Tiger nut milk makes a great alternative to dairy milk when you detox. Although I have written about it in one of the emails I sent out to my health subscribers a few years ago I have never written about it on this blog.
I was reminded of it when I saw an article last week about this tasty milk in an online British newspaper. World Plant Milk Day is coming up on August 22nd too so I thought it timely to write about it now.
The email I sent out to my subscribers was prompted by a visit to a food fair when I was in Spain. Tiger nut milk is very popular there because it’s used to make Horchata, a popular drink in the South of Spain.
Traditional Spanish Horchata is made with tiger nuts, known as Chufas there, and lots of white sugar. Although tiger nuts are very healthy the addition of sugar is not!
The stall holder selling Horchata at the Food Fair I went to made it with organic tiger nut milk and agave syrup which is so much healthier.
Health Benefits of Tiger Nuts
Well first I have to say that tiger nuts are not nuts at all so are ideal for people with nut allergies. They are tiny tuberous roots of a Middle-Eastern plant of the sedge family with a sweetish nutty flavor similar to coconut. They get their name from the striped appearance of the outside.
They are ideal if you follow a Paleo or Autoimmune diet (AIP).
Full of beneficial fiber
Tiger nuts are good for snacking when you are on a detox diet or any other time for that matter as they are full of good nutrients and a fiber known as resistant starch.
Related reading: The Return of the Fiber Trend is good for Bowel Cleansing
You would have to soak them first if you are going to snack on them as they are too hard otherwise. Soaking them for about 4 hours in filtered water softens them enough to make them tasty and crunchy.
Resistant starch is a highly beneficial pre-biotic, which means it feeds the good bacteria in your digestive tract. The good bacteria play a part in detox so it’s important to feed them.
They also contain insoluble fiber which helps move waste through your gut preventing constipation. It’s most important to get your bowels moving well when you detox so the toxins that the liver has processed get out of your body as quickly as possible.
If you are not used to a lot of fiber it’s a good idea to introduce tiger nuts slowly so as not to cause any upset. Tiger nut milk of course would not have this effect because the fiber gets strained out. (Instructions for making further on in this article).
High in nutrients
Tiger nuts are also high in antioxidants, vitamins C and E, and minerals such as iron, potassium, and magnesium. All these nutrients are needed for the optimum function of the detox system.
Promote weight loss & reduces blood pressure
Tiger nuts contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that’s known as Omega 9 fatty acid. Oleic acid is the fatty acid that is found in olive oil with all the same health benefits. Research shows this monounsaturated fatty acid can help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, reduce appetite and can promote weight loss.
The weight loss benefit comes from the fact that the fiber in tiger nuts help to make you feel full so you are less likely to overeat or get cravings.
Related reading: What do your Crazy Food Cravings Tell You?
Some companies produce cold pressed tiger nut oil which retains the benefits of the oil.
Disadvantage of tiger nuts
One disadvantage of tiger nuts is that they contain anti-nutrients, such as phytates, oxalates, saponins and tanins, which can reduce nutrient absorption from your digestive system.
One way to avoid this is by germinating them. This increases the antioxidant content too. To germinate them you simply soak them in filtered water to cover overnight or at least 7 hours. Then rinse them using a sieve with more filtered water.
How To Make Tiger Nut Milk
After soaking them you can snack on them as they are or make into tiger nut milk. To make them even softer for really silky milk you can soak them for 24 – 48 hours but you would have to refrigerate them if you are going to do this.
Then you simply blend them in a high powered blender in a ratio of 1 cup of tiger nuts to 2 cups of filtered water. Strain the mixture through a nut milk bag and you have a tasty milk. You can keep it in your fridge for a couple of days.
Use it in coffee (preferably not if you are on a detox diet!) and tea, add to your detox smoothies and detox smoothie bowls, make gluten free pancakes or add it to your overnight oats.
If you happen to have a dehydrator you can dehydrate the pulp and use it as flour in recipes. You can use it to replace almond flour in recipes.
Here’s a tasty recipe for using tiger nut milk in a smoothie.
Raspberry and Tiger Nut Milk Detox Smoothie
(Recipe adapted from Plant Milk Power, by Dr Aparna Prinja and Shital Shah – only currently available in the UK)
Serves 2 (Makes approx 480 ml).
50g tiger nuts, soaked in 70 ml water overnight to cover them
200 ml water
10g chia seeds, soaked in 60 ml water overnight
2 dates, pitted (you can omit these if the raspberries are sweet enough)
¼ tsp vanilla paste, powder or the vanilla seeds from a pod
80 ml filtered water
1. Remove tiger nuts from the overnight water. Mix nuts with 200ml filtered water. Blend for about 2 minutes, until the nuts are fully blended.
2. Strain the nut milk through nut milk bag or a very fine sieve
3. Add chia seeds, plus the water they’re soaked in, the raspberries, dates, vanilla and 80ml water. Blend until very smooth. Pour into your serving glass and sip slowly. Enjoy!
Here’s a recipe for a healthy Horchata which makes an ideal drink when you are on a detox diet.
Healthy Spanish Horchata Recipe
4 cups (1liter) filtered water
9 oz (250 g) tiger nuts
1 cinnamon stick
The peel of an organic lemon
4 Medjool dates or 8 Deglet Nour dates
Ground cinnamon for serving
1. Soak the tiger nuts in 2 cups of pure water for 12 to 24 hours. Drain and then rinse them.
2. Blend them with 2 cups of water.
3. Place the mixture in a glass jar, add a cinnamon stick and the peel of a lemon.
4.Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to develop.
5. Strain the horchata using a nut milk bag or a cheesecloth into the blender jug and blend it with the dates.
6. Pour into serving glasses or put back into fridge until cold if it’s warmed up.
7. You can serve the horchata with a little ground cinnamon sprinkled on top.
Have you tried tiger nut milk yet? If so then please share your experiences with my readers in the comments.
Tiger nut milk image by Naija Foryou