Chufa de Valencia, otherwise known as the tiger nut, is a pivotal ingredient in Spain used to make horchata. It’s a milky, non-alcoholic beverage that mixes water, sugar, and cinnamon to achieve its delicious flavor.
Sourced from la Horchata Nord de Valencia, the horchata beverage originated in Valencia’s southwest region. When you are not busy learning about different foods from Spain, hop on to NetBet. Kick back and relax with your favorite casino games.
Tiger nuts come from the yellow nutsedge plant, otherwise known as Cyperus esculentus. The plant is mostly spread out in the Eastern Hemisphere of the world including the Indian subcontinent, Africa, the Middle East, Madagascar, and Southern Europe. The plant was originally born in North Africa before becoming more available throughout the Eastern Hemisphere because of its weed-like qualities.
Cultivators dry out the plant’s tubes to transform them into the composition of a hard and rigid tiger nut. Tiger nuts are also known as nutsedge from their original plant name. Some people call tiger nuts Earth’s almond or a chufa nut, which have about the same taste as an almond or a pecan.
Horchata de chufa is a cold, delicious drink most popular in the summer amongst Spaniards. Since the tiger nuts are very hard, they have to be soaked for a long time before they can be ground up to turn into horchata.
If someone is lactose-intolerant, they opt for drinking horchata for the same creamy consistency as consuming cow’s milk so that they do not have digestion complications. Since horchata is made from plant-based ingredients, no dairy in it will upset lactose-intolerant consumers.
The tiger nuts from the yellow nutsedge plant are used for more than just making horchata de chufa. Tiger nuts can also be ground into the consistency of ground coffee to steep as a substitute for traditional coffee.
There are many health benefits of tiger nuts. Switching to a plant-based milk substitute can have its perks, especially if you are lactose intolerant.
Because of its insoluble fiber, consuming tiger nuts promotes regularity. It helps waste to be readily omitted from your body and reduces the likelihood of constipation.
Tiger nuts contain many antioxidants. As long as they are germinating, it can enhance the number of antioxidants in them at the time of consumption. Antioxidants protect your cells from damage that they could face from different free radicals throughout your body.
The resistant starch inside tiger nuts can enhance the gut flora in your stomach. It helps your body to readily digest nutrients and other elements that it cannot do on its own without the help of good gut bacteria. Be mindful that resistant starch can cause bloating, so drink small amounts of horchata or consume tiger nuts in limited quantities to minimize this side effect.
Tiger nuts also have monounsaturated fats that can contribute to cardiovascular health. Because these fats contribute to reduced cholesterol, your body will have less chance of experiencing a heart attack or other serious cardiovascular conditions.
The monounsaturated fats in tiger nuts can also:
Eating tiger nuts or regularly drinking horchata can help your body’s immune system to better fight off bacterial infections such as E. coli. If the bacterial infection hits your body, your immune system will be armed with the tools to kill off the offending virus.
Have you ever tried tiger nuts on your own or the horchata drink? We hope you enjoy the delicious taste and added health benefits.