Now that I have your attention, I should be clear that the tiger nuts I’m referring to are small root vegetables.
I first heard about these tiny tubers a few months ago and have since spotted them at grocery stores, in the news, and on my professional electronic mailing lists.
Paleo diet enthusiasts already might be familiar with tiger nuts because they are a paleo-friendly snack food and touted as an "ancient superfood" in the Paleo community.
However, raw tiger nuts are not suitable for someone with poor dental health because their woody consistency makes them very tough to chew. They can be made into a nut-free “nut” milk and tigernut flour that can serve as a substitute for wheat flour.
Tiger nuts are a good source of resistant starch, a prebiotic fiber that nourishes our beneficial gut bacteria and keeps us full for extended periods of time. Plus, they contain important minerals, such as magnesium and potassium, and healthy anti-inflammatory fats. Research suggests that tiger nuts might help protect against colon cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Before you add these nut-free nuts to your shopping list, you should know that they are an acquired taste and texture. Here are what a few of my co-workers had to say about their first taste of tiger nuts (Organic Gemini):
“I don’t like that, and I like just about everything.”
“They taste like dried out hazelnuts. I’d rather eat hazelnuts.”
“The texture threw me.”
“Tasty cardboard.” - from someone who likes the consistency of cardboard
“They’re sweet and taste a little like coconut.”
“If they tasted like coconut then I might eat them. I don’t taste coconut.”
Bottom line: Tiger nuts are nutritious so eat them if you want to, but you can find these same nutrients in a variety of other nuts and seeds. People following a low fiber/roughage diet should avoid tiger nuts in their whole form.