Lupin flour contains high amount of protein and fibre. It’s also low in fat and gluten free. Perfect for low carb and keto diets and great for baking, cakes, soups and other recipes.
Today I wanted to look closely at lupin flour, because it’s quite unusual and not widely known. In my humble opinion, it’s a bit of a super power flour and I hope when you finish reading this blog post you’ll realise that too!
Ever since I started to bake bread over 23 years ago, I also started to experiment with different flours. I love the variety that’s out there and it’s wonderful how different flour gives you completely different flavour even if you use just the basic bread recipe.
What is lupin flour?
Lupin flour is made from beans produced by the lupin flower. Lupin grows in wild, but it can be also grown commercially. You might actually recognise the pointy flowers from your summer country walks!
The lupin flour is specifically made from a white lupin (Lupinus Albus), which is slightly bigger and less prettier than the colourful lupins you might see in your garden. It’s also called sweet lupin.
The lupin plant loves heat and dry weather, so it’s not a surprise you can naturally see it growing in hot countries, such as Latin America or Europe (Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal) or Africa (Egypt).
Lupin beans are pretty amazing as they contain high amount of protein and fiber. They are also low in fat and since they are classed as legumes, they are also gluten free.
Lupin flour is perfect for
- Keto diet
- Gluten diet
- Regular diet
- Low fat diet
- Vegan diet
- Vegetarian diet
This flour is not suitable for
Low FODMAP diet (Lupin flour is legume and in the same category as peas, beans etc, which makes it too high in sugar and needs to be avoided).
If you are allergic to soya or peanuts, you might also be allergic to lupin flour.
Nutritional value per 100 grams
Calories – 350
Fat – 8.18g
Carbs – 37.98g
Protein – 36.67g
This equals to 20% fat, 41% carbs, 39% protein, which is great ratio for a healthy alternative to a regular wheat flour.
Lupin flour uses
- Soups – as a flavour and thickening agent
- Meat dishes – as a flavour and thickening agent
- Sauces – as a thickening agent
- Biscuits and cookies
How to do you use lupin flour for baking?
Similarly to other speciality flours, it’s better to use lupin flour in a mix rather than on it’s own. The best way is to use about 10-50% of the overall flour weight and replace it with lupin flour. This means that you can use up to 1/2 of your total amount of flour and replace it with lupin flour.
The more lupin flour you add the more flavour and colour you’ll get, but also the recipe will have less gluten in. This is sometimes problem if you are making a regular yeasted bread and you need the gluten to hold your bread shape.
For my standard homemade bread recipe I use 500 grams of flour, so I would use about 400 grams of white strong bread flour and 100 grams of lupin flour. This gives me enough flavour and nutritional value from the lupin flour, but doesn’t change the recipe so much that I would need to adjust the other ingredients.
Recent research into the bread baking with lupin flour suggests, that adding anything more than 5% changes the bread structure in terms of rise and volume.
You can mix lupin flour with any type of flour, but it makes sense to use lupin flour in gluten-free baking (since it’s naturally gluten-free anyway).
Recipe ideas where you can use lupin flour as the main flour
If you have a recipes, that require very little flour, you can easily swap the amount for lupin flour. This includes recipes such as brownies, pancakes, flat breads, mug cakes or cookies. Here are few of my own recipes, which can be made with lupin flour.
Lupin flour does have quite a strong flavour (which some people find a bit bitter), so bear that in mind, when replacing all your flour with lupin flour. If you are not sure, replace only 50% of your total amount of the recipe flour for lupin flour.
RECIPES THAT CAN BE MADE WITH LUPIN FLOUR
How to grind your own lupin flour at home
Lupin beans are fairly easy to get hold of in a specialist shops or online. To grind your own flour, it’s best to use flour grinder to make sufficient amounts of flour.
You could also use coffee grinder on a very fine setting, but don’t be surprised if your flour taste of coffee! To prepare your lupin beans for grinding, you’d need to shell them first and then grind them. If you wanted to add extra flavour, you can also lightly roast the beans before grinding them.
If you don’t have a flour grinder or suitable coffee grinder, you can also use food blender, but your flour is probably not going to be very fine. You can still use it, knowing that your pancakes, bread or a cake will have a bit of texture to it.
Once you grind your lupin flour, put it through a fine sieve to get rid of any large parts of the lupin beans or coarse bits.
Store in an air tight container and use up within 3-6 months.
Where to buy lupin flour
Sourcing lupin flour could be a bit tricky. If you are lucky your local large health shop might store this flour, but if not, there are plenty of choices online. If you are in the USA, this brand is easily available online.
Alternatively, if it’s easier to have your delivery arranged within UK, this is my favourite lupin flour brand, but you can find other’s equally good.
You can also buy lupin flakes, which are similar to oats in texture and these are great for breakfast porridge or thickening soups.
Your questions answered
If you are allergic or sensitive to peanuts or soya beans, it’s possible that you can experience the same reaction to lupin flour. Lupin flour is made from White Lupin beans, which comes from the same plant family as peanuts and soya beans.
On its own lupin flour doesn’t have a particularly pleasant taste. It can taste a little bitter and earthy, which is why it’s best mixed with other flours or used in a recipe that naturally has small amount of flour (such as brownies recipe or pancakes).
Lupin flour is literally just finely milled white lupin beans and nothing else.
The great thing about lupin flour is that it is low in carbohydrate. This is great because it means that it’s low in glycaemic index and when you eat it it releases energy slowly over longer period of time.
Lupin flakes are slightly coarser than lupin flour, which makes them perfect for addition to your breakfast grits, porridge or oatmeal. You can replace the whole amount of oats with your lupin flakes or you can go 50% split between the lupin flakes and oats.
Lupin flakes are also great to add to biscuits, cookies or brownies. Similarly to oats they add texture and since they are naturally gluten-free they are also interchangeable with any types of oats in your recipes.
Another fabulous use of lupin flakes includes using them in savoury dishes, such as making meat loaf muffins, burgers and thickening hearty vegetable soups.
Yes, that can happen. Lupin flour is high in fibre, which makes it to absorb water quite a lot. You’ll find that when you replace regular flour in a recipe with lupin flour, you’ll need to add a bit more of milk or water than the recipe states.
If you are adapting gluten-free recipe, you might be O.K as other gluten-free flours (and the xanthan gum) need more liquid too and the recipe is usually adapted to that. Adding more liquid to your cakes prevent them from going dry.
If in doubt, add all ingredients and then if the batter or a cake mix feels too thick add a table spoon at the time of liquid (milk, water, egg or whatever is in the recipe originally).
No, it shouldn’t be, but please check with your doctor, just in case. Lupin flour is made from lupin beans, which are legumes (like beans or soya beans). They are not in any way related to tree nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts or other nuts.
However, lupin flower is related to peanuts, which also grow under ground). This means that if you are sensitive or allergic to peanuts, you could have the same allergic reaction to lupin flour.
Lupin flour is slightly yellow and when you use it on it’s own, it will make your cake or pancakes slightly yellow too. That’s nothing to worry about, just something to be aware of. This very similar to a cornflour, which also makes your bakes slightly yellow.
Lupin flour can usually replace almond or coconut flour as they have a similar nutritional value.
Lupin flour is naturally gluten-free, which does make it slightly crumbly and like other gluten free flours needs to be used with some form of gluten replacement binder.
From experience, I find that bakes like a simple mug pudding cakes or brownies are fine without any gluten binder, but bread, large cakes or even tortilla wraps and bread does need the xanham gum or other gluten replacement to hold the shape, stop crumbling and not to fall apart.