Tiger nut flour is a starchy powder made from root vegetables, and not nuts as its name implies. This means that those with nut allergies as well as those adhering to low-carb, gluten-free, and paleo diets can enjoy tiger nut products. As these diets rise in popularity, tiger nut flour is becoming more popular on health food and specialty market shelves around the country.
What is Tiger Nut Flour?
Tiger nut flour is made with the tuber from the chufa sedge, also called nut grass, yellow nutsedge, tiger nut sedge, edible galingale, water grass and earth almond. This plant which grows throughout North Africa, the United States, Mexico, parts of South America, the Mediterranean, India, and the Middle East, and commonly goes by the name tiger nut.
Archeologists have found traces of this root in tools dating back about 9,000 years. While ancient people likely used tiger nuts in different ways, it's unlikely it was used as a flour owing to the processing necessary to produce this ingredient.
How To Use Tiger Nut Flour
Tiger nut flour is made by roasting tiger nuts and processing the roasted roots into a fine powder. Though it's not comparable to wheat flour in terms of flavor or utility, you can certainly add tiger nut flour to baked goods or to create a roux for soup or stew. It makes a delicious addition to horchata (a creamy beverage usually made with rice and spiced with cinnamon) and can be used to thicken or flavor a variety of products from jam to ice cream.
Tiger nut flour is a bit sweeter than most grains, owing to natural sugars in the root. It's best to mix this ingredient with another flour (like coconut, arrowroot or almond) for the best baking results. Use it as a binding ingredient in veggie burgers, black bean patties, meatloaf, and other savory dishes.
What Does It Taste Like?
The tuber has a mild, nutty flavor with the slightly sweet and earthy essence of a root vegetable. These nuances add subtle notes to any dish you make with tiger nut flour.
Tiger Nut Flour Recipes
Since tiger nut flour is popular in paleo and gluten-free diets, more recipes you'll find will call for this ingredient. From dessert to breakfast to dinner, there are plenty of tasty ways to use this product.
Where to Buy
Tiger nut flour is not as common as other alternative flours, like almond, chickpea, and coconut. Health food and specialty shops may carry it, though you'll want to check beforehand to make sure it's in stock.
Root vegetables have a shorter shelf life than grains, which is important to keep in mind when storing tiger nut flour. Keep tightly sealed in a container or jar in a cool, dry place and use within a few weeks of opening the package, or store tightly sealed in the fridge to preserve for up to two months.
Nutrition and Benefits
Tiger nuts are rich in prebiotic fiber, iron, potassium, protein, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins E and C. Substituting a small amount of tiger nut flour in a recipe that calls for wheat or another flour can add extra nutrients to a recipe.