All You Need to Know About Tiger Nuts. Or do they have anything to do with Nuts or Tigers?
Author: Sandy Abram Date Posted:25 January 2018
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Are Tiger Nuts, nuts? And do they have anything to do with Tigers? Find out the real stripy story, where tiger nuts come from, what are health benefits and how you can eat them. Roar!!!
We live in such exciting times when it comes to our food and nutrition. Hardly a week goes by where we don’t hear of another food or ingredient, fighting for the superfood crown and which we can access pretty easily.
Recently, we’ve been very excited about tiger nuts, although, like many of the foods we all see as new, they’re an ancient little nutrient powerhouse, and have been around for centuries! In fact, our paleo ancestors are thought to have eaten tiger nuts regularly, making up a large part of their diet.
The Health Benefits of Tiger Nuts
Technically, tiger nuts aren’t a nut. (And they’re not a tiger, either, although they do have tiger-esque stripes.) They’re a root vegetable and are grown and harvested just like the humble potato. However, they’re smaller than even a baby new potato, but don’t let that fool you. These tiny chickpea sized tubers are packed with fibre, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium and vitamins C and E.
The type of fibre in tiger nuts is known as prebiotic fibre. This kind of fibre is very beneficial for gut health as it helps to encourage the growth of the good bacteria that looks after our intestines. This fibre also helps to regulate blood sugar levels, good news for keeping those hunger pangs at bay!
Snacking on tiger nuts is not only beneficial for the gut and for keeping us fuller for longer. There’s the rich vitamin and mineral content, plus they contain good, heart healthy fats. Tiger nuts are rich in oleic acid, the type of good fat found in olive oil. Oleic acid helps to reduce the bad LDL cholesterol in our blood, and increase the level of good HDL cholesterol.
And along with the vitamin E, this good fat is also great for the skin!
How to Eat Tiger Nuts
Just like their potato-ey distant cousins, tiger nuts are super versatile. But unlike potatoes, they can be eaten raw and whole, just like our cave dwelling forebears did. They can be ground up into flour for use in baking (like this Ceres Organics one) and they can even be made into a plant based milk. Tiger nut milk (homemade or shop bought, Rude Health make a lovely one) is great hot or cold. Try it warmed up with cinnamon and nutmeg or a squeeze of maple syrup, or cold and long over ice.
Tiger nuts are ideal for soaking too. Try soaking them overnight in your favourite plant based milk with chia seeds or oats for a delicious breakfast the next morning.
But What Do Tiger Nuts Taste Like?
Tiger nuts have, unsurprisingly, a sweet, nutty flavour. Eaten raw and whole, they start off quite crispy and then develop a dreamy, creamy texture as you chew.
Snacking on tiger nuts is not just a good idea because of their nutritional superiority. It’s also a good idea because you can’t eat them very quickly! Because of their tuber like texture, you’ll give yourself a little jaw workout as you eat. Perfect for that afternoon slump in energy whilst sat at your desk… Or, just as tasty but a little easier to eat are peeled tiger nuts.
And if you don’t fancy them whole, then experiment baking with tiger nut flour or adding tiger nut milk to your coffee. Once you start, you’re sure to find your tiger nut groove! Go get ‘em tiger!