Tigernuts: The Newest Superfood Everyone is Excited About
Tigernuts — not actually nuts! — are an incredible allergen-free superfood with many implications.
Tiger nuts have been emerging into the superfood spotlight recently as more and more people incorporate this super roots into their lives.
Some of us have already heard of tiger nuts, and some of you might be thinking what on earth are tiger nuts? The quirky name suggests a food and perhaps something fun to be curious about.
The scientific name for tiger nuts is Cyperus Esculentus, and also known as Nut Grass, Earth Almond, Tiger nut sedge, Yello Nutsedge, in Germany it’s known as Tigernuss and France as noix tigre or souchet.
Not actually a nut…
The first thing to understand about tiger nuts is that they are not a nut at all! Tigernuts are actually a plant; a vegetable root in fact. They grow across much of the world and it is native to most of the Western Hemisphere as well as southern Europe, Africa, Madagascar, the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent. They are also cultivated in Spain and you may have heard of a popular drink Horchata that uses tiger nuts. See my recipe below.
Tiger nuts grow as a plant, with a leafy top. Tigernuts can be found wild, as a weed, or a crop. When you pull it out of the ground at cultivation you would find a small round potato looking nugget. Think similar to how onions and garlic grow. Then the bulbs are dried and become shriveled hard nut type things. From the tiger nut plant you can also extract tiger nut oil and tiger nut flour. The nuts can be blended with water and be made into sweet starchy milk. The nuts themselves are dry and slightly sweet. Tigernuts may have gotten that name from the rugged appearance.
History of tiger nuts
There is evidence for its cultivation in Egypt. In BC times tubers were consumed either boiled in beer, roasted, or as sweets made of the ground tubers with honey. The tubers are also believed to have been a source of food for those Paleo-Indians. The tubers were also used medicinally, taken orally, as an ointment, or as an enema, and used in fumigants to sweeten the smell or homes or clothing.
I was first introduced to these ancient superfoods in 2014. I was visiting my friend who owns an organic juice and smoothie bar in Massapequa, Long Island, New York. He showed me the tiger nuts website, and the more I learned the more I knew how blessed we are to have this ancient superfood here in our lives to help solve our health problems and excessive consumption. I got goose bumps through my entire body and I knew right away that this incredible vegetable root that grows effortlessly like a weed, is not only practicing sustainably farming, but also extremely helpful to the human body as well, because of it’s nutrient density.
Live Science report a study where they focused on year-old baboons there eat large quantities of C4 plants known as tigernuts, which are actually grass bulbs also eaten by people. These contain sufficiently high amounts of minerals, vitamins and fatty acids especially important for the hominin brain.
Tiger nuts have helped people with:
· Dairy milk alternative
· Emotional eating
· Digestive Health and healing
· Weight Loss
· Suppressing sugar cravings
· Candy replacement
· Digestive tract cleansing
· Stomach and esophagus clean out
· Ovary health
· Testicle health
· Breast health
· Activating blood circulation
Indulging more in tiger nuts will also help alleviate the stress put on the almond and coconut demand. For a healthy whole-rounded life we must keep everything in harmony and balance with our bodies, and with the earth. Tiger nuts can produce up to 2420 seeds per plant. One plant can produce several hundred to several thousand tubers during a single growing season.
Tiger nuts have an appearance as an invasive food. We have food in our backyard that is often overlooked. It really is time that we be fulfilled with what earth provides us naturally, foods that grow so well on their own are often best for earth and for our bodies. Our lives are busy enough as is, we don’t need our food to be as well! I love the simplicity of Tiger nuts and know you will too.
How to Eat Tigernuts
Tiger nuts are edible tubers and you can eat them raw (uncooked) as a snack. You can also eat them roasted, dried, baked or as tiger nut milk or oil. It makes a delicious refreshing and sweet milk-like beverage. I love to add cacao to the tiger nut milk and make Chocolate Shakes, Strawberry Shakes and Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies. Also makes an excellent base for plant based (vegan) ice creams.
If you are wanting a dairy free and nut free alternative milk then tiger nuts are ideal – especially people who are intolerant to lactose.
Tiger nut oil is similar to olive oil yet has a higher smoke point, with a lower smoke point than coconut oil. The oil can also be used in the a cosmetic industry and makes an excellent lotion and soap.
· Pharmacy: the tubers were used in pharmacy under the Latin name ‘bulbuli thrasi’ beginning no later than the end of 18th century.
