What is a TigerNut?
If you’ve ever traveled to Spain, then you’ve more than likely seen “Horchata de Chufa” on a beverage menu, especially in the summer months when this refreshing drink is very popular. A sweet, creamy, milk-like beverage, horchata de chufa is traditionally made with ground tiger nuts blended with ice-cold water and sugar. The word “chufa” is spanish for the tubers of the nut sedge plant, which is another name for the tigernut (which is also spelled “tiger nut”).
In the United States, tiger nuts are relatively unknown, gaining recognition and growing in popularity only recently. So what exactly is a tiger nut? A tiger nut is a root vegetable (and not a nut) often referred to as an earth almond because this high starch tuber shares many of the same attributes as nuts including fat and protein. But, there is one key difference between a tiger nut and a regular nut and that is fiber. Although nuts contain fiber, the tiger nut has loads of fiber (10 grams per ounce) – twice the starch of a potato – and the fiber is a “resistant” starch which means it resists digestion and feeds the probiotics in our digestive system, makes us feel full, and nourishes our bodies. In addition, the tiger nut is naturally sweet (9 grams of sugar per ounce), high in iron (ounce for ounce the same as meat), Vitamin E, Magnesium, and B6.
The tiger nut is sweet and nutty and can be eaten raw, roasted, dried, or baked. The nut is also made into flour and oil for baking and cooking. My favorite way to enjoy tiger nuts is sliced – added to muesli, whole grain cereal, granola, oatmeal, or trail mix. The simplest way to describe them is to say they taste like a very sweet slightly chewy slivered almond. The sweetness is what surprises most people because these tubers look like shriveled up peanut shells. But looks are deceiving. These root vegetables are truly fantastic..just one bite and you’ll be hooked.
Organic Gemini of Brooklyn, New York packages organic, non-GMO, kosher, nut and gluten-free tiger nuts in a variety of forms: raw, raw sliced, and raw peeled with the raw sliced my favorite because the pieces are easy to chew and can be easily add to so many other breakfast or snack foods. Sold in 6 ounce resealable packets, the sliced raw tiger nuts can be purchased on-line for about $8 at www.vitacost.com. The packets can also be purchased nationwide at Whole Foods Market.
To read more about Organic Gemini and other tiger nut products, go to the company website: www.organicgemini.com.