Tigernuts originated from Africa and have been eaten for thousands of years. Despite being a vital ingredient for our ancestors’, you may never have even heard of them. These wrinkled, marble-sized gems however, are getting loads of praise lately, with some primal foodies regarding them as a baking superfood.
Tigernuts earn their name from a tiger-striped exterior, but don't be fooled, they are actually not a nut. Tigernuts are a root vegetable or more specifically, small tubers that are gluten and grain free. Tigernuts are completely safe for people with any sort of nut or wheat allergy and make them a wonderful alternative for anyone following a paleo diet.
The virtues are plentiful. Tiger nuts are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and plant-based protein. They are also the highest source of resistant starch, which is a prebiotic fibre that resists digestion and feeds the good probiotic bacteria in the gut.
Tigernuts can be eaten fresh like a nut, if you’re lucky enough to source them, but are most commonly sold dried, which conveniently locks in all the goodness, so they can be stored for longer. They’re the size of a chickpea but wrinkly with a chewy texture and sweet nutty flavour that tastes somewhere between an almond and coconut. Tigernuts are most commonly ground into flour or made into milk. We’ll bring you homemade tigermilk over the next few weeks.
Tigernut pulp flour: is made by dehydrating the pulp fibre leftover from making tigernut milk, (coming soon). The texture is light and airy and is better described as meal than flour. Pulp tigernut flour is popular for low-carbers and those following a keto diet because it is almost pure fibre and has far less carbohydrate than the whole nut flour version. Tigernut pulp flour is also a great addition to homemade muesli, granola bars, or simply dehydrated and used as a nutritious and crunchy topping on homemade yogurt.
Pure whole tigernut flour: is made by grinding whole dried tigernut tubers. It is finer and denser than the pulp version and comes with the full nutritional package of the original nut. Continue reading for the step by step method.
Whole tigernut flour is very versatile and can be used on its own or in combination with other flours for biscuits, cakes and breads. To produce baking with a fluffy texture similar to whole wheat flour, we recommend combining tigernut flour with a portion of tapioca flour. Tigernut flour is also naturally sweeter than most alternative flours so it may even be possible to reduce the quantity of sugar or sweetener in your recipe.
Not any old blender will be able to handle the heavy load of grinding dried tigernuts to a consistent fine powder. Unless your blender has a high-speed motor and stainless-steel blades it may only make a coarse meal. Here are some tips to help you achieve the best flour possible.
Choosing to sift the fresh flour is optional and will depend on what you plan to bake. Most recipes on the Luvele Life blog don’t require sifting but deciding to do so will produce a finer flour.
1 cup of tigernuts (or less)
* Repeat in 1 cup increments until you have the desired amount.
1. Place 1 cup of tigernuts in the Vibe Blender jug and secure the lid on.
2. Choose ‘nut’ mode and blend for 20-30 seconds.
3. Flour will collect under the lid and down the inside of the jug. Before lifting the lid off, tap the jug on the bench top so the flour settles to the bottom before opening.
4. Use a soft spatula to scrape the remaining flour from the edges of the jug. In some cases, a firmer plastic tool may be necessary to dislodge the flour collected under the blades.
5. Turn the freshly ground flour into a bowl, then repeat the process for a larger quantity.
6. If you plan on grinding several cups of flour it may be necessary to wipe the inside of the jug with a clean, dry tea towel to remove the build-up of oil.
7. Sifting tigernut flour is optional. To do so, place a wire sieve over a large bowl.
Add 1-2 cups of flour into the sieve then gently shake or stir until the finer grains fall into the bowl.
8. Place the pieces of unmilled tigernut back in the blender jug, pulse a few times and then sift again. Repeat this process until all the flour is sifted.
Freshly ground tigernut flour will not stay fresh for long and must be kept in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place and used within 3 days. For longer periods we recommend storing freshly ground tigernut flour in the fridge for up to one month or freezer for up to 3 months.
We’d love to hear what you bake with tigernut flour and which tigernut flour method you enjoy most.