The following article appeared in Paleo Magazine, hope you like it
“The Paleo diet is not a historical reenactment.”
We hear this phrase over and over, most often in defense of modern foods like nut flours and butters, or the occasional square of dark chocolate. But what if it could be? What if there were a tasty, portable snack that could help bridge the gap between modern cave people and our Paleolithic ancestors?
The next time the “modern food” issue comes up in a debate, toss a bag of tiger nuts at the dissenter.
Tiger nuts are not nuts at all, but are in fact the tuberous root of a wild grass that originated on the African continent. Commonly called chufa sedge, nut grass or earth almond, the tiger nut is experiencing a culinary resurgence in Spain, where it is commonly enjoyed as horchata, a creamy, dairy-free beverage made from tiger nuts, dates and filtered water.
Considered “the world’s first cultivated food,” evidence points to widespread consumption of tiger nuts in ancient Egypt. The dried tubers have been found in predynastic Egyptian tombs from 600 years ago, and current research on hominid development point to tiger nuts—or a similar starchy tuber—as one of the key food sources for early humans.
Tiger nuts boast about 33 percent fiber, and thus offer a good source of prebiotic fuel for gut flora. Additionally, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and copper are abundant in tiger nuts, and they offer a rich source of resistant starch. But these tubers aren’t all starch and no substance. With a lipid profile similar to that of olive oil, tiger nuts have a macronutrient ratio almost identical to that of human breast milk.
Tiger nuts grow much like potatoes: The leafy stalks spring up from the ground, while below the surface of the earth, clusters of these little tubers are knit together by fine filaments of root. They only grow in certain parts of the world—climate and soil health are big factors—and the ones currently sold by Tiger Nuts USA are cultivated in Valencia on the eastern coast of Spain.
Tiger Nuts USA offers two varieties, peeled and unpeeled, although Paleo Magazine only received the peeled tubers to sample. Packaged in a 5-ounce bag, the company’s (appropriately named) Tiger Nuts are small, and look a bit like lumpy beige golf balls or round, shelled peanuts with their pitted skin. Their nutty texture is similar to that of the macadamia, and they have a toasted, sweet flavor. In fact, some of the best descriptors for the flavor of these tubers are those shared with the honey-nut cereals that made their rounds in pre-Paleo-diet breakfasts.
The tubers are absolutely packed with fiber, and this can make them a little tough to chew. But after the first bite or two, they release moisture and sweetness, and just a handful is extremely satisfying.
The Tiger Nuts USA website recommends them as a great snack for anyone with blood sugar control issues, dairy or gluten intolerances, nut allergies (remember, they’re a tuber) or just a general snacking habit. The high mineral content and extreme satiation would indeed make these little tubers a good snack for anyone pursuing nutrient density on a Paleo diet, and if you imagine hard enough, you may be able to feel the breezes of the African plains as you munch on this truly Paleolithic snack.
For more information or for online ordering, visit tigernutsusa.com.
Hello, I'm a mom of a diagnosed celiac disease daughter.
She is currently 8, but was diagnosed shortly before her 6th birthday. She cried everyday before diagnosis. She always had stomach pain and body aches.
Since her diagnosis we have seen so much improvement. Stomach aches are rare rather then daily.
I do everything I can to make sure she eats safely. Just this year I pulled her from school because her teacher last year didn't bother to take her CD seriously.
It's an expensive lifestyle, but we've adapted and it's our normal now. We don't eat out often and that's not a bad thing, but sometimes can be an inconvenient thing. Everything costs more when you're gluten free so I try to look at it as a glass half full situation and that we're saving money.
I worry a lot about when she gets older and wants to do normal kid stuff and won't be able to because of her cd and I can only hope she handles it well. The gluten free group on Facebook has been a huge help to me as I believe I have been a help to others.
When I'm in a store and wonder if what I want to get is safe (and it's not clearly stated on the item) I snap a pic and ask the gluten free group and almost always get a response quickly of someone who has tried and gives it the "ok!"
We are a family of 4 with only my daughter needing to be gf. We mostly eat gf, but we are not a100% gf household. It can be done. I plan to pass on my knowledge of being gf to my daughter (she knows a lot already) as well as having her join the gluten free Facebook group when she's old enough. I hope our story helps you somehow.
Sincerely, Julie B.
Tenille was diagnosed with Celiac over 10 years ago.
She found out in a very tragic way. Her father had died with cancer and they found out it had been caused by un-diagnosed Celiac disease.
Once she knew this, she was tested for Celiac and found out she was positive for the disease. Her siblings were told they needed to be tested as well and her sister and brother were both diagnosed with Celiac.
She has lived a Gluten Free life since then and it has changed her life in a very positive way.
If she accidentally encounters even a crumb of gluten she will be sick for days. She has helped others who have had to transition to a GF lifestyle and is a strong advocate for ensuring companies understand how important it is to include the information about gluten on their ingredient list.
She has been a member of our Gluten Free group for a number of years and has learned and shared important information and offered support to others.
Gluten Free and how it changed my life.
I was diagnoised with underactive thyroid over 30 years ago and was taking Syntroid in different doses as per my doctor's instructions.
Sometimes it helped but sometimes it did not.
About 10 years ago I started to research what could be done naturally to help thyroid function. I found a site online that belonged to a doctor in the USA who treated people for auto immune issues. He had a questionnaire on his site that allowed you to ask one question that you wanted an answer to.
I contacted him via email and asked him what was the number one thing I could do to help with my thyroid issues. He responded and told me to go on a Gluten Free diet.
I had just been introduced to the Gluten Free way of eating by a close friend who had been diagnosed with Celiac. With her help and lots of research online I decided to try it and I have been Gluten Free since then.
It has had a positive impact on my health in many ways. My thyroid functions have improved but I still take a low dose of Eltroxin. Living a Gluten-Free lifestyle has helped with other issues including bloat, brain fog, headaches, and joint pain.
It can be challenging especially in the beginning.