Cerveja e tremoços, beer and lupins

With  temperatures soaring high this summer, it's good to hear that beer, peanuts and lupins are good for health, provided they are consumed in moderate amounts and that you dont have an allergy.
With these temperatures, the preferred drink is always water but, though you might not know it, the best exceptions are not soft drinks, but beer and red wine, which surprisingly have some beneficial effects for cardiovascular health and can increase levels of good cholesterol. Beer and red wine apparently are the two alcoholic beverages with the highest health potential.... and lupini beans are the perfect snack when it is hot.
Beer has always occupied a very important place in my life, coming a close second to water and tea. I have never really been one for soft drinks, so if I feel like drinking something fresh, I drink beer (at breakfast is an exception but I have witnessed others partaking).It is usually accompanied by good conversation and a gathering of friends.For me beer represents relaxation. The light side of Portuguese life. It accompanies snails or prawns, lupini beans, peanuts or octopus and egg salads. It goes well with everything and everyone.
The first time I encountered these yellow beans in a local café with a beer, I did not know what they were. In the meantime I learned to appreciate these "Petiscos" (Portuguese for "tasty little bites") as a delicious snack, especially since I found out how healthy they are!
Lupini beans are the yellow legume seeds of Lupinus genus plants,belonging to the same plant family as peanuts, grow all over Europe and are a common snack food in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, and Egypt. The Lupini bean is a member of the pea-family. They are power-packed beans full of protein (almost as much as soy beans), fibre, and are low in oil and starch and because of that weight loss is commonly associated with eating Lupini beans. They are full of the amino acid arginine which also helps lower blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and trigs, and lowers blood sugar levels. Lupini beans also act as a pro-biotic. Be careful though, if you suffer from peanut allergy! In that case you should avoid eating Lupini beans.But how do you eat these Tremoços, as the Portuguese call them?
The outer skin is thick and not something you want to try and chew, although our guests often place the whole thing in the mouth just as we did the first time!
The thing to do is nip the corner of the skin with the teeth before squeezing the soft bean from inside, or pull a tiny corner off and squeeze the bean out with the fingers as we used to before being taught the correct way by a Portuguese friend. The bite and squeeze method certainly results in less of the tasty beans bouncing over the floor of the bar.
Here at casa rosada we enjoy placing a bowl of these tasty little yellow beans in front of guests who have not visited Portugal before.
 Available in tubs, jars and huge vacuum seal packets, these lupini beans have become part of our life since we moved to Portugal. In fact I think I may have to pop to the kitchen and restock the bowl next to me,that I have just demolished while writing this post.Woops ,I think it was meant for our guests upstairs in the garden.


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