What has more fibre than oats, twice as much Vitamin E as kiwi fruit and more potassium than bananas, yet is practically unheard of? The answer is tiger nuts, an ancient superfood that is now poised for a comeback.
Tiger nuts, which are also called chufas or earth almonds, actually aren't nuts at all, but tubers that grow underground, just like peanuts. While they used to be part of our ancestors' staple diet, few people today are familiar with tiger nuts outside of West Africa and Spain, where they're grown. That's too bad, because there are many reasons why you should incorporate tiger nuts into your daily diet!
Tiger nuts are small and naturally sweet, and have a slightly chewy texture. They're a good source of minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, as well as heart-healthy unsaturated fats. But it's the high content of prebiotic fibre that really gives the tiger nut its well-deserved superfood status. Prebiotic fibre consists of insoluble carbohydrates that pass through the stomach and small intestine without being digested, all the way to the colon, where they become food for good bacteria, or probiotics. Together, probiotics (which are prevalent in some yogurts and fermented foods like kimchi, tempeh and saurkraut) and prebiotics help diversify and boost your microbiome, essentially trillions of bacteria and fungi that researchers believe influence everything from your metabolism and body weight to your immune system, appetite and mood. Several studies have shown that a diverse and flourishing microbiome can reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity, allergy, inflammatory diseases and more.
Even though tiger nuts are fairly high in carbohydrates they have a low glycemic index (GI), which helps keep your body’s blood sugar and insulin levels stable. That makes them an ideal snack for diabetics. And since tiger nuts are 100% nut-free and gluten-free, they're also an excellent option for people with food sensitivities and allergies. A handful of tiger nuts makes for a perfect, mess-free snack between meals or as a side for your breakfast. Bring them to work, when you’re on the go or whenever you get a craving for something sweet. In Spain, where the tiger nut is cultivated, it’s common to make milk (horchata), and flour from tiger nuts. The flour is a popular ingredient for both baking and cooking, as a healthier and gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.Tiger nuts are typically not available in regular grocery stores but can be found in some well-stocked specialty stores and online. In the Nordic countries, This Is Nuts Sweden is the exclusive distributor of vapor-roasted Got Guts Tiger Nuts, a new and unique treatement that enriches the flavour and natural goodness of the tiger nut. This Is Nuts also offers Get Real Tiger Meal, a completely nut-free and gluten-free flour made from ground tiger nuts. The flour can be used for both baking and cooking, for example it's an excellent choice for the kid favourite pancakes!