I made this recipe to introduce you to tiger nuts! I recently was introduced to them as a an alternative to nuts. I used to go nuts for nuts until I realized they were the culprit behind some of my digestive issues. Not everyone has a sensitivity to nuts, but if you do or you'd like some variation, I recommend trying these naturally sweet and chewy tiger nuts out. They are also Paleo and gluten free : )
So what are Tiger Nuts?
You're probably wondering why I'm replacing a nut with a nut. Well, tiger nuts are actually not nuts! They are small root vegetable tubers, which originated in the Mediterranean and Northern Africa. Tiger nuts made up about 80% of our Paleo ancestors diets around 2 million years ago.
What's more is tiger nuts are actually good for your gut microbiome.
They are a resistant starch, meaning they resist digestion. So when you ingest a tiger nut, instead of being broken down for your cells to use as energy, it moves directly to your colon. Hello, fiber! If you need help getting things moving, this is a great snack for you.
But resistant starch does more than just that. Resistant starch is a prebiotic, which is a special kind of fiber that nourishes the existing good bacteria in your gut, specifically in your large intestines. You can think of resistant starch foods like the fairy god mother for your digestive tract-- the prebiotics come in, make things right, and voila! Everything is as it should be!
Note: You can also find resistant starch in apple skins, Jerusalem artichokes and onions.
Why is the health of your gut microbiome so important?
Over the last few years, research has shown that many of our health issues are rooted in the composition of our gut microbiome, also known as the bacteria in your intestines. Michael Pollan, well-known author of The Omnivores Dilemma and Food Rules, stated that the microbes living in our gut, "also appear to play a critical role in training and modulating our immune system, helping it to accurately distinguish between friend and foe and not go nuts on, well, nuts and all sorts of other potential allergens." 80-85% of our immune system is located in the gut or intestinal walls. You can think of the gut microbiome as the right hand to your immune system.
Recommendation: Add some resistant starch to your diet! Tiger nuts are a great source. You can buy them through Organic Gemini. You can also make delicious baked desserts with tiger nut flour. Check out my Zucchini Bread recipe below to get your started.
Fluffy + Moist Zucchini Bread
1 cup + 2 tablespoons tiger nut flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
3 tbsp. coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 juiced lemon
1/4 cup coconut milk (full fat, unsweetened)
1/4 cup applesauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup melted & cooled coconut oil
1 cup raw shredded zucchini (You can use any color--I used yellow! I shredded my zucchini using a vegetable peeler)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a baking pan with ghee (be sure to grease the bottom and up on the sides!)
In a mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients (tiger nut flour, arrowroot starch, coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt)
In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (lemon, applesauce, coconut milk, maple syrup, shredded zucchini, cooled coconut oil).
Combine your wet and dry ingredients in a large blender, I used my Vitamix.
Once blended smooth, transfer into your greased baking pan.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil on top. Put back into the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until completely cooked through (some ovens may be different).
(Adapted from Heartbeet Kitchen)