Tigernuts: tubers with a misnomer
Last week in this post, I introduced you to one of my favorite foods: tigernuts!
Tigernuts are actually small vegetables with an ill-fitting name. They are more widely known in Africa and the Midde East and are also known as:
- yellow nut sedge
- earth almonds
Why am I so smitten with this new food discovery?
- Tigernuts are non-allergenic, with no reported allergies in two million years… that’s a pretty good track record! Organic Gemini tiger nuts are produced in an allergen-free facility to ensure that sensitive individuals can enjoy them.
- When it comes to paleo-friendly foods, tigernuts take the (grain free and dairy free) cake. Research from Oxford showed that tigernuts fueled up to 80% of paleolithic man’s diet.
- Tigernuts are the highest source of resistant starch, an elusive type of fiber that is feeds for the good bacteria in the digestive tract.
- Tigernuts are concentrated nuggets of nutrition and include a balance of protein, fats and carbs. Interestingly, the fat profile is very similar to olive oil, which has been heavily studied for its heart-health benefits. (Read more about these benefits in this post)
Whole tigernuts are available here at Amazon.
What is Tigernut flour?
Although I had been familiar with their whole tigernuts, Organic Gemini recently introduced me to their tigernut flour. I was over-the-moon to incorporate this grain-free flour into new recipes.
The only place that I’ve found to purchase this tigernut flour is here from Amazon.
If you google recipes for tiger nut flour, you have really really slim pickings. It seems like a newcomer in the world of grain free recipes. I didn’t have much to use as a jumping-off point for recipe development. So, I decided to grab a couple of bags of tiger nut flour, set aside a long afternoon, and start from utter scratch.
Here are factors to keep in mind about tiger nut flour
- Organic Gemini, the producers, says tiger nut flour substitutes 1:1 for white flour. In my experience, the only flour that substitutes 1:1 for white flour is white flour. Tigernut flour boasts versatility and a mild flavor, but you can use it in place of white flour and expect the exact same result.
- Tigernut flour has the same mild, toasty, slightly sweet flavor of tigernuts. I also find hints of vanilla in the flavor. I absolutely love it!
- Tigernut flour has a slightly grainy texture, which I find pleasant and hearty. It doesn’t necessarily produce dense baked goods, but it lends a very slight grittiness in recipes – neither a good nor bad thing, just something to keep in mind.
- Tigernut flour is very high resistant starch, which can cause digestive upset when introduced into the diet in large amounts. I encourage gradually increasing your tigernut flour intake, starting with a tablespoon or two a day to make sure you tolerate it.
About the other ingredients
Coconut flour – I used coconut flour in this recipe to absorb moisture and provide a bit more structure. I also wanted to stretch the tigernut flour in this recipe, because it is relatively pricey. Blending it with a coconut flour works like a charm. t also stretches the tigernut flour, which is relatively pricey.
Eggs – I can’t tell you if this recipe will work with an egg substitute. I’m in the early stages of tigernut flour experimentation, so I haven’t yet tried variations without eggs. Over the next few months, I look forward to experimenting with egg-free tigernut flour recipes.
Baking soda and apple cider vinegar – I’m frequently asked why I use this combination in many of my baked good recipes. In short, it’s a grain free leavening substitute for baking powder, which contains cornstarch. The vinegar reacts with the baking soda to provide lift. You can use white vinegar instead.
- Properly measuring the flours is key to the recipe. Stir the tigernut flour with a fork to "loosen" it, then dip in the measuring cup and level the top with a knife. Measure the coconut flour the same way.
- Combine the flours and the eggs to create a smooth batter. Mixing these ingredients first allows you to smooth out the clumps of tigernut flour. Then, add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
- Cook pancakes as usual and enjoy with your favorite toppings!
Are you interested in trying tigernut flour? Have you used it before?