Upgrade Your Gluten-Free Pantry With Tiger Nuts
Tiger nuts are not technically 'nuts' but are actually a type of mini-tuber. Originally native to the mediterranean region, tiger nuts can today be found in warmer growing climates such as Africa, South America and parts of the USA.
Tiger nuts are known by many different names including: chufa, zuki nuts, yellow nutgrass, earth almonds, yellow nutsedge and rush nuts.
Tiger nuts are a good source of fibre as well as a variety of anti-oxidants including Vitamin E. If you are vegetarian, you will be happy to hear, they contain decent levels of hard to source minerals such as iron and zinc. They also have anti-bacterial properties and are known to be protective against salmonella and E coli along with other common gut pathogens. If you are looking for blood sugar balance, then tiger nuts are a great addition to your diet as they are lower in starch and higher in protein than other common tubers. They can be beneficial for the cardiovascular system by helping to balance healthy cholesterol, and for both men and women they seem to have a postive effect on libido by both boosting natural levels of testosterone and providing arginine for increased blood flow.
With a mildly earthy flavour and a little sweetness tiger nuts taste is often likened to pecans, brazil nuts or even macadamias. They can be enjoyed dried and whole or ground into flours or nut butters and then used in a variety of recipes. They are perfect for those with nuts allergies or gluten intolerance and make a great healthy addition to your whole food gluten-free or vegetarian pantry.
Try incorporating the flour into your next muffin or energy ball recipe or use the skinned nuts in your home-made granola. Like with any new food, be sure to start slowly, especially if you suffer from IBS or digestive issues.
Written by Sita Huber, BHsc (Nutritional Medicine)