How to make plant-based milk from sweet lupin beans. It’s delicious and high in proteins!
Are you hearing about sweet lupin beans for the first time?
I definitely had no idea they were a thing until my husband bought a bag of them (following a recommendation from a fitness app).
It seems like lupin beans are quite nutritious and a great way to add more protein from vegetal sources to your diet.
However, I found it too time-consuming to cook our sweet lupin beans on a regular basis.
Germinating them is also tricky because they need so many days, sometimes they start smelling weird before they grow sprouts.
And on top of that, I didn’t find many recipes online for sweet lupin beans.
So, before I could use them up, our sweet lupin beans were reaching the “best before” date on the package…
That’s when I got the idea of making milk with them.
And while it was really time-intensive (as everything involving lupin beans, I guess), the result was very satisfying!
So, If you have sweet lupins at home and don’t really know how to use them up, or if you just want to try a new plant-based milk, keep reading to see how to make sweet lupin milk.
My guideline was this recipe from a German site; I just adjusted some of the steps so they worked better for me (my first attempt was a complete disaster; I burned the beans!).
I hope the tricks that allowed me to get the best results help you too!
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What are sweet lupin beans?
Sweet lupin (Lupinus angustifolius) is a legume that has a high protein and fiber content.
Lupin beans (or lupini) have been popular across Mediterranean countries, Latinamerica and the Middle East for centuries.
Now lupin beans are gaining worldwide popularity for its nutritional value: they are suitable for low-carb diets, they are high in protein and they are a great alternative to soy beans.
However, preparing regular lupin beans requires a lot of time so they don’t taste bitter.
And most importantly, regular lupini contain an alkaloid chemical (lupinine), that can be toxic to both humans and animals.
That’s why nowadays, the most common lupin bean variety is the “Sweet Lupin”, that contains much smaller amounts of lupinine than bitter lupin.
Other names for sweet lupin (L. Angustifolius) are “narrow leaf lupin”, “blue lupin” or “Australian sweet lupin”.
However, despite this name, you may also find sweet lupin grown in other places than Australia, like Germany or Poland.
Sweet lupin beans have a mild, nutty flavor and a texture that reminds me of cooked yellow soy beans.
Some ways you can have sweet lupin are:
- Cooked (so you can make soups or salads with them)
- Lupin flour as a keto and gluten-free alternative to wheat flour
- Making plant-based milk with it (which is what you’ll learn here today)
What is sweet lupin milk?
Sweet lupin milk is a plant-based milk made from a legume called sweet lupin.
You can make sweet lupin milk at home, by blending the cooked sweet lupin beans with water and then straining the mixture to remove solids.
I’ve read it’s also posible to make lupin milk from lupin flour instead of whole beans, but I haven’t tried it yet. So, in this post I’ll be showing you how to make milk from scratch, using beans.
Sweet lupin milk has a mild taste and a yellowish color.
Nutritionally, it’s high in proteins.
As any other kind of plant-based milk, sweet lupin milk is, strictly speaking, not milk in the way that cow’s milk is, because it’s not produced by a mammal.
That’s why in the European Union it’s not allowed to sell plant-based milk under the name of “milk” (producers have to label their vegan milk alternatives as “beverage” or something like that).
But you can use sweet lupin milk in a similar manner as you would use dairy milk: drinking it as it, adding it to other beverages or for cooking/baking.
Also, since it’s commonly accepted that any liquid that is used in a similar way to dairy milk is called “milk”, I will be referring to this beverage just as “milk” in this post.
My experience making sweet lupin milk
I was surprised at how MILD sweet lupin milk tastes: it might be the most mellow milk I’ve ever tried, specially when soaking the beans for several days before cooking them.
It doesn’t taste like soy milk (a plus if you don’t like soy milk) but the smell reminds me of something between cooked yellow soy beans and chickpeas.
Making sweet lupin milk needs a lot of time: 1-3 days soaking and 1-2 hours cooking.
Also, draining the liquid felt a little bit more difficult than when making vegan milk from raw ingredients (like almond milk).
But otherwise, it wasn’t much more difficult than making other types of milk alternative.
This is lupin milk’s weakest point.
Sweet lupin beans are not very common (at least in Europe) and they are more expensive than other ingredients to make vegan milk, like oat, almond or soy.
Also, it needs a long cooking time to make sweet lupin milk.
- Sweet lupin milk tastes good (in my opinion, better than soy milk), it’s protein-rich and healthy.
- It’s a great idea if you have allergies or intolerances to many other vegan milk ingredients (like almond or soy) and they are also gluten-free.
- The thing that surprised me most: the remaining pulp is DELICIOUS! (well, maybe not necessarily to eat it as is, but is serves as base for spectacular dips).
