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‘New’ Outstanding Member Of Keto Ingredients Family: The Lupin Flour

A huge challenge when going on keto is giving up traditional wheat-based or grain-based flours found in most traditional desserts. With most likelihood, you’ve never heard of the ‘new’ outstanding member of the family of low-carb ingredients before: The lupin flour (also called lupine or lupini) has earned a well-deserved spot in the keto world and many keto recipes.

In 2018, “keto” was the most googled food-related search query in the world. Way before the topic becoming so popular, since nearly a full decade, Chef Janine at COMFORT KETO has been looking for flours that fit into the macronutrient specifications of the ketogenic diet and are palatable substitutes for the usual wheat-based high-carb options The recent new keto ingredient introduction, the lupin flour definitely hits one of the top spots. Lupin flour is loaded with all sorts of nutrients, gluten-free, non-GMO, high in protein, high in fiber, and contains minimal starch (very low in carbs).

Common uses of lupin flour in the recent years are keto pizza crust, keto waffles, pancakes, keto noodles, keto biscuits, sandwich breads, gluten-free cookies, keto tortilla chips. However, like any other keto flour alternatives, it takes some serious baking experience with lupin flour to really nail it!

So far, Chef Janine has used lupin flour in a few recipes. These creations which she introduced recently came out quite good. The feedback from our customers were very good. In the near future, lupin flour will appear in Chef Janine's recipes more often.

For the fall and winter season, and especially for the holiday season, Chef Janine is considering to introduce a variety of gluten-free and grain-free COMFORT KETO recipes. So, please stay tuned!

Here is a quick a rundown about key properties of lupin flour:

What is lupin flour? Where does it come from?

  • Lupin flour is made from the lupin beans, mostly mustard-colored legumes which are closely related to peanuts and soy beans.

  • They’re native to the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Latin America.

  • Lupin beans have been a culinary staple throughout the coastal regions of Mediterranean North Africa for ages.

  • There are several species of lupin beans—Lupinus mutabilis, Lupinus albus (white lupin), and Lupinus hirsutus.

  • In the Mediterranean regions, primarily Lupinus albus (white lupin) is consumed—typically as a snack pickled in brine.

  • The Mediterranean Lupinus albus (white lupin) has the most benefits and the sweetest (has a very little bitter aftertaste). This one milled from the sweet white lupin bean is Chef Janine's choice for the COMFORT KETO meals.

  • Before consumption, lupin beans must be soaked for several days in order to remove all plant based toxins—high levels of alkaloids. If you aren’t familiar with soaking and cooking processes of lupin beans, opt to buy/use lupin flour only.

Is lupin flour KETO? How to consume lupin flour?

  • Being low-carb, gluten free and starch free, lupin flour has earned a well-deserved spot in the keto world and many keto recipes. Lupin flour fits perfectly into a low-carb or keto diet—unless you follow a very strict legume-free keto plan. However, like anything else, it’s all about the quantity you eat.

  • Lupin flour offers a potent flavor and creaminess. It tastes neutral and somewhat starchy. To combat any light bitter aftertaste, lupin flour is recommended to be masterfully paired with other keto ingredients such as xanthan gum, arrowroot powder, keto flours, seasonings or sweetener and other chef secrets which we don't choose to share here.

  • For a mildly sweet and nutty flavor, lupin flour can also be mixed with nut flours.

  • Lupin flour has a finer, fluffier, airier, and less dense texture than all other keto flours.

  • Unlike their close relatives peanuts and soy beans, lupin beans don't pose risk of food allergy/sensitivity. However, some people with "peanut allergies" may find that they have less tolerance for lupin beans than others.

Nutritional properties of lupin flour?

  • Lupin flour is a superior fiber source, unless you follow a very strict legume-free keto plan or you are intentionally cutting out plants from your diet (to avoid anti-nutrients and address some digestive issues).

  • Unlike their close relatives peanuts and soy beans, lupin beans are not inflammatory.

  • Lupin flour is low in anti-nutrients like trypsin inhibitors and saponins compared to other legumes (soybeans, chickpeas, peanuts, etc.). Anti-nutrients are plant compounds that limit your body’s ability to absorb important nutrients from food.

  • Lupin beans don't have hormonal effects.

  • Lupin beans are almost completely devoid of starch.

  • Lupin beans are gluten-free.

  • Lupin beans have an acceptable amino acid profile.

  • Lupin beans have low glycemic index score (that means lupin flour raises blood sugar levels relatively slow).

  • Lupin beans contain B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc.

  • Lupin beans contain about 40% protein and 30% dietary fiber with negligible amounts of carbohydrates, making it a great choice for people on keto.

  • Besides curbing hunger, lupin flour has a unique nutritional profile.

¼ cup of lupin flour has:

  • 74 calories

  • 2g fat

  • 12g protein

  • 11g dietary fiber

  • 12g total carbs

  • 1g of net carbs

We would like to make one important remark here: Providing 12 grams of protein per serving (¼ cup), lupin flour is rich in protein. That's true, and it is also true that they are low in anti-nutrients, yet these are all plant based proteins. As such they are not bio-available to humans, since only a small fraction can be converted into animal protein, thus is a very inefficient way of receiving much needed proteins through proper diet. Animal proteins are readily bio available to humans. This undeniable fact strangely escapes vast majority of the people. May be the nutritionists don't want this information to come out to open.

Benefits of lupin flour

  • Lupin beans and lupin flour have more than just positive benefits towards metabolic and cardiovascular health.

  • Lupin flour is a rich source of dietary fiber (41.5%), of which 30% is insoluble dietary fiber.

  • Lupin flour is a great pre-biotic. It's fibers may increase microbiome richness and diversity, expand the population of bacteria in your gut, thus improve intestinal and bowel function, and promote a healthy digestive system.

  • Perhaps one of the most interesting health benefits of lupin flour is its positive effect on metabolic activity.

  • Lupin flour is a good source of minerals, especially calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Lupin flour is also rich in niacin (vitamin B3), manganese, copper, folic acid (vitamin B9), zinc, and thiamine (vitamin B1). These are vitamins and minerals which help with important functions, such as energy production, fat metabolism, cell maintenance and repair, hormone production, and immune function.

  • Lupin flour contains amounts of beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, lecithin, and tocopherols (vitamin E) which are antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemicals that help combat and prevent oxidative stress that is caused by free radicals.

  • Lupin flour contains essential amino acids which are protein molecules that your body alone can’t produce.

  • Lupin flour may help to fight against inflammation, assisting with diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

  • Studies show that lupin beans lower blood glucose in hyperglycemic rats and increase glucose consumption, thereby act as a potent agent for glycemic control. Clearly, it seems like consuming products made with lupin flour may benefit people who have (or are at risk for) diabetes.

  • Studies show that lupin proteins have hypolipidaemic and anti-atherosclerotic effects in a rabbit model.

  • Studies show that lupin proteins increase LDL receptor activity in HepG2 cells (liver cells).

  • Human studies show that lupin protein incorporated into different foods may help to decrease total LDL and HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and uric acid levels in people who struggle with high cholesterol.

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Think about giving lupin flour a try the next time you find yourself in the mood to bake!

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