2.28.2008

lupini beans

lupini


When I jump into the nightly dinner prep, I like to drink wine and snack. If there's a Cheeze It or a Goldfish Cracker nearby, it's gone and I can destroy my appetite. It's a bad habit. Something I like just as much for a quick snack is lupini beans. Odd comparison, but I love them. And, at 2/3 of a gram of fiber each, a nutritional snack too.

They are a pretty interesting food. Historically, they've been of a variety that has contained high concentrations of lupin alkaloids, e.g., sparteine (sorry, the link's a pdf) which is an oxytocic, can cause contraction of the uterus. Today, a different variety is common that contain much lower concentrations of lupin alkaloids.

However, when dry, they're still bitter. Really bitter. To make these beans good enough to snack on (popular beer snacks), they need to be hydrated. They can be purchased hydrated in brine, but they're a bit pricey. I scored a couple pounds of dry lupini at Carfagna's a month ago for about $3.30/lb ($4 a lb. delivered from Amazon). They can be soaked and hydrated - but it takes a long time. My first batch is finally done. I lost count of how many changes of water I've used. I took about 1/4 pound of them in a jar and covered them with water and about a tablespoon of salt. I dumped out this liquid and repeated the process every few days for about 2-3 weeks. Today, they are finally ready to eat. Yum. Better start hydrating another batch!

8 comments:

Andrew said...

Never heard of these before, but I do love me some beans, so their on my list!

Dave said...

Hey Andrew, These are tricky to find, but addictive when you start - and healthy. Next time, instead of hunting through 8 different places around Columbus, I'll just order online.

Next playgroup, I'll bring some along for you to try.

Carol Ann Littlepaul said...

Hello Andrew--I was searching for a supplier of dry goods in Boston, MA, area when I found UR blog. I am an Italian American & these lupini beans are very popular among us. Unfortunately, they R very expensive when U buy the Pastene version. I am trying 2 find a local dry goods supplier so that I can marrinate them myself in order 2 minimize the salt!!! Any suggestions???

Dave said...

Carol Ann, In Revere, the New Deal Market has lupini in huge jars cheap. To decrease the salt in the brine, just rinse them with water a few times.

Carol Ann Littlepaul said...

Hello Dave--Thanks for the Market in Revere. It just so happens I am going in that direction on Tues I will stop by & check it out. By the way, after I rinse the beans several times in water to remove as much of salt that I can, I add half cider or white vinegar & half water to jar. They really are much better that way--in my opinion. Tks again for info. CarolAnn

Anonymous said...

Hi, I live in Australia, and i love lupini beans, i first started earing them while living next to a portugese family in Sydney, after we moved i lost interest, but i just found a prepared jar in our supermarket, and i consumed the whole jar in an afternoon...Does anyone know if they are actually healthy? I had to rinse the water and put in fresh, but my portugese friends put some finely chopped garlic in the water, tastes devine, Lynne Lupini lover, from Aus.

Maria said...

These are awesome! I've grown up with them. I believe Whole Foods now have them in their bulk section. I purchase them on Arthur Ave in the Bronx at Teitel Bros. Does anyone have a serving size, calories, fat and fiber on these? I have only found nutritional info on the ones that are already prepared. Yes, the pricey ones. I paid $1.99 a lb. A dry cup of lupinis yielded me about 3 cups of cooked lupinis. Soaked overnight, boiled for 30 minutes It took two weeks to get them sweet. I changed he water twice a day. Used little salt.
Going back to make the rest of them. 2 more weeks! Can't wait!

Dave said...

Hey Maria, Thanks for visiting. I don't know how much, but using a brine speeds up the process. I just noticed on a recent batch. And, the salt wasn't overbearing in the final bean.