Almond Meal was my one-and-only flour for low-carb baking, until recently. I was browsing the shelves at my local health food store and came across something I’d never seen before – Lupin Flour.
I assumed it was similar to soy flour and chick pea flour and used in savoury dishes rather than sweet things. I was intrigued, so I read the back of the packet and realised it was made from Australian Sweet Lupins.
The only thing I knew about Lupins at that stage, was that my mum used to grow flowering Russell Lupins in the garden, but I don’t think this was the edible variety. After some research, I discovered the variety of Sweet Lupins are actually ground to produce flour.
To my amazement, Lupin Flour is really low in carbohydrate at 12.5g per 100g! Regular wheat flour is 71g per 100g. It’s also high in protein and low in fat (please visit Lupin Foods for more info.)
Australia is the world’s largest producer of Sweet Lupins, with Aussie farmers producing about 1 million tonnes of the grain each year (much of it from Western Australia).
Unfortunately though, Lupin Flour is not readily available in supermarkets, you can only buy it from specialty stores such as health food stores and it is a bit pricey.
Apart from its great health benefits, Lupin Flour is great in low-carb baking. In the past I would only use almond meal in my bakes, which is a fantastic ingredient, but I started mixing my almond meal with a bit of Lupin Flour to keep the nut content down.
I’m a HUGE fan of nuts and believe they have many health benefits, but I wanted to ensure I wasn’t eating too much of a good thing as the recommended daily intake is 30g.
This can add up pretty quickly if you’re only baking with almond meal and snacking on other nuts throughout the day. For more information on daily nut intake, these two sites are really useful: Nutrition Australia and Nuts for Life.
I love baking with Lupin Flour and it’s now a staple in most of my baked treats. One thing I have to warn you about though, is not to get put-off by its smell.
The first time I used Lupin Flour for baking, was in a low-carb carrot cake. The minute I mixed the dry ingredients with the wet and started to mix it, I noticed an extremely intense legume smell. This was before I realised that Lupins were in fact a legume (so be careful if you have a peanut allergy. For more info visit allergies).
I nearly pulled the pin and threw out the mixture, but something possessed me to keep going. So reluctantly, I put the mixture into a baking tin and placed it in the oven feeling quite deflated. But to my surprise, the cake tasted amazing, I was over the moon! I’m glad I went through with the bake as I now use Lupin Flour as a staple for a lot of my cakes and biscuits.
When I first started baking with Lupin Flour, I wasn’t sure how much to use, so I started experimenting. For my first bake, I used a 50:50 Lupin to Almond Meal ratio, which is good, but it can be a bit dense and mud-cake-like depending on the type of cake.
I then tried a 50:75 Lupin to Almond Meal ratio (e.g. 50g Lupin Flour to 150g almond meal) and found this tends to work better as a go-to for most cakes and loaves as it’s slightly lighter in texture.
There is, of course, no one-size-fits all rule for baking with Lupin Flour, so just give it a go!
Look out or my next post later this month when I bring you a delicious recipe using Lupin Flour.