The Lovely – and Potentially Lethal – Lupini Bean

17 Dec

The Lovely – and Potentially Lethal – Lupini Bean

If you’re looking for a legume to enlighten your life – check out Lupini Beans.

Lupini beans – also called lupin – were prolific in the ancient Roman diets and in the countries of the Mediterranean region. Today, because of the labor intense process required to soak and detoxify the bitter beans, lupini beans are commonly – and conveniently – sold brined and in a jar.

Like all legumes, lupini beans are a good source of dietary fiber and protein. One cup of cooked lupini beans provides 200 calories, 5 grams of fiber and a whopping 26 grams of protein.

While most people prefer to pop the beans out of their skin before eating, it is possible to eat the skin along with the meat. Lupini beans have been used as a nontraditional treatment for arthritis pain – and in one instance have been shown to be the cause of a phytobezoar.

Although lupin is not required to be listed as a potentially allergenic agent in the US, some individuals who are allergic to peanuts may also be allergic to lupin.

Lupin flour is increasingly being added to other flours to enhance nutritional quality, but it poses an allergenic threat for some, and requires special handling to reduce toxic side effects for all. To learn more about the proper preparation of lupini beans, click here.

20 Responses to “The Lovely – and Potentially Lethal – Lupini Bean”

  1. Rhonda Slaton August 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    Would like to know where I can buy Lupine Beans. Thank you

    • Katie Ferraro August 5, 2013 at 1:49 am #

      I buy lupini beans at a local Italian market. They’re bottled in brine and imported from Italy – surprisingly not that expensive though!

    • Samir September 1, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      You can buy Lupini beans in any Middle Eastern supermrkets where Lupini beans are much consumed as snacks.

      • Samir September 1, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

        If you buy Lupini beans from Middle Eastern supermarket, just mention their name in Arabic (Turmus) and all the guys there will know what you are looking for.

    • Ray Page April 21, 2015 at 8:29 am #

      You can buy at any Italian store!

  2. fred September 23, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    You don’t need to cook them! Remember that! Only in some southern Italy places they are cooked.

    The article doesn’t seem to put enough emphasys on the fact that they are a delicious snack as is, raw, and offer a great amount of protein!, so they are exceptional for vegans and vegetarians, or if you just want to reduce your meat intake!
    But apart from that, they do really taste good! And will give you a feeling of being energized and full, while still feeling light :)

  3. fred September 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Well as I found this on the web [] and altough in my life I haven’t heard a single case of this, I don’t want to take the risk of telling you the wrong thing.

    For sure I can tell you that in Italy it’s a everyday thing to eat them raw, but don’t know about other countries who might have a much more open policy on use of pesticides or OGM seeds.

    So yea, I think that if you buy them at an Italian store they are ok to be eaten raw, but always check label on product to see what it says about that! Cheers :)

  4. June Bond October 11, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Soaking lupini beans as we speak to make a Lupini (potato) salad with them. Soaked them all night and they swell up nice. They are in place of the potato for the salad. Still waiting for them to puff up more and get a little softer. I don’t eat potatoes and looking for the fiber and high protein.

    4 C lupini beans
    2 celery sticks
    2 T parsley
    1/3 C red onion
    2 hard boiled eggs

    1/2 C Silken Tofu
    2 T cider vinegar
    dash of Kosher Salt and black pepper

    • Ken January 1, 2015 at 10:57 am #

      If you don’t soak them seven to ten days they may be bitter. From dried, I soak them overnight, then boil them for 1/2 hour , then soak them for 7 to 10 days.

      • Katie Ferraro January 8, 2015 at 6:12 am #

        Good tip Ken – I’ve only purchased lupini already processed and canned, just to be on the safe side since I always seem to mess up dried beans!

  5. Linda October 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    I bought a 24 fl. oz. jar of lupini beans from a Middle Eastern market (Bella Market) in Chico, California. What a find! This is my first experience eating these delicious little packages of goodness. I was pleased to learn about their nutrition value and intend to search out more ways to include the legumes into my family’s diet. The brand I bought is Ziyad, and I will go to for more recipes.

  6. Jean January 8, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

    I used lupini beans in soup cooked for 3 hours. They were bought at a health food shop and were raw. They were hard and awful. My husband was sick for 3 days from poisioning I believe. I was most concerned that there was no label advising about soaking them. Never again!

    • Fred April 20, 2015 at 7:04 am #

      Jean -

      Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience.
      Lupini beans should really be sold with a warning.
      When people say they “eat them raw” they are referring to the ones that come in a brine.
      It is very rare to find them as dry beans, and it’s very laborious to get the bitterness out. I did it once and it took about 2 weeks.
      Here’s a good article on preparation:

  7. frank arena sr. March 9, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    I love lupine beans good fiber

  8. Gloria April 27, 2015 at 9:50 am #

    I find them in any major supermarket in MA. I never knew they were so high in protein. Good to know. The only thing I do because I find the brine salty, don’t like a lot of salt anyway. I rinse them in cold water 3 or four times, then fill the jar with fresh water add a little lemon juice.

  9. JH May 25, 2015 at 3:23 am #

    Lupini beans also come dry and non bitter. This type was developed by Middle Eastern farmers who modified the seed. This one is much easier to prepare and does not need to be boiled. Just soak overnight and let sit in cold water for two days. But make sure to change the water every 8 hours. Ethnic Italian and Middle Eastern stores carry them in brine, but Middle Eastern stores also offer them in dry supply.

  10. terry September 8, 2015 at 8:47 am #

    You can also order them from Amazon, they have them in jars ready to eat or dry in bags

    • Frank November 13, 2015 at 11:04 am #

      They are sold at Claro’s Italian Markets. You can buy them in a jar ready to eat . If you purchase dry lupini beans soak them for three days. You will notice them turn yellow, sample them after three days. I add a little salt and fresh water daily.

  11. Ronald September 23, 2015 at 8:09 am #

    If you like potato salad try using lupini beans instead of potatoes using same recipe!

  12. Noela October 26, 2015 at 8:59 pm #

    Lupini beans are poisonous if not soaked for lengthy periods and cooked properly. I poisoned my husband by just adding a handful to a pot of soup and cooking for several hours. He was very ill. I researched them, and they used to be soaked for 2 weeks in streams in roman times.

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