which can help prevent constipation and other digestive disorders.
3. Supports heart health
The fat content of lupini beans is minimal and mostly heart-friendly. The beans contain monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and Omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower bad cholesterol. By lowering your harmful cholesterol levels, you will also reduce your risk for stroke and heart disease.
4. Improves skin health
Lupini contains several nutrients that contribute to the well-being of your skin. These include protein, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, Vitamin C, Zinc, and high fiber content. All these nutrients work together to give your skin a healthier glow and help prevent wrinkles, inflammation, sagging, and other signs of unhealthy skin.
5. Improves gut health
The fiber in lupini beans is a good source of beneficial gut bacteria. This good bacteria can help improve your tummy health and support your immune system.
6. Helps regulate blood sugar
The high fiber content in lupini beans can also slow down the absorption of sugar in your gut. This can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent spikes in blood sugar after meals.
7. Provides protein and other essential nutrients for plant-based diets
People on a plant-based diet may have to deal with a lack of protein and possible deficiency in certain nutrients. With all 9 amino acids; lupini beans are a perfect superfood that can make a great ingredient or snack for vegans and vegetarians.
8. An excellent option for most restricted diets
Lupini beans can be a good option for most dietary restrictions. It is considered a healthy food that is low in calories and fat, high in protein and fiber, and a good source of various vitamins and minerals. Aside from plant-based diets, these beans are also gluten-free, making them great for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
For your low-carb or ketogenic diet, you need to consume these beans in moderation to avoid exceeding your daily carb limit. To help ensure you are consuming these beans in low quantities, find lupini bean products that you can mix with your salads, granolas, and other snacks.
Types of lupini beans for granola
Lupini beans are not typically a granola ingredient. But with its health benefits, there are lupini bean products that you can include to make your homemade granola even healthier.
- Lupini flakes
- Ground lupini beans
- Lupini bean flour
Lupini flakes are the shaved version of the lupini beans after they have been soaked, boiled, and dehydrated. These flakes are gluten-free and very versatile. You can use them in various ways, like topping for salads, soups, bread, and pizzas. You can also use them as an ingredient in granola and grain bowls, as well as in dips and spreads.
Lupini bean flour
The lupini bean flour is made from grinding cooked lupini beans. You can use it for baking, cooking, and preparing your granola mix. It is a gluten-free and high-protein alternative to other flour, great for those with gluten sensitivities.
Ready-to-cook ground lupini beans
This ready-to-cook, microwaveable lupini bean product can replace rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, and couscous. You can also add ground lupini beans to your granola for added health benefits.
How to prepare lupini beans for granola?
You can prepare lupini beans for granola depending on the type of product that you have and depending on your lupini bean granola recipe.
When using lupini flakes or ground lupini beans, simply add them just like any other granola ingredient, such as nuts and seeds. You can also use the lupini bean flour to substitute wheat flour as a binding agent or to create a more crumbly granola texture.
You can find various ready-made lupini bean products in specialty stores. However, if you want to create them from scratch, you can always do so. You just need to buy dried lupini beans, cook them, and grind them until you reach the desired consistency.
How to cook dried lupini beans
To prepare lupini beans from scratch, follow these steps:
- Soak 1 cup of dried lupini beans in water for at least 24 hours, changing the water every 8 hours.
- Drain the beans and rinse well.
- Repeat step 1 for 5 days.
- Transfer the beans to a large pot or bowl and cover them with fresh water.
- Bring them to a boil, then reduce the heat and let them simmer for 30-60 minutes or until they are tender.
- Drain the cooked beans and rinse them with cold water.
- Season the beans with salt and serve them as a snack or ingredient in salads, sandwiches, and other dishes.
Please note that lupini beans can be quite bitter if not adequately prepared. Soaking and boiling the beans before eating will help to reduce the levels of bitter alkaloids and make them more palatable. This is more of a traditional way of preparing them that has occurred in the same manner for centuries. Today, however, you are able to skip this whole process and buy ready to eat lupini beans in a jar from most local and specialty grocery stores.
Cooked Lupini bean storage
If you want to use your cooked lupini beans on a later day, be sure
to store them in an airtight container or zip-lock bag in the refrigerator or freezer. They will stay good for up to 1 week in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer. Ensure that you properly seal the container to prevent air and moisture from getting in and causing the beans to spoil. Completely cool the beans before freezing to avoid ice crystal formation.
When ready to use, thaw frozen beans in the refrigerator or at room temperature. You can also reheat the beans on the stovetop or microwave before serving.
Storing opened lupini beans in a can or jar
Once you open a can or jar of brined lupini beans, you can store the rest in an airtight container. Keep them refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Important note: Always make sure to check the beans for any signs of spoilage before consuming them. If you notice any odors, discoloration, or sliminess, discard them.
Don’t have time to do the above? No worries. Enjoy the ONLY granola made with ancient lupini flakes. It’s ready to eat.
How to eat lupini beans
Lupini beans are a versatile food you can enjoy in various ways. Here are a few different ways to eat lupini beans, including mixing them with your granola:
Eating whole lupini beans
For snacking, you can mix olives and other ingredients with lupini beans. You may eat the beans with or without skin. Since a lot of protein is on the skin, others don't mind eating it.
If you want to eat lupini beans without skin, break open the skin by biting the top white part of the bean. Then gently push the inside of the bean and pop it in your mouth, discarding the skin. That's it! While it may sound tedious to do while snacking, you will get the hang of it and surely enjoy this healthy and delicious snack.
Eating lupini beans like other legumes
You may also enjoy cooked lupini beans just like other beans. Toss them in salads, add them to a stew, and mix them into other dishes to enjoy this superfood.
Other fun lupini beans serving ideas
- Lupini bean spread, dip, and sauce. Mash cooked lupini beans with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and other ingredients to make a healthy sandwich spread, dip, or sauce.
- Lupini bean breading. Ground lupini beans or flakes also make great alternative bread crumbs for coating chicken or fish.
- Granola with lupini beans. For those following a ketogenic, vegan, vegetarian, high-protein, gluten-free, and other types of diet, you can add flaked lupini beans to your granola mix or grain bowl for your delicious daily dose of protein, fiber, and other nutrients.
Easy keto-friendly recipe for lupini bean granola
Now that we have learned a lot about this superfood, let's get on with the recipe.
This recipe for lupini bean granola is keto-friendly, healthy, and very delicious, that even kids will love! It is very quick and easy to prepare. You can get it done in 10 minutes!
- 1 Cup Double Chocolate Sea Salt Avinola
- 1/3 Cup nut/seed butter of choice (sunflower seed butter is used here
- 3 Tbsp Oat or Almond flour
- 1 Cup plain or vanilla yogurt (plain, nonfat greek yogurt is used here)
- 1/4 Cup nut/seed butter of choice
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- To make the crust, mix the Avinola and nut or seed butter until well combined. Break up any larger clusters of granola.
- Mix in oat flour and stir until you form a dough.
- Combine all the filling ingredients in a separate bowl until well-mixed.
- Press your crust mixture into a baking dish or loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
- Pour the filling on top.
- Put in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
- Slice into bars and enjoy!
- Store any leftovers in the freezer.
Lupini beans are a truly unique, delicious, and versatile superfood. These beans have been eaten for centuries but have recently gained popularity as a healthy snack alternative. With their high protein, significant fiber, and other nutritional content, lupini beans are a great addition to any diet, including keto diets.
Now that you know all about lupini beans and how to prepare them, why not try the keto granola recipe? We'd love to know what you think.
You may also check out other granola recipes here. These recipes are not only keto-friendly but also great for the whole family.