Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Have You Tried Tigernuts?

Tigernuts are starchy tubers that are more similar to a potato. In fact, they are technically a root vegetable. A little nutty, a little earthy, and pleasantly sweet, these little chickpea-sized “nuts” pack a big nutritional punch.
Not only are tigernuts loaded with resistant starch—an incredible type of prebiotic that serves as fuel for the good bacteria that line the gut and assist in the fight against diabetes and obesity—but tigernuts are also allergen friendly. They’re gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, dairy-free, soy-free, etc. That means they are a pretty safe choice for most people. 
One study has shown that tubers like tigernuts played a huge role in our evolutionary transition to becoming modern humans. And it’s no surprise. Tigernuts provide iron, potassium and healthy fats (both monounsaturated and saturated) in additional to healthy starches. Per ounce, tiger nuts provide 2 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat and 10 grams of fiber. Of course, in modern times, they are also not cheap, ranking up there with almond flour in terms of cost. But a small handful packs in some powerful digestive and blood sugar balancing power.
But how should you actually use tiger nuts? Organic Gemini sells tigernuts whole or sliced for snacking or ground into a flour. They come dehydrated, which are edible, but require sometimes strenuous amounts of chewing. To solve that, simply soak a handful of the whole tigernuts in water overnight (anywhere between 12-48 hours). They will soften nicely and expand quite a bit. Snack away! But be aware, these are very high in fiber, so you will get really thirsty if you eat too many (I write from experience).
But you can be really creative with tigernuts, too. For starters, tigernuts make a tasty milk alternative. Just blend soaked tigernuts with water (and maybe a date or two for some indulgence) and strain. Behold, a non-dairy milk that is both nut and soy-free! Eureka!
Tigernut flour can also be used in baking, much like almond flour. I personally use the flour to create a delicious, fiber rich, craving-quelling cookie dough. Baking cookies or breads is also relatively easy with tigernut flour, as they are starchier and more naturally sweet than other flours like almond or coconut. Incredibly, it can be substituted for regular AP flour at a 1:1 ratio in most recipes.
Try experimenting with tiger nuts in your favorite recipes for an added touch of natural sweetness and fiber, especially if you are both gluten-free and nut-free. They are delicious, nutritious and make a great addition to baked goods, smoothies, snack packs and even main dishes.

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