lupini beans


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!