amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

tiger nuts + tiger nut milk

POSTED ON March 26, 2015

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If you’ve entered a health food store or raw food shop in the last few months, you may have noticed the increasingly large presence of tiger nuts. The little brown, shriveled nuts are not actually nuts as their name suggests; they are small, round tuber root vegetables. Sound interesting? You can find these tubers sold dried, with the skin removed, ground into flour or made into milk, which is often called ‘horchata de chufas’—chufas is another name for tiger nuts. These tiny tubers have a nutty, sweet taste and can be eaten strait from the bag (or soaked to soften first); peeled tiger nuts are quite soft and much easier to chew without their fibrous skin. Tiger nut flour is used in many grain and nut free recipes and it makes the perfect almond meal replacement for anyone with a nut allergy. With its fluffy texture and sweet taste, it adds a lovely flavor boost to breads, cakes, pancakes and can even be added directly to porridge, Bircher muesli and smoothies. I’ve been experimenting with it in a recipe or two and hope to share one soon.

High in fiber (about 30%), iron, potassium, protein and healthy fats and unlike most other tuber vegetables, tiger nuts are rich in good fats with a similar fatty acid composition to extra virgin olive oil.  Perhaps the most impressive thing about tiger nuts is that they are said to be the number one whole food source of resistant starch, a prebiotic fiber that resists digestion and becomes fuel for the probiotics in our guts. This means they feed the good bacteria and can be helpful for people with digestive difficulty—although in this case they should be added to the diet gradually.

Most of the tiger nuts available to us here in the United States are cultivated in Africa or Spain. According to this company our African Paleo ancestors ate a diet that was comprised of eighty percent tiger nuts. Ancient Egyptians also revered tiger nuts and first cultivated the crop over four thousand years ago.

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Now onto the recipe. The first time I tried milk made from tiger nuts was a revelation: a nut free, naturally sweet, refreshing milk with an almost vanilla flavor that didn’t need anything added to accomplish the delicious and delicate taste. Amazing! I immediately wanted to make my own, but tiger nuts where not as readily available as they are now (well in New York anyway). When making the milk you do need to strain it as the skins of the tiger nuts are quite hard and fibrous, unless of course you use the peeled ones.

Please let me know what you think of these unusual tubers and I’d love to hear if you’re already using the flour.

Amy x

Ps. I am so excited that my book has received a James Beard nomination (!!). Thank you everyone for all the sweet messages, it really is a dream to have ones work recognized. I am truly honored and so grateful for your support!

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Tiger nut milk

There are lots of delicious flavorings you can add to tiger nut milk, just as you might to any true nut milk: vanilla beans or extract, cinnamon, cardamom or other spices. However, first I suggest you try it plain as the flavor it delicate and really delicious.

I often soak the nuts for two days changing the water after a day of soaking, they will still feel pretty firm.

Makes 3 cups

 

1 cup tiger nuts, soaked 24 to 48 hours

3 cups filtered water

 

Drain and rinse tiger nuts. Add to a blender with filtered water and blend for about 1 minute to make sure all the nuts are pulverized. It will be loud! Strain milk through a nut milk bag (or a strainer lined with a thin kitchen towel) and squeeze out all the liquid. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. You will notice a fine white starchy substance on the bottom of the jar, so shake well each time or use a spoon to scrape it off if it has settled.

Tiger nut milk will not last as long as true nut milks; so it’s best to drink it within 3 days.

 


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19 Comments:

  • Jody says:

    Very interesting! So, did this form the same base for Tiger’s Milk that was so popular in the ’70s?

  • Jenné says:

    Goodness! I love this stuff. It’s my favorite non-dairy milk (though I’m usually too lazy to make it). When I do I blend it with dates and use it as a “creamer” in my coffee. I’ve been experimenting with a tigernut + whole grain banana bread. I hope to have it on my blog within the next month or so 🙂
    And more importantly, CONGRATULATIONS on your nomination! The book and you are definitely deserving!

    xo

  • Amy says:

    Congrats Amy! Your book is my absolute favourite thing and it has taught me so much – you totally deserve the award – your recipes are always delicious!

  • Sharon says:

    Most interesting. I would like to try some. And I hope that your book wins the award!

  • Thank you for sharing this post! I’ve never used tiger nuts in anything, let alone made a milk with them. But now I’m inspired! I just discovered cashew milk, so this will be a fun new addition to my “milk” collection.

  • Biggest congratulations to you, Amy! It comes as no surprise to me that you’ve been nominated for this fantastic award – yours is truly my favourite cookbook, and one that I already have recommended to so many friends.

    I have tiger nuts sitting in my freezer at the moment, and I cannot wait to try the milk!

  • Ale says:

    Congrats about your nomination! You totally deserve it! your book is awesome!

  • Congratulations Amy!! You definitely deserve to win the nomination, oh yes indeed!!
    Regarding tiger nuts, I’ve never heard about them before. And I’m afraid in Buenos Aires we’ll have to wait a long time till we can see them in our stores… pity…
    A big hug!!
    Marisa

  • Natalia says:

    Congratulations on this nomination, Amy!

  • Julia says:

    What a nice coincidence, that you post a recipe with chufas, as i was just recently more interested in these little guys and experimenting with the flour. But its still very expensive around here so i have to find a good and affordable source for them so i can try this recipe. It sounds so good i cannot wait to taste the mylk! And i just have to add, that i love your book so much, just today when i was looking for a cake recipe for a friends birthday i flipped through it and was enchanted again by how much love you have put in there! Really one of my favourite cookbooks <3 Cheers to you from Vienna, hope you have a lovely day!

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Julia,

      Thank you so much for your note! chufas are still pretty expensive here too. I think getting them bulk is a good idea.
      So happy you’re enjoying the book too.

      Amy x

  • Congratulations on the nomination, Amy. Your book is absolutely incredible – I’ve most recently made your chocolate pots de creme which were delicious. The book is such a great resource, so I recommend it often to clients as well. Thank you for talking about tiger nuts. I’ve played around with them a little bit but haven’t tried making milk out of them. I think we can overdue it on nuts, at least I feel like I do sometimes, so I appreciate more nut free options.

  • Marian says:

    Amy, I’m an oldie I have many many cookbooks, your book is an absolute gem A GEM.
    It’s inspiring, it’s informative, it’s simple, i trust it I love it !
    THANKYOU it makes a great gift for my daughters, it’s a valuable piece of work.
    LOVE IT

  • Oh Amy! I’m thrilled you found these to play with in the kitchen! I made a tigernut chocolate chip cookie last year when I first discovered these, and they’re amazing. I think it’s fate that you and I share an afternoon with your tigernut milk and my cookies 😉

    xx M

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Mckel it is! And it happened last week when we were both shooting Matcha lattes…..Hope we can share one in person soon! Preferably with one of your tiger nut cookies!
      xo

  • Nik says:

    You won! You won! Congratulations!!

  • OSODIPE FUNSO says:

    Whao! your book is awesome. Is it good to swallow chewed tiger nut

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