In markets in countries around the Mediterranean, it is customary to see lupine together with nuts and candy. Children eat them as a snack, although they have no idea how nutritious they are. Lupine and the seeds of other similar plants belonging to the Lupinus are much appreciated as livestock feed.
- Scientific name: Lupinus albus L.
- Other names: [Andean] lupin, Lupino.
- French: Lupin.
- Spanish: Altramuz, lupino.
- German: Lupine.
- Description: Seeds of the lupine, a herbaceous plant of the botanical family Leguminosae. The fruit’s plant is a pod containing several yellow, smooth, flat, round, lupine seeds.
- Environment: These seeds are cultivated in Mediterranean countries and temperate areas of the American continent in sandy, infertile soils.
Lupine Health Benefits
These seeds are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, calcium, and iron. They are also rich in fats. The seeds should be considered a high-energy, nutritious food that supplies considerable calories. They digest quickly and must be chewed slowly. According to Schneider, they have anti-diabetic, diuretic, and vermifuge properties. They are beneficial to diabetics as a unique food that helps break the monotony of their diet and to the young and athletes because of their nutritional content.
Raw seeds contain lesser amounts of a bitter, toxic alkaloid that disappear when cooked or soaked for various hours. The varieties of lupine destined for human consumption have been improved genetically, leaving them with very little of this toxic alkaloid.
How to use and Prepare Lupine
- COOKED or soaked in salted water. This is the usual way of consumption. This way, they have a delightful taste.
- TOASTED AND GROUND – These are used to prepare a very aromatic infusion as a substitute for coffee.
- FLOUR – This is used in desserts and pastries because of its protein richness.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 303. Print.