You may know tigernut because it is the main ingredient with which horchata is made. However, what you may not know is that it is part of the so-called superfoods due to its excellent nutritional properties. Today we will tell you in more detail what tigernut is, the benefits it brings to health and the uses it has in the kitchen, since it is not only used to make one of the most popular drinks of the summer.
Due to the growing interest in feeding and the healthy life styleFoods such as tigernuts have begun to attract attention and to be consumed beyond their borders of origin. This already happened a long time ago with the cocoa, avocado and quinoa.
The tigernut is a tuber or edible root of the hazelnut sedge plant. These small roots are of brownish color, round and they have rough texture. In appearance they are very similar to a chickpea or hazelnut. It has a slightly sweet and starchy flavor, so it can be eaten raw or used as an ingredient.
In Spain, the great chufera tradition It is located in the Valencian Community. This is where the necessary conditions for the growth of the plant are met and they have areas dedicated entirely to growing tigernut from a exceptional quality. Hence, this crop has the Denomination of Origin Chufa de Valencia.
Considered a humble traditional food from that area, the tigernut has been made popular in recent years for being part of the so-called superfoods. It is also one of the most revered foods among the followers of the Paleolithic diet, since the tigernut was one of the first foods of humanity and one of the first domesticated crops.
Tigernut properties and health benefits
The Nutritional value of this small tuber is excellent. Contains enzymes, soluble fiber and vegetal protein (with essential amino acids). It is also a source of vitamins C and E, as well as minerals among which phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, and fats stand out (being rich in Omega 9 or oleic acid).
Also, being a good source of gluten free carbohydrate Y non-animal protein, It is one of the suitable foods in the diet of vegan, celiac and lactose intolerant people.
All these components give tiger nuts digestive, cardioprotective and antioxidant properties. It is also considered a carminative, immunostimulative, antidiarrheal, astringent, prebiotic, antianemic, insulinogenic and eupeptic food.
Healthy benefits of tigernut
- Protects the cardiovascular system
It helps reduce harmful cholesterol (LDL) and is a food recommended for people with hypertension, being very low in sodium.
- Improves the digestion of food
Prevents or helps eliminate gases that accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract, favors the intestinal transit on a regular basis, avoiding constipation, stops diarrhea and improves intestinal flora.
It is indicated for people with heartburn or stomach ulcers and tolerated by people who suffer gastritis. In addition, tigernut is a satiating food, which does not contain gluten, fructose, or lactose.
- Stimulates the function of the immune system
It fights free radicals, facilitates wound healing and helps prevent anemia.
- Enhances the action of probiotics
- Can be taken by people with diabetes
- Tigernuts and the products made with it, such as natural horchata, are especially recommended for athletes, pregnant women and during lactation, children and the elderly, as well as in times of great stress and physical and mental fatigue.
Uses in the kitchen
The tigernut season starts with the summerJuly and August being the optimal months for its consumption. Hence, horchata is considered one of the healthiest and most refreshing drinks to fight the heat. However, this is not the only way to enjoy the tigernut in gastronomy.
Can be consumed dry and whole as snack. Depending on the brand, they can already come peeled, being the flavor of these a little softer and easier to eat than those that are unpeeled.
The Tiger nut milk shake It is prepared with tigernuts, water and sugar. It is one of the main drinks that are usually served in bars and ice cream parlors during the summer, although it can also be made at home since the tigernut horchata recipe is very simple. It is very common to take it with Valencian fartons as a snack.
It can also be made at home or purchased tigernut flour. For this, the leftover pulp of the horchata is used and with it dehydrated a flour very similar to that of almonds is created. With it you can make a pudding, pancakes, bread, cookies and other dessert recipes.
The tigernut cream It is the healthy version of the classic cocoa and hazelnut spread.
Can also be found tigernut oil and the pickled tigernut with which to dress salads, rice, couscous or sauteed. It is as simple as putting the roots in vinegar water and flavoring them with spices such as garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary …
Finally, the craft tigernut beer It is obtained by adding tigernuts just at the moment when the malted barley is boiled. In the end the beer is impregnated with its sweet aroma.
Did you know all the benefits and uses of tigernut in the kitchen? If so, tell us through the comments how you usually take it or if you will be encouraged to try it this summer.