Meet my new friend, Tigernuts!
Recently, I discovered a new food I could eat. It’s crunchy, sweet and altogether delicious. And it has a ton of nutritional benefits.
For someone like me, who has to stick to a very limited diet, that’s a big deal!
I’m excited to introduce you to Tigernuts from Organic Gemini and I’m sure that you will enjoy them whether or not you follow a specific nutrition protocol. This giveaway is graciously sponsored by Organic Gemini.
You can find Organic Gemini Tigernuts on Amazon here.
What Are Tigernuts?
Tigernuts are a misnomer, because these aren’t nuts. They are actually a vegetable – a type of starchy tuber. Tigernuts are also called chufa, nut grass, or yellow nutsedge.
I call myself a Traditional Foodie, meaning that I believe we can gain vital nutrition insight by studying the dietary habits of ancient cultures. When it comes to traditional foods, tigernuts take the cake. Oxford University recently discovered that tigernuts played a key nutritional role in our evolution from pre-human to human. So tigernuts are about as Paleo a food as you can get!
Tigernuts were a highly valued food in ancient Egypt. Interestingly, there is ancient Egyptian art depicting the careful sorting of Tigernuts.
You may be wondering, What do tigernuts taste like? They taste sweet! Granted, I’ve been off refined sweeteners for years so my palate is very sensitive to natural sugars. I also taste a slightly nutty, earthy, vanilla flavor. I absolutely love the taste.
3 Nutrition Benefits of Tigernuts
1. Allergen free – Tigernut allergies are probably one of the rarest food allergies ever. Since they are a tuber, tigernuts are completely soy, dairy, grain, nut, seed (etc, etc.) free. Further, Organic Gemini has a dedicated gluten-free, peanut-free and tree nut-free facility to prevent cross-contamination.
2. Resistant Starch – Tigernuts are the highest whole food source of a unique type of fiber called resistant starch. Besides the pleasant flavor and texture, the resistant starch content is why I eat tigernuts on a regular basis. Resistant starch is a highly beneficial pre-biotic, which means it feeds the good bacteria in your digestive tract.
Resistant starch has been a hot topic lately in the health world as more and more research shows the unique benefits of this plant fiber. For example, research indicates that resistant starch could be a powerful component in preventing and/or addressing diabetes and obesity! You can read more in this post on ChrisKresser.com.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that introducing resistant starch for the first time may produce some symptoms of a shift in gut flora. You may wish to introduce tigernuts gradually and see if you experience symptoms such as gas or bloating. If you do, slowly but consistently increase the amount of tigernuts starting at just one or two a day.
3. Healthful Fats – Unlike other starchy vegetable tubers such as potatoes, tigernuts are a good source of healthful fats. Tigernuts have a fatty acid composition similar to olive oil, with the fat composition being about 73% monounsaturated fat, 18% saturated fat and 9% polyunsaturated fat (source). The lower percentage of polyunsaturated fat, which can be highly inflammatory, in contrast to the specific monounsaturated and saturated fats (both nourishing, non-inflammatory types of fat) makes a healthy fat profile.
How I prepare Tigernuts
Ever since discovering Organic Gemini tigernuts a month ago, I’ve created a simple ritual to enjoy them each day for their resistant starch. This is my favorite way to prepare the tigernuts because I love the crunchy texture and sweet flavor of eating them whole. They are very satiating and pleasant to eat. Since I don’t eat crunchy snack foods like potato chips or popcorn, this seems to fill my cravings for something bite-sized and crunchy.
Organic Gemini Tigernuts are dried for shelf-stable storage. As a result, they must be rehydrated in water prior to eating or using in a recipe.
- I start by soaking about one ounce (a very small handful) of tigernuts in a small bowl of filtered water for at least 12 hours. It looks like a very small quantity but they expand once soaked. Additionally, a huge amount of nutrition is crammed into each figernut.
- In the morning, I drain the liquid and eat the tigernuts with my breakfast. It’s been my daily ritual for the past few months.
- After breakfast, I add another ounce of dry Tigernuts to the bowl and cover with filtered water. They will be ready for me the next day.
Some people prefer to soak the tigernuts for up to 48 hours. Experiment and find the soaking time that you prefer. I like the chewy, crunchy texture of a 12-hour soaking period.
Besides eating them whole, you can also prepare a traditional beverage called Horchata with tigernuts. After soaking, the tigernuts are blended with water and a dash of sweetener to create a creamy and dairy-free drink.
Organic Gemini carries their own line of Horchata, which is available in select Whole Foods locations as well as Dean and Deluca. It’s a creamy, dreamy treat… you’ll be hooked once you try it! Even better, it’s allergy-friendly. The Unsweetened version is just tigernuts and filtered water. The Original gets a touch of sweetness from organic dates.
Want to make your own Tigernut Horchata? Jenny at Nourished Kitchen has a tasty Tigernut Horchata recipe here if you are interested.
Organic Gemini just sent me some of their tigernut flour, their newest addition to their line of tigernut products. It’s available here on Amazon. I’m always on the lookout for grain free flours, so I’m excited for this new option! For me, it will be a welcome alternative to my staple coconut flour.
I haven’t had a chance yet to experiment with the flour, since I literally just got it in the mail, but I’m planning to dabble with it this week. Evidently, it substitutes 1:1 for white flour, but I haven’t found this out for myself yet.
Keep your eyes out for my future recipes featuring tigernut flour, because I know I will have fun playing with this new ingredient.