But lupin has never really broken on through to the major leagues. So what gives? It turns out that like so many other legumes – here’s looking at you, beans – lupin can take quite a long time to properly prepare. The seeds are usually low-boiled into submission over the course of several hours before humans ever pop a handful into their mouths. Livestock, on the other hand, with their ability to digest the plant raw, still account for the majority of lupin consumption in the world. It’s not hard to see why our grab-and-go culture hadn’t yet heavily invested in the plant.
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But a new lupin technological breakthrough is finally paving the way for a cultural invasion as well. Enter, lupin flakes. By first dehulling the whole seeds, and then splitting and milling them, lupin can be ground down into flakes or a coarse flour, akin to cornmeal. These lupin flakes are far more versatile than their whole form, and can be added to other flours, grains, granolas and salads. You can even fry chicken or fish in a thick coating of them. Revolupin Flakes chief scientist Sofi Sipsa tells The Telegraph, “It’s best to eat a little every day. The simplest way is by adding a tablespoon to your porridge. This will increase your protein and fibre intake while lowering your glycemic load in the morning.”
Glycemic load, you say? That’s right. Replacing even just a small amount of wheat flour with lupin flakes has been shown to lower blood pressure and insulin sensitivity. And because lupin is higher in protein and fiber than it is in carbohydrates, lupin-enriched foods can also help assist with weight loss.
Nutritionists say to move slowly when adding lupin to your diet. The rich, fibrous legume can be a shock to the system at first, causing bloating and gas if you eat too much of it. And finally, there’s something that allergy-sensitive people should take note of: even though lupin is a legume, it can trigger allergic reactions among those with nut allergies –which really shouldn’t be so surprising, considering that peanuts too are actually legumes.