When we find foods that have stood the test of time and are still relevant to good health in modern times, we get pretty excited here at Daily Superfood Love.
Tiger nuts (Cyperus esculentus L.) are tuber vegetables – similar to a potato – that have been around for thousands of years. In the same family as papyrus, tiger nuts are considered an ancient food, with the first recordings of their use and consumption being found with the Egyptians in 4000 BC. Tiger nuts made their way to Spain and now these tubers are available everywhere – particularly in North, Central, and South America.
The flavor is slightly sweet and nutty. Like many root vegetables, they are hard so it is best to soak them before use in candies, ice cream, and drinks. They can be consumed raw, roasted, or dried and ground into a flour.
Our favorite way to enjoy these little tubers is in a delicious drink called horchata (tiger nut milk). Cool and delicious on a hot day, one of the main benefits of horchata is that it can be used in place of cow’s milk and offers incredible nutritional content than other non-milk sources.
Tiger milk nuts for sale at a local farmer’s market.
It is high in calcium but contains no lactose – making it ideal for those who are lactose intolerant. Simply omit the sugar from the recipe we share at the end of the post and voila! A fresh and organic milk replacement!
It is crucial that you make your own horchata or buy it fresh from a local market since commercially manufactured varieties contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and other refined sugars. To get the good stuff, you need to make or buy the good stuff.
Tiger nuts are great in place of almonds (for a fraction of the cost) and offer just as many health benefits as one of our favorite superfoods.
These darlings are overflowing with vitamins, minerals, and fuel that your body is going to love using in every cell.
The Astounding Nutritional Benefits of Horchata (Tiger Nut Milk)
- Fiber (more than oats, bran, or cabbage)
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Protein in the form of arginine (amino acid)
- Palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic (fatty acids)
Benefits of Horchata – An Ancient Food to Combat Modern Health Conditions
The individual nutrients found in tiger nuts have been studied by researchers all over the globe but the true value has only recently gained the attention of the medical community at large.
As they scramble to verify the many benefits of horchata in controlled trials, holistic practitioners continue to use it in the same ways for the same conditions that the tuber has been used to treat successfully for thousands of years…as well as a few “new” issues.
- Boosts the immune system
- Prevents cardiovascular disease
- Strengthens bones and muscles
- Detoxifies the liver
- Reduces LDL “bad” cholesterol
- Aids in better digestion
- Relieves stress and balances mood
- Assists in maintaining a healthy body weight
- Improves blood flow, which helps prevent erectile dysfunction (ED)
Tiger nuts are the perfect choice for those with heart conditions and diabetes since it is high in fiber, heart-healthy fats, and vitamins.
The widely available and inexpensive tubers make them a valuable resource in the fight against malnutrition. The nutrient-rich food source provides missing elements for those who may not have an adequate food supply.
Traditional Nigerian Tiger Nut Milk (Horchata) Recipe
Tiger nut milk is traditional to Nigeria and (later) Spain. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and tastes delicious! Try this recipe over ice in the hottest part of the year for a refreshing and nutritious change from processed, sugary beverages. If you want to create a fresh (particularly tasty) milk replacement, simply omit the sugar.
- 8 ounces raw, organic tiger nuts
- 1 quart filtered water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cardamom pods
- ½ cup organic piloncillo (unrefined sugar), optional
- Clean tiger nuts thoroughly by rubbing between your hands while rinsing in clean water.
- Place tiger nuts and cinnamon stick into medium-sized mixing bowl, cover with warm water.
- Allow to soak between 12-24 hours (until softened).
- Transfer the tiger nuts, soaking water, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and piloncillo (optional) to a high-powered blender.
- Blend until they form a smooth paste, adding additional water as necessary to allow even blending.
- Refrigerate paste for an hour to rest, spoon into a nut milk bag or mesh strainer, transferring all drained liquid content to a glass container and refrigerate.
- Serve over ice. Yields one quart.
Read More about Superfoods
If you like to discover fresh (often unusual) superfoods to boost your health, slow the aging process, and keep your body strong for years to come, check out our Ultimate Guide to Superfoods right now! We add new articles all the time!
Do you have an idea for a superfood that isn’t on our list? Leave a comment below!