Besides eating tigernuts whole, a delicious wholesome non-dairy milk can be made out of them. It is called Kunnu Aya in Nigeria and Chufa de Horchata in Spain. Tigernut milk is white, sweet and creamy. Although tigernut ‘Cyperus esculentus’ is not a nut, it is a tuber but milk is extracted from it like any nut milk.
Tigernut milk is produced commercially in Spain and can be bought in shops. It comes in different forms, Natural tigernut milk, Pasteurised natural tigernut milk, Sterilised tigernut milk, UHT tigernut milk, Concentrate tigernut milk, Condensed tigernut milk and Powdered tigernut milk. In Nigeria on the other hand, where it is mostly produced and consumed in homes, its commercial production is still low comparatively.
Learn how to make Tiger nut milk here.
Nutrient composition of tigernut milk (g/100 g)
30 Amazing facts about tigernut milk
- Tigernut milk is the juice extracted when Tiger nuts are ground into a pulp with the addition of water.
- It is called Kunnu aya in Northern Nigeria and Chufa de horchata in Spain. It is also referred to as nectar from the ground or Drink of the gods.
- Tigernut milk is a naturally sweet, creamy, healthy and energy-giving drink.
- It pairs well with a lot of other flavours like strawberry, ginger, dates, vanilla, coffee, chocolate etc.
- This is one of the best cow milk substitutes especially for people who are lactose intolerant, allergic to nuts or suffering from celiac disease.
- It has very healthy fats.
- Tigernut milk is rich in amino acids, flavonoids, minerals, sugars, and vitamins B, C and E, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron.
- It also contains carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, proteins and some digestive enzymes.
- Though not very high in total protein content, tigernut milk contains the essential ones.
- Fermentation increases the protein content of the milk.
- The nutrients in tiger nuts together, provide an antioxidant, protective and moisturising effect on the skin and hair.
- The combination of Vitamin B, C and E present in tigernuts are key nutrients in collagen and elastin formation for a firm and supple skin, also protection and treatment of UV-induced damage to the skin.
- Lack of magnesium can contribute to hair loss and tigernut milk is rich in magnesium so helps fortify the hair.
- The digestive enzymes in tigernut milk help with flatulence, diarrhoeas and other digestion disorders.
- Tigernut milk does not contain as much fibre as the tiger nut tuber, but it has enough to help prevent constipation. For this purpose do not add sugar to your tigernut milk.
- Being rich in Oleic acid, the milk helps in the reduction of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and in the fight against cardiovascular disease.
- Oleic acid is also highly beneficial to prediabetics, diabetics and people living with arteriosclerosis.
- This milk is good for hypertension patients because of its low sodium content.
- It is considered a diuretic (aids the increased passing of urine) and energetic.
- Tigernut milk contains more iron than cow milk and as much as liver or red meat. This is essential for vegans whose diet lack iron.
- The milk is rich in arginine which favours vasodilator effect therefore good for sexual, arterial and heart health.
- Also, arginine helps in the liberation of much-needed insulin in diabetics thereby controlling the blood sugar.
- Tigernut milk is said to be one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs in the world and boosts libido and fertility in both male and female.
- In China, tigernut milk is used in nature-based treatment of ailments.
- To extend the shelf life of the milk, store in the refrigerator for not more than 2 days and in the freezer for longer. At room temperature, it spoils very fast.
- Homemade tigernut milk will tend to separate, shake it well to mix and use as usual.
- In ice cream parlours it is kept fresh in special machines that keep it cold while constantly stirring it.
- Store-bought versions of the milk have added preservatives and stabilisers.
- It is used in the cosmetic industry for skin care, sun care, eye contour serum, and protective hand balm.
- It is also used in some leave-in hair care products.
For information on side effects and a complete bibliography, read 30 Amazing Facts about Tiger nuts.
Click for the recipe of Kunnu aya or Chufas de horchata.
- The information given here is not medical or nutritional advice but purely informative and nothing more. You will need to see a doctor if you have any disorder and a nutritionist for advice on your diet.
Do you have any suggestions, comments or questions, I will love to know in the comments below.
Check out my facts about 30 Amazing Facts about Tiger nuts, 25 Amazing Facts About Tiger nut flour, Amazing facts about Tiger nut oil. Also an Index of Tiger nut recipes coming soon. Learn how to make delectable Tiger nut milk (Kunnu-Aya, Chufas de Horchata).
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M.U. Ukwuru and A.C. Ogbodo, 2011. Effect of Processing Treatment on the Quality of Tigernut Milk. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 10: 95-100. http://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=pjn.2011.95.100. 26/5/2017
Espinoza Jessica, Feb. 2015. How to Make Tigernut Milk (a dairy-free, AIP-friendly beverage) www.deliciousobsessions.com/2015/02/how-to-make-tigernut-milk/ 26/5/2017
Nazir Kizzie-Hayford (B.Sc., M.Sc.), 2 March 2017. Development of strategies for the successful production of yogurt-like products from tiger nut (Cyperus esculentus L) milk. http://www.qucosa.de/fileadmin/data/qucosa/documents/22109/Dissertation_Kizzie.pdf. 28/5/2017
Mckay Tonya, 2016. What a curl chemist wants you to know about free radical damage. https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curl-products/antioxidants-in-hair-products/. 26/5/2017
Fernández E1, Martínez-Teipel B, Armengol R, Barba C, Coderch L., Efficacy of antioxidants in human hair. 2012 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23123594 26/5/2017
TERRI WILLIAMS. Do Antioxidants Promote Hair Growth? Jan 05, 2016. http://www.livestrong.com/article/461471-antioxidants-for-hair-growth/. 25/5/2017
Tracey Roizman, DC. Foods That Build Collagen Elastin http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/foods-build-collagen-elastin-2217.html. 26/5/2017
Harvey Simon, MD, Skin wrinkles and blemishes 12/18/2012. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/skin-wrinkles-and-blemishes. 26/5/17
Alexander J. Michels, PhD. Vitamin C and Skin Health http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C. 25/5/2017
www.tigernuts.com HORCHATA: Vegetable milk made of Tigernuts. http://www.horchata.eu/.
Bamishaiye, E.I., et al., “Tiger Nut: As a Plant, Its Derivatives and Benefits,” African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 2011, 11(5); http://www.bioline.org.br/request?nd11060.
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