What are Tiger Nuts?
Let’s get one thing straight. Tiger nuts are not actually nuts and they don’t come from a tiger. They are actually a type of starchy tuber from the same family as potatoes, yams and jicama!
They are recognized by their hard, textured and earth coloured exterior. The taste is very unique, and addictive! I would describe the taste as sweet and nutty.
Tiger nuts, also known as chufas in Spanish, were first discovered over 4,000 years ago making them truly a paleo food! In fact, an Oxford University study has concluded that our ancient ancestors who lived in East Africa between 2.4 million and 1.4 million years ago survived mainly on a diet of tiger nuts. They were well used by ancient Egyptians and Africans for their healing properties.
Tiger nuts are an excellent source of resistant starch. Resistant starches are prebiotics, meaning that they feed the good probiotics in our gut. When our gut is abundant in good probiotics, the digestion system works well, we are able to fight illness, our skin and hair are healthy and glowing, and our minds are happier! Tiger nuts help fight inflammation, are an alkaline food, and are allergen free, including gluten, soy, nut, dairy and corn.
In Spain, tiger nuts have traditionally been used for their ‘milk’ to create the popular beverage Horchata. Horchata is a sweet, delicious and refreshing drink that is so easy to make.
Tiger nuts can also be eaten on their own but it is recommended to soak them for 12-24 hours to soften. In addition, tiger nuts are made into a flour which can be used in gluten free recipes!
You can find Tiger nuts in our Bulk Department at The Big Carrot or premade Tiger Nut Milk in our Fridge and Freezer Department!
Anna Hennigs, Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Holistic Cook