The Low Down on Tigernuts

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Before you close your browser thinking, “Nuts aren’t allowed on the autoimmune protocol!!” Trust me. Tigernuts aren’t actually nuts. Tigernuts {aka chufa, nut grass/earth almond} are the tubers on the cyperus esculentus plant. It grows wild as a weed in many places around the world {Spain and Africa for example}.

Just because tigernut has nut in its name doesn’t mean it IS a nut… Much like our legume frenemy, the peanut.

The Low Down on Tigernuts | Enjoying this Journey...

Two million years ago, our ancestors lived on tiger nuts. [1]

Pretty crazy to think about, but an Oxford University study concluded that human’s ancient ancestors popped tigernuts on a regular basis.

Dr Macho, from the School of Archaeology at Oxford University, said:‘I believe that the theory – that “Nutcracker Man” lived on large amounts of tiger nuts– helps settle the debate about what our early human ancestor ate. On the basis of recent isotope results, these hominins appear to have survived on a diet of C4 foods, which suggests grasses and sedges. Yet these are not high quality foods. What this research tells us is that hominins were selective about the part of the grass that they ate, choosing the grass bulbs at the base of the grass blade as the mainstay of their diet. ~ Two million years ago, human relative ‘Nutcracker Man’ lived on tiger nuts

So what makes tigernuts so special? For starters, there is a lot of talk about tigernuts having resistant starch. But try as I might I’ve been unable to nail down sources to confirm the facts to back up those claims. After scouring dozens of articles and studies I finally found this paper that includes the properties of different types of starch {comparing chufa, potato, and corn starches} – that’s a good starting point.

starches in chufa

I’ll include the nutritional info included in my package of tigernuts…

Tigernuts Nutritional Info

Mark Sisson has posted about tigernuts and whether or not they are primal. He also does a fine job addressing a particular peeve of mine that I’ve seen a lot of lately. Tigernuts. No space. No tiger’s testes were harmed in the harvesting of these tubers. *cough*

So what do you think? Will you be giving these tasty tubers a try?

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1. [Two million years ago, human relative ‘Nutcracker Man’ lived on tiger nuts]

The Low Down on Tigernuts | Enjoying this Journey...
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  15 comments for “The Low Down on Tigernuts

  1. October 29, 2014 at 8:30am

    Thanks for sharing this info! Do you have a particular brand you use/recommend?

    • October 29, 2014 at 3:08pm

      Yes, Martine! I have tried two brands now, Organic Gemini and Tigernuts Inc. Both are great quality and organic. The only difference I see {aside from the price, ha!} is that Our True Roots is labeled raw. I treat both the same and haven’t noticed a difference in taste or texture. So the right price wins me over in this case.
      Erin recently posted…Playground ShenanigansMy Profile

  2. Tina
    November 8, 2014 at 3:58am

    Thanks for the post and Pinterest pin. I’d forgotten about them. Went back to read Mark Sisson’s article and he said most of the anti nutrients are mitigated by roasting.

  3. petal
    February 19, 2015 at 12:16am

    Hi Erin,

    I was just wondering if you could help answer a tigernut question. If I use my vitamix to make tigernut milk, can I do something with the stuff left over to turn it into flour I can bake with? I can buy the flour here, but it’s stupidly expensive.


    • February 19, 2015 at 1:33am

      Yes! I always save the “meal” after making tigernut milk. I’ve used it in other recipes {caramel apples and apple crisp} and simply snack on it. I just dry it out on a sheet pan in the oven first. You might be also able to dry/dehydrate it and grind it down to make flour like you would with coconut. I haven’t tried that though. I just buy the flour since I already use the meal in other ways. If you do successfully make flour this way, please let me know and I’ll make note of it 🙂

      • petal
        February 21, 2015 at 12:13am

        Thanks for that. I’ll let you know if I try it, although I’ve not made any flour at all yet…

  4. Georgene
    March 4, 2015 at 8:57pm

    Are they considered low carb? What would you compare the flavor to?

    • March 5, 2015 at 1:03pm

      Hi, Georgene! I don’t have a package to read {I dump them all in a big jar, ha!} But Organic Gemini has their carb count online. It said a 30g serving = 19g total carbs {10 of that is dietary fiber, 9 is sugars}. And to describe the taste, slightly sweet and nutty. 🙂 I hope that helps answer your questions!

  5. May 17, 2015 at 1:42pm

    what a great blog! We love tiger nuts and launched in the UK last month. I’ll be posting a link to you from our website shortly 🙂
    I had a go at seeing if I could make flour from the left over tiger nut pulp but it didn’t work. I think it may be because the pulp isn’t fine enough and the soaking changes it. If you don’t want to buy the flour you might find grinding it yourself would give a better result. I often dry the pulp in a low oven and use it in place of desiccated coconut as a topping. You”ll find lots of tiger nut recipes on our site …good luck having a go at grinding !
    @tigernutpeople x

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