What is Lupin Flour and is it Keto?

What is Lupin Flour and is it Keto?

Have you heard of lupin flour? 

Lupin flour is one of the most popular new flours among keto dieters. It’s made from lupin bean, a low-carb, high-protein legume related to the peanut. 

For years, lupin beans have been a popular snack in the Mediterranean, where they’re pickled and eaten whole. 

More recently, though, people have begun powdering lupin beans and using them as a keto-friendly flour. 

With 11g of dietary fiber and only 1g net carbs per 1/4 cup lupin flour, this low-carb baking alternative fits the macros of a low-carb diet. You can use it to make a variety lupin flour biscuits, pizza crusts, muffins, tortillas, and more. 

Here’s a closer look at lupin flour and how you can use it on a ketogenic diet. 

What is Lupin Flour?

Lupin flour is a one-ingredient low-carb flour made from ground up sweet lupin bean (also called lupina or lupini, depending on where in the world you are). 

Lupin flour checks a lot of the boxes for keto. It’s low-carb, gluten-free, non-gmo, high-protein, and has minimal starch, making it low glycemic index as well. 

Where Do Lupin Beans Come From?

Lupin beans are native to the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Latin America. They’re not actually beans — they’re seeds from the flowering lupine plant, a short plant with conical purple, blue, or yellow flowers. 

There are two main varieties of lupin bean: sweet lupin and bitter lupin. Bitter lupin is edible, but it’s high in toxic alkaloids, and you need to go through a long process of careful soaking and rinsing to get rid of its bitter taste. 

As a result, lupin flour is almost always made from sweet lupin beans. The same goes for most lupin bean snacks. 

Ingredients and Nutritional Value of Lupin Bean Flour

There’s just one ingredient in lupin flour: lupin beans. And when it comes to nutrition, lupin flour fares pretty well. 

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A 1/4 cup serving of lupin flour contains:

  • 75 calories
  • 2g fat
  • 1g net carbs
  • 11g fiber
  • 12g protein 

With high protein and fiber and virtually no carbs, lupin bean flour is a good choice for a keto diet. 

Lupin Flour Health Benefits

Lupin flour has a couple of different health benefits going for it. 

Good Source of Complete Protein

At nearly 50% protein by weight, lupin beans are an excellent protein source. They’re also a complete protein, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to survive[*] — a rarity for plant-based proteins.

A 1992 study found that lupin bean protein is highly bioavailable, too. Participants absorbed about 80% of the protein they ate, which is fairly good for a plant protein[*]. 

High in Fiber

Lupin flour is also high in fiber, which can be hard to come by on a ketogenic diet. 

Fiber is good for your digestive system and gut health. In addition, high-fiber diets may help with weight loss, possibly because they keep you full for a long time without adding any calories (your stomach enzymes can’t digest fiber)[*]. 

Nutrient-Dense

Lupin flour is high in B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, and phosphorous[*]. It makes for a nutritious flour substitute that can add nutrient density to your diet. 

Does Lupin Flour Contain Any Allergens?

Lupin beans are related to peanuts, and in some cases, people with peanut allergies experience cross-reactivity between the two. So if you have a peanut allergy, it’s a good idea to stay away from lupin flour. 

Lupin beans also contain lectins, phytic acid, trypsin inhibitors, and other anti-nutrients, and not all of them are deactivated during soaking and processing[*]. 

If you don’t do well with anti-nutrients or you have a sensitive stomach, you may not want to use lupin flour. 

What Does Lupin Flour Taste Like?

Lupin flour doesn’t taste like much of anything. It’s neutral and somewhat starchy. However, its texture is an excellent mimic of standard wheat flour, making it ideal for all kids of keto baked goods. It’s fluffy, airy, and far less dense than most other keto flours. 

That said, some people find that using 100% lupin flour in a recipe can cause a bitter aftertaste. If that’s your experience, you can mix it with almond flour or coconut flour, or you can add spices or keto sweeteners

How to Use Lupin Flour

With a quick Google search, you’ll find lupin flour recipes for everything from pancakes to pizza crust. Its superior texture makes it an attractive addition to virtually any keto baked good. 

You can use lupin flour to make:

  • Muffins
  • Cookies
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • Pizza crust
  • Biscuits
  • Tortillas
  • Pasta
  • And more

As a rule of thumb, you can replace half the almond flour or coconut flour with lupin flour in any given recipe. 

For example, if a recipe calls for a cup of almond flour, you’d use 1/2 cup lupin flour and 1/2 cup almond flour. 

Looking for inspiration? Check out our keto recipes archive for hundreds of delicious keto recipes. 

Final Thoughts: Is Lupin Flour Keto?

Lupin flour is keto. It’s also high in complete protein, dietary fiber, and a variety of micronutrients. It has an ideal texture for baking and a neutral flavor that makes it a versatile ingredient in many recipes. 

As long as you aren’t allergic to peanuts or sensitive to lectins, lupin flour can be a great addition to your keto diet. 

Just starting out with keto? Our beginner’s guide to the keto diet has everything you need to begin keto today. 

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