Superfood fans go loopy over lupin seeds: Ancient legume which once fuelled Roman warriors are packed with protein… but watch out if you have a peanut allergy
- Lupins are the latest culinary trend as their seeds contain a lot of vital protein
- The ancient legume once fuelled Roman warriors and is still a bar snack in Italy
- Benefits of eating lupin seeds include weight loss and improving heart health
They are a quintessential feature of any English country garden.
But as well as brightening up a herbaceous border with delicate spears of pink, purple and blue, lupins are fast becoming the latest culinary trend – because their seeds are packed with protein.
The tiny edible beans are an ancient legume which once fuelled Roman warriors and are still served as a salted snack in the bars of Italy and Portugal.
Lupin plants (pictured) are becoming the latest culinary trend as their seeds are filled with protein
Now, promoted by Ocado and health food shops, they are growing in popularity as a ‘superfood’ to be sprinkled into salads and stir fries, thanks to mounting evidence of their nutritional value.
Dietician Harriet Smith said studies on the beans showed they may have ‘multiple health benefits, especially in those looking to improve their heart health, lose weight or optimise their gut health’.
‘Lupins are also a good source of a range of micronutrients including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron,’ she added.
The beige seeds are similar in shape to the broad bean and are said to contain double the fibre of soy and edamame beans.
They are also considered to have prebiotic qualities, which means they can help encourage the growth of ‘friendly’ bacteria in the gut.
The protein found in the seeds could help weight loss and also improve heart health
New York-based lupin brand Brami is set to launch in the UK in July. Founder Aaron Gatti described them as the ‘Italian answer to edamame’.
‘The Romans used lupini beans as portable protein for their warriors,’ he said.
‘Nutritionally they are off the chart.’
Those with a peanut allergy should be careful, however, as lupins come from the same plant family.
One foodie fan, Nick Pritchard from South London, said: ‘They are delicious. Goes well with a beer or aperitivo – close your eyes, pop a bean and imagine you’re in Capri. Properly transporting, perfect for lockdown living.’
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