Have you ever heard of tigernuts? I started seeing mention of them pop up in the Paleosphere are few years ago but didn’t really get interested in them until recently. Although the term tigernuts may conger up images of sci-fi tigers dressed in shiny space suits and/or crazy tigers terrorizing the planet, they are actually something you can eat! And they are not nuts, they are tiny tubers. So let’s explain why you should love tigernuts and then give you an easy peasy recipe for how to make tigernut milk.
What are Tigernuts?
The species name is Cyperus esculentus, but tigernuts are also known as chufa sedge, nut grass, yellow nutsedge, tiger nut sedge, or earth almonds. Tigernuts are found all over the world and grow wild and as a crop. Once harvested, the edible tuber is dried for preservation. If not soaked before consuming, they are very hard and crunchy, so soaking at least overnight is recommended. Even after soaking, the tigernuts will still be crunchy, but not “break a tooth” hard! Tigernuts have a rich, sweet, nutty flavor – perfect for snacking and baking.
History of Tigernuts
Tigernuts are a true Paleo food. Prehistoric traces of tigernuts have been discovered and dated back thousands of years. Some suggest that tigernuts were the main source of food for early species of hominin. Over the course of time, tigernuts became very highly valued in ancient Egypt and have strong roots in Spain as well.
Benefits of Tigernuts
Tigernuts are allergy friendly and are perfect for those following an AIP (auto-immune Paleo) diet. They are nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and grain-free! Tigernuts are also a great source of resistant starch. Resistant startch is a pre-biotic fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut making consumption of these little tubers great for building up the digestive system!
How to make Tigernut Milk
Now that we know a little more about these delicious little tubers, let’s make Tigernut Milk! Use this delicious milk where you would use any other type of milk – perfect for coffee or tea, yummy in smoothies, and so good served over an amazingly tasty tigernut cereal recipe that I will be sharing soon! Pour over ice and enjoy the slightly sweet and nutty flavor just as it is!
Tigernuts need to be soaked at least over night for this recipe. The reason for soaking is to soften them as opposed to the reason you soak nuts. Soaking nuts improves their digestibility by breaking down enzyme inhibitors that can lead to digestive upset when eaten in their raw state.
A quick note on my favorite products used for making tigernut milk:
This is the only brand of tigernuts that I have used to date. They have great flavor and produce consistently great milk.
In this recipe we use sea salt during the soaking process to ward off bacterial growth. Because we are soaking the tigernuts in the refrigerator, this likely won’t be an issue but I use it just in case.
Cheesecloth will work for this recipe, but I highly recommend investing in a quality nut milk bag to make you life easier! This one is made of a light canvas material and has been going strong in my kitchen for about 5 years. Think about the cost of cheesecloth over all that time and it’s totally worth it!
- Place the tigernuts in a glass jar and add enough water to cover them by an inch or two.
- Add the sea salt and place the lid on the jar. Shake the jar to dissolve the salt.
- Place the jar in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours and up to 72 hours.
- Remove the jar from the refrigerator and pour the contents of the jar though a sieve.
- Rinse the tigernuts and then put them in a blender with 3 cups of filtered water.
- Process on high speed for one minute.
- Pour the contents of the blender into a nut milk bag or several layers of cheesecloth placed over a bowl. Give the contents a good squeeze to extract the milk.
- Store in a quart size jar in the refrigerator. Because there are no fillers in your milk, make sure to shake the jar well or stir before consuming as there will be some separation.
- Compost or dehydrate the tiger nut pulp left in your nut milk bag.