Tag Archives: high fiber

lupin – what are you? YOU’RE BAD LIKE A PEANUT!

Lupin flourLiving here in France and shopping for gluten-free products, I have noticed something that I had never seen in the states: a warning for products containing lupin.  Given that if there is an allergenic warning for an ingredient I am probably allergic to it, I have avoided the mysterious ingredient haunting the various packaged gluten-free baguette flecking my organic neighborhood stores.

I decided to give it some research to see what exactly this coy “allergen” is, and here’s what I found:

Lupin allergies are strongly correlated with peanut allergies!

Good thing I haven’t tried it.


Lupin is a flowering plant in the legume family.  Its beans have been used for centuries, starting with the Romans.  Currently, they are common culinary ingredients in the cuisine of Portugal, Egypt, Greece, and Italy, and Brazil.  They are eaten as salted snacks, as well as in meal and pastry preparations.  Lupin is high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants, and low in starch and completely gluten-free.

salted lupin beans

Then why is there a warning label that products may contain lupin?

Evidently, if you have a peanut allergy, the risk of you having a lupin allergy is very common.  That’s why in 2006 the European Commission mandated that any food products containing lupin be labeled with a warning.

What’s more, the “Lupin Challenge” is using the reactivity of the legume to further research on allergies.

“Gaining knowledge on lupin’s specific molecular allergy will contribute to strategies to improve clinical trials, allergy diagnosis, and breeding allergenic-reduce lupin lines,” says Dr Jiménez-López. “And beyond this three-year project, the longer-term development and commercialisation of patented diagnosis kits and allergy vaccines, based on the results from this project, could also have important economic and social benefits.”

See project details here: Lupin Challenge

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Homemade Caramelized Honey Oat Bran Bars

oat bar with creamy seed butterIt’s almost like I just want to slide down the middle of this bar.  You know… imagine it.

Food can inspire strange behavior.  No food inspires even stranger, so let’s carry on now.

I find caramel made from honey to be a delightful little composition.  Especially if there is some form of sea salt added to it.  Perhaps a little oil.  Oh, lookey here, there’s both!  This recipe for a healthy and gluten-free granola bar has no refined sugar at all and is high in fiber (good for your arteries, yeah!).  A really nice natural energy boost by itself if you’re pragmatic, a healthy way to get that sweet fix after a meal if you’re a touch more hedonistic.  Like, a touch.

wrapped oat bars

Caramelized Honey Oat Bran Bar

-gluten, nut, soy, corn, egg-free.  Vegan with substitutions-

1/4 cup neutral oil

1/2 cup honey (or 1/3 cup agave nectar for vegan)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla (optional but good)

1 1/8 cup gluten-free oat bran (available at health food stores or online here, also known as “son d’avoine”)

Preparation time: 2 minutes

Cook time: about 4-5 minutes

Serves about 10-12 easily (makes a plaque of bars)

honey caramel1. Heat oil, honey, salt and optional vanilla in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  If you have a thermometer, insert it and bring mixture to 135 degrees F (270 degrees C) or until it bubbles like shown at left and starts to turn a little darker in color.  Immediately remove from heat.

oat bars2. Add oats to pot and stir with spatula until coated.  Let sit, stirring every 2 minutes, for 10 minutes to cook the oats to make them more digestible.

silpat granola3. Spread on a silicon baking sheet (or an oiled baking sheet or parchment paper) to desired thickness.  With spatula, or a dull knife, outline the shape you want to cut.  Let cool then cut and wrap individually to be all precious.

Since you cooked your sugar to a “soft-crack” phase, meaning it will be a harder caramel, let it cool to solidify a bit so it’s not just a gooey mess.  I’ve been storing my bars in the fridge, as it’s warmer out now, but you can store them room temperature if you want to keep them more taffy-like with the heat.  Ah, that sounds nice, too.

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