· Boiled tiger nuts are used as a bait for Carp.
3 top nutritional benefits of tiger nuts are:
1. Allegen free
2. Resistance starch
3. Healthful fats
Caloric ratios: note the similarity to human breast milk.
|Human Breast Milk||39%||55%||6%|
Tiger nuts also provide a good source of nutrition for that medium-sixed hominin with a large brain. This is why these hominins were able to survive for around one million years, because they could successfully forage, even through periods of climatic change.
The chemical structure of Tiger nuts shares characteristics with tubers and with nuts. There typically safe for people with nut allergies. It has been reported a health food and superfoods since its consumption is rich in energy content; starch, fat, sugar and protein; minerals mainly phosphorus and potassium, and Vitamin E and C. Tiger nut tubers contain almost twice the quantity of starch as potato or sweet potato tubers. The calcium and vitamin content also makes tiger nuts ideal for beautiful radiant clear skin, hair and nails. Suitable for diabetics and especially for people coming off sugar addiction. High in fiber so good for digestive health and detoxing toxins from the digestive track. Good for heart and has been said to reduce risk of heart disease and colon cancer. As it is antidioxide (because of its high content in vitamin E) it slows down the ageing of body cells. It favors the elasticity of the skin and reduces wrinkles.
Not to mention amazing weight loss benefits!
Here are some of my favorite Tigernut recipes that are featured in my new book “10 Minute Recipes” published by Hay House. Enjoy!
Tiger Nut Horchata
Total time: 10 minutes
¾ cup Tigernut Milk
¼ cup Rice Milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
½ cup ice
Pinch of salt
Blend all ingredients together until creamy, thick, and sweet.
Calories: 420 | Total Fat: 15.1g Carbohydrate: 69.4g | Dietary Fiber: 22.5g Protein: 5.4g
Tigernut French Toast
The tigernut flour in this recipe gives the French Toast the taste of caramel!
Total time: 10 minutes
2 pieces of organic bread
½ cup tigernut flour
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 tablespoon coconut oil for cooking
1. Heat a pan on medium-high.
2. Whisk the egg in a bowl. Dip the bread into the egg and make sure it is well coated. Drop them into the pan.
3. Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Serve onto plates and sprinkle with coconut sugar or drizzle with maple syrup as desired. Season with salt.
Calories: 408 Total Fat: 24g Carbohydrate: 40g Dietary Fiber: 22g Protein: 9.5g
Chocolate Avocado Tigernut Brownies
Total time: 5 minutes
3/4 cup walnuts
¾ cup tigernut flour
1 cup dates, seeded
¼ cup cacao powder
2 avocados, seeded
½ cup maple syrup or honey
¼ cup cacao powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Make the brownies by blending all ingredients in a food processor until moist. Take the mixture and pat it down in a baking tray. Set in fridge while you make the icing.
2. Add the icing ingredients in a blender and whip until smooth and creamy. Ice the brownies and then cut into 12 pieces.
1. Put fresh strawberries or raspberries on top!
Calories: 628.7 | Total fat: 35.5 g Carbohydrate: 78.7 g | Dietary fiber: 34.6 g Protein: 10.8 g
Organic Gemini Tigernut Raw Cookie Dough
Total time: 7 minutes
Makes 10 raw cookies
1 cup tigernut flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 teaspoons maple syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
1 teaspoon water
1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon or your hands. Once the mixture is bound together and moist it is done!
2. Roll the dough into balls and or flatten them into the shape of cookies.
Calories: 129g Total Fat: 7g Carbohydrate: 21.3g Dietary Fiber: 10g Protein: 2g
Fun fact: It has been suggested that the extinct “Nutcracker Man” subsisted on tiger nuts. P. boisei could gather enough tigernuts for 80 per cent of his estimated daily calorie intake and all of it’s protein requirements in 2 ½ to 3 hours.
1. The Plant List – Wikipedia
2. Macho, G. A. (2014). Hardy, Karen, ed. “Baboon Feeding Ecology Informs the Dietary Niche of Paranthropus boisei”
3. Tiger nuts – Wikipedia
5. Daniel Zohary and Maria Hopf Domestication of plants in the Old World, third edition (Oxford: University Press, 200), p. 198 Defelice, MS (2002). “Yellow Nutsedge Cyperus esculentus L. – Snack Food of the Gods
Article Source: GreenMedInfo