Other questions about sweet lupin milk
No, sweet lupin milk is lactose-free (as any other kind of plant-based milk).
For every cup of dry sweet lupin beans (exactly, 100 gr.) I usually get 350 ml. of sweet lupin milk (1.5 cup or 12 oz.) and 350 gr. bean pulp (that looks similar to blended chickpeas).
It’s a relative small amount of milk and quite a lot of pulp, but it doesn’t bother me because the remaining pulp comes in very handy for enriching any kind of dishes.
Yes! The froth that arises when using French press is finer and more foamy than if using a handheld frother.
But on the other side, small particles may land in between the mesh of the French press (making it difficult to clean it well), so lately I’m avoiding frothing plant-based milk with it.
You probably may use sweet lupin milk to make kefir, just as you can use many types of plant-based milk.
The problem when making kefir with most types of vegan milk is that the resulting kefir is usually too runny.
The only plan-based milk that gave me creamy kefir was soy milk (at least, some brands). The explanation is that high protein milk types make thicker kefir.
So, since sweet lupin bean is high in protein, my guess is that lupin milk would make creamy kefir (however, I haven’t tried it because in the time writing this, I don’t have active kefir grains; they are resting in the freezer).
How to make sweet lupin milk from whole beans
This is a quick summary: please check the recipe card at the end of the post for exact measurements and full recipe
What you’ll need
How to make sweet lupin milk
- Soak beans
Soak the beans in room temperature water for at least 24 hours.
It’s better if you let them soak more, up to 3 days.
Just be sure to change the water 1-2 times a day.
- Cook beans
After soaking, cover the beans with as much fresh water as you need so there are at least 2 inches of water above the beans.
Bring the water to a boil.
Allow the beans to cook slow (lid on at low heat) until they are tender.
It will take between 1 to 2 hours with a regular pot.
If you use a pressure cooker, you’ll need around 30 minutes in pressure cooker (and while I don’t have a crock pot, my mother says it will take 6-8 hours on low).
Whichever method you use, take into consideration that sweet lupin doesn’t cook as soft as some other beans.
Once cooked, discharge the cooking water (be careful not to burn yourself!) and blend the beans with fresh water for around 2 minutes.
Drain the mixture. Your sweet lupin milk is ready to enjoy!
- Use the remaining sweet bean pulp for dishes or dips. This is my favorite, and it’s super easy and super quick to make!
It definitely makes up for all the time you need to make the milk 😉
- Choose a pot that allows enough room for the water to cook without spilling on the stovetop.
Also, if using a regular pot, keep an eye so you can add more water if needed; the beans should always be covered by liquid while cooking.
- Just as when cooking soybeans, some foam may form on the top.
This foam comes from the saponins and proteins in the beans and it’s not harmful, so it’s also okay if you decide to let it be.
I personally prefer discharging the water with foam and then cook again with fresh water because I find the scum unpleasant to the eye. You may also skim the foam to avoid it from rising and spilling.
- Since making sweet lupin beans milk is so time-consuming, it might be more cost-effective to make milk using at least 200 gr. of beans (around 1 cup). However, in my pictures I’m making the half of the amount.
Sweet lupin milk recipe
- Pot (You may use regular pot or a pressure pot or slow cooker)
- Blender or food processor
- Nut milk bag or cheesecloth
- 1 Cup Sweet lupin beans (200 gr.)
- 4 Cups Water (plus more to soak and cook) (1 liter)
- Soak the sweet lupin beans in tap water for at least a day (better if 3 days – the longer you soak them, the milder the resulting milk).Change the water around every 12 hours.Make sure your container is big enough: these beans usually expand their weight by 2.5 times when soaking!
- Discharge the soaking water before cooking.Cook the beans until tender (however, take into consideration the sweet lupin doesn’t get as tender as regular beans).It will take around 1-2 hours in a regular pot (covered), 30 minutes with a pressure pot and 6-8 hours with a slow cooker.Make sure the beans are completely covered so the water is about 2 inches (5 cm) about the beans.
- Once cooked, discharge the water used for cooking.Blend with fresh water for around 1-2 minutes.
- Strain the mixture. You may use the remaining bean pulp for other recipes.
- While cooking, some foam might arise to the top. I prefer discharging this water; then I add fresh water and bring to a boil again, this time to cook the beans with low heat until they are tender.
However, you can skip this step.
- Consider using the remaining pulp after straining to make this delicious and healthy dip.
- I couldn’t find how many calories sweet lupin milk has, so I calculated it having roughly a third from cooked sweet lupin (I could be wrong).
I hope you enjoy sweet lupin milk as much as I do.
And if you make this recipe, don’t forget to make this hummus style dip with the remaining pulp!