Lupine grits are obtained by coarsely grinding the seeds of the sweet lupine, a type of lupine cultivated to be less bitter and more suitable for human consumption.
Lupine grits have a granular consistency and has a sweet grainy taste thanks to the fact that they are obtained from coarsely grinding whole lupine seeds. Lupine grits are generally packaged after grinding without undergoing any further processing. One advantage that sweet lupine has over wild varieties and some other legumes such as soybeans is that sweet lupine products have no problematic ingredients that require heating. This is why lupine grits don’t have to be soaked and can be sprinkled directly on top of yogurt and muesli or used to prepare veggie burgers cereals, or even the preparation of roasts. Further applications include pre-cooking (approx. 10 minutes) and subsequent swelling, which leads to a kind of porridge. Alternatively, spreads or sauces can be created by swelling around 100 grams of meal in 250 ml of water and then further processing. Lupine grits are used to make a number of plant-based foods including veggie burgers and sausages. Lupine grits can also be cooked (approx. 10 minutes) to make a type of hot cereal. Alternatively, they can be used in spreads or sauces by soaking about 100 grams in 250 ml water and then using in the recipe of your choice. In certain recipes, lupine grits can be used to replace flour although lupine flour is then often the better choice.
Lupine contains all the essential amino acids and is an especially popular alternative source of protein among vegetarians and vegans. Lupine seeds also contain high levels of carotenoids, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Unlike many other legumes, lupine contains alkaline protein, which causes only very little uric acid to be produced. As a result, lupine is particularly well suited for people who need to eat a purine-low diet as a result of rheumatism or gout disease.
A risk of lupine allergy exists in patients allergic to peanuts. Indeed, most lupin reactions reported have been in people with peanut allergy. Because of the cross-allergenicity of peanut and lupin, the European Commission, as of 2006, has required that food labels indicate the presence of "lupin and products thereof" in food.1
From Wikipedia: Lupinus, commonly known as lupin or lupine (North America), is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, Fabaceae. The genus includes over 200 species, with centers of diversity in North and South America. Smaller centers occur in North Africa and the Mediterranean. Seeds of various species of lupins have been used as a food for over 3000 years around the Mediterranean and for as long as 6000 years in the Andean highland, but they have never been accorded the same status as soybeans, dry peas and other pulse crops. The pearl lupin of the Andean highlands of South America, Lupinus mutabilis, known locally as tarwi or chocho, was extensively cultivated, but no conscious genetic improvement other than to select for larger and water-permeable seeds seems to have been made. Users soaked the seed in running water to remove most of the bitter alkaloids and then cooked or toasted the seeds to make them edible, or else boiled and dried them to make kirku. Spanish domination led to a change in the eating habits of the indigenous peoples, and only recently has interest in using lupins as a food been renewed.2
Production and use:
Lupine seeds can be used in a variety of ways, such as pickled seeds (Lupini, Tremoços, and Altramuces) in the Mediterranean, a popular beer snack in restaurants, but they can also used to make Lopino, a tofu-like product. Lupine flour (which usually contains about 40% protein) and processed into lupine milk, which can be used as a part of vegetarian diets. Also, a coffee-like drink can be obtained from its roasted seeds (Altreier coffee). Dried lupine seeds are found under the name Tirmis available in stores." Due to the high protein content of the lupine seeds (more than 35%), many vegetarians and vegans use them as an alternative for soy. There are other reasons to use lupine seeds, such as avoiding of genetic soy sources, as well as ecological benefits, like the symbiosis of lupins with the nodule bacteria (rhizobia) are also benefits of this butterfly plant.2
By breeding lupine varieties with much lower amounts of bitter substances and toxins (called sweet lupine), it was possible to improve the use of lupine for human and animal consumption. The name sweet lupine does not indicate a sweet taste, as you might assume, but rather the lower amount of bitter substances it contains in contrast to the original varieties.
Soil requirements and green manuring:
Lupine is a plant that grows easily and thrives in both sandy and dry soil. It can be grown well in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, which means that there is no need to import it from other countries. The symbiosis of the plants with nodule bacteria causes nitrogen accumulation in the soil, which also promotes the "growing" of other plants. The strategic use of lupine in agriculture is also known as green manuring.
Sources / Literature:
- Federal Office for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs, www.blv.admin.ch/ blv/de/home/lebensmittel-und-ernaehrung/ernaehrung/ naehrstoffe/ naehrwertinformationen-und-kennzeichnung.html
- Wikipedia. Lupinus, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Lupinus