Lupins are one of those flowers that have been made famous from pictures. Perhaps you have seen images such as the one below – pictures like this one just make me want to grow lupins in my garden. I also get the itch to travel – I’ve never been to the Nordic Regions of Europe!
Lupin field in Iceland (click here for photo credit)
Lupins are a perennial flower that can easily be grown in our region. They are actively blooming in most gardens right now. Their stiff, hollow stems can range in height from one to five feet tall. They make a beautiful cut flower – so if you have some growing in your garden, bring them in. It is best to cut a lupin early in the morning or late in the day when temperatures are at their coolest. To maximize their vase life, a lupin should not be cut until at least 3/4 of its flowers are open. Lupins do not preform well in flower arrangements using floral foam because they have hollow stems and therefore require the direct water source of a vase.
My love of lupins is twofold. As a florist, I admire them for their bold beauty, but as a vegetarian, the seeds that they produce make them “by far” my most favourite legume of all! Perhaps you have enjoyed lupini beans (also known as butter beans)? They are a staple in my home. They are delicious! The buttery flavour, coupled with the crunchy texture is simply divine.
Incredible facts about lupini beans (via wikipedia):
- One of the highest sources of plant proteins available (40%), roughly 4 times higher than whole grain wheat;
- One of the highest sources of dietary fiber (36%);
- Easily digestible with high bio-availability of essential nutrients and minerals;
- Cholesterol free
- Convenient, healthy and do not require heat or chemical treatment;
- Are probiotic promoting the growth of good bacteria;
- Are very high sources of essential amino acids and;
- Gluten free and Non GM.
- Suppress appetite;
- Reduce the glycaemic load of carbohydrate based foods;
- Reduce blood pressure;
- Improve glucose metabolism (diabetes)
**WARNING: lupini beans must be commercially prepared because they are coated in a toxin. DO NOT try at home!!
Deb’s Butter-free Butter Bean Recipe
1 tin lupini beans (rinced and dried)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 whole garlic cloves
salt and pepper, to taste
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
Heat olive oil in frying pan on medium heat. Add all ingredients to pan. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the beans get all wrinkly and brown. Remove garlic cloves and rosemary springs and serve immediately.