On occasions, when I am at home and doing a few non-essential tasks,(is there really such a thing?) I have the TV channelled to the Dr. Oz show. Now, I like to watch this from time to time as it is quick and simple bits and pieces of very general information that gets dished out, does not require a great amount of concentration.
So I watched DR. OZ and he said for low carb beans and good nutritional value LUPINI BEANS ARE EXCELLENT.
VIEWER BEWARE!!! This kind of advice does not come with a “how to” segment – NO! It is aimed at a quick dispensing of information to fill the time slot in television speak and to keep the ever declining attention span of its audience to a minimum.
OK so I went to the store – a Mediterranean store with an abundance of beans – a selection like no
other. Armed with my newfound knowledge of the great nutritional value (especially Lupini Beans according to Dr. OZ – anything low carb gets my attention) of beans I started to stock up.
Arrived home and very enthusiastically decided to combine 3 types of beans together – the Lupini Beans being part of the trio. I made quite a large amount as I was intending to make a few different dishes.
After soaking them for 24 hours, they boiled and boiled and boiled. I decided to have a quick taste of my handiwork and nearly gagged!
All the beans were now bitter and the black beans have stained all the other beans BLACK!!!
I am confronted with a pot full of BITTER BLACK BEANS!
Perplexed I looked at this and could not understand what was the cause of this. Needless to say I tried to rectify and re-wash, re-rinse, re-salt, de-salt, re-cook to no avail. Eventually I had to admit defeat and flushed it down the toilet. I HATE to waste anything, let alone food – I was not a happy chef.
So I decided to do a quick search on the internet – Of course this would have been helpful to do this research BEFORE I started cooking the beans – but alas I did not …….
I found a slew of results which had me screaming with laughter – and felt a lot better that I was not the only one who fell victim to the challenging LUPINI BEANS!
Some of the remarks/advice was to just toss it and buy it in a can. Others were a little more encouraging and offered advice on how best to make them edible. And some even offered recipes.
I was ready to toss it when the very last thread changed my mind to NOT tossing what was left of these darn beans.
My friend from England wrote this in response to my dilemma:
“Can’t you buy them ready to eat instead of all the faff? My gosh I have never heard of such rugged beans – imagine when humans first thought of eating them and who was the weird one who persisted until they tasted nice???” Which had me in another fit of laughter…
(This is the same friend who posed the question about the first person to discover eggs. “I wonder who was the first human to see something coming from a chicken’s ass and decided to eat it? OK, I digress, that is another story and another post~! LOL!)
So I decided I will try one more time and put it to the test and report. Lupini Beans apparently are very popular in Italy and is used for cooking purposes as well as a nutritious and tasty treat.
They’re an odd bean in a couple of ways. They have a very tough skin, not quite as tough as favas, but tough enough so that the classic way to eat them (after cooking) is to bite the skin’s tiny hole to make it a little bigger, then squeeze the bean directly into your mouth. (You can eat the skin if you like – yes You! Let me know – the one and only person in the universe – that is eating it with the skin!)
But the really odd thing is that they take days — or longer — to get ready to eat. What makes lupinis edible is repeated rinsing, or rinsing and soaking, or rinsing and soaking and cooking.
If you live in the suburbs, and have lots of room, you can leave them in a pot in the basement sink with a trickle of water running over them. Treated that way (or in the even more fun way of putting them in a pillowcase, and putting the pillowcase in a stream – that is if you have a stream in your back yard like everybody has of course), the bean’s bitterness is removed in a couple of days.
If you live in the city, you will need to change the water two or three times a day for five days to get them to the point where they are ready to cook; a few minutes of boiling every now and then seems to hasten the process, but not much. Basically it’s soak, rinse, repeat: Forever. (You’ll know when they’re ready when you bite into one and it tastes good instead of bad.) A very complicated conclusion! (I am going to write a paper on that!)
Then, you simmer them as you would any other legume, until tender. Eat them as a snack, sprinkled with salt, lots of pepper and, if you like, a little olive oil. Or as a side dish, with olive oil, parsley, and lemon, or a bit of pimento.
I followed this recipe compliments of NUTS ON LINE:
Lupini beans are dried and DO need to be cooked. Directions:
Pick over beans to remove any debris. Soak overnight, drain and rinse. Cover by several inches with fresh water and simmer for an hour.
Drain, rinse well, and cover with salted water (about 1 tablespoon per quart of water). Refrigerate.
Repeat this process every day for 5 days, or until the soaking brine is no longer bitter. (My beans took 7-days to get all the bitterness out and then I soaked it for an additional 3 days for good measure in salted water.)
Beans will keep for weeks, covered with lightly salted water and refrigerated.
- To serve as a snack, drain desired quantity of beans, drizzle with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
- We ate them just plain as a snack during happy hour – replaced chips (crisps) and peanuts
- And then on other occasions as compliments to a salad
- As a starter dish with garlic and lightly drizzled olive oil with fresh black pepper
- As a snack with Virgin olive oil and choice of vinegar makes for a delicious snack
However, the beans are to be eaten without the shell, and after its been soaked for so long the skin just pops off. Quite delicious.
My experience with the Lupini Beans have opened my eyes to endless great opportunities of delightful snacks in many forms.
I am off to stock up at my favorite store on more of the challenging Lupini Beans, but I am extremely happy to have won the challenge!