Tiger Nuts, My Vegetable Obsession, and the Best Sautéed Broccoli Recipe (Paleo, Whole 30, Grain Free, Nut Free)
They're not a nut. They're not from tigers. They're a tuber, and they're amazing for you.
You'll know what I'm talking about toward the end of the post ;)
Let me just preface this post with the statement that I eat loads of vegetables. I was thinking yesterday about that the other day, like, more vegetables than the average person. I guess that's a good thing, but I definitely need to keep it interesting. As a grain-free, Paleo-based, always-hungry girl, most of my meals revolve around a clean protein source, a healthy fat, and excessive vegetables. Gotta fill up. I think vegetables are the ultimate source of nutrition (way more so than fruit), but of course we have to vary our diets and include all the other good stuff, like fats and proteins, too. I'm not mad about that either.
So, how do I keep my vegetables interesting and tasty? Well, I roast or sauté them almost 100% of the time. I'm not a fan of boiled or steamed vegetables...too boring, you know? I like them sautéed up in some coconut oil with tons and tons of herbs, getting a little crispy. As you know, I am also a sweet potato fanatic. Those are most often always roasted and I wouldn't want them any other way. Baked sweet potato? Nah. Same goes for brussels sprouts, broccoli and basically any other veg. Roasted, or nothing.
Here's a little more detail on how I cook my veg. I tend to make my food fresh right before I eat it rather than prep it, so I always just use the amount of each that I desire at the time. It's usually quite a lot. Hehe.
I found these cute little stalks of purple broccoli at the grocery store and had to buy them. All about that funky veg ish. I just put them on a baking sheet (with some brussels, because why not), drizzled some coconut oil (or ghee) on top, and sprinkled heaps of sea salt, rosemary, thyme, and roasted them at 180C/375F for about 15 minutes or until they looked crispy. Super easy, flavorful and nutritious. I paired them with some chicken (or maybe it was a burger...) and a side of avocado for a perfectly balanced lunch or dinner. Easy!
But you know what I've been loving lately, maybe even more than vegetables? Tiger nuts. Yup, that special ingredient I alluded to earlier. They're not nuts, but they make a great replacement for toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds in any vegetable dish.
What the H is a tiger nut? First of all, its not a nut. And its not from a tiger. Its actually a vegetable. A tuber to be exact. Yep, its baaaasically a sweet potato. Word. No, but really, tiger nuts are the recent health food craze because of their high nutrient value, sweet taste, and versatility in use. I got the sliced version of the tuber, but I've got the whole and powder form; they're all good for different purposes. The tubers comprised 80% of our Paleolithic ancestors diets, so they're for sure Paleo, if you even care.
Why are they good for you? Like the package says, tiger nuts are a huge source of resistant starch & prebiotic fiber. They are food for the healthy bacteria living in your gut (I know, more gut-talk). Tiger nuts are a great source of fiber, which you all know you should be getting. I got really into fiber because it is the best way to detox your body of excess hormones, like estrogen, that accumulate and aren't properly removed. Yay for fiber!
How do you eat them? Well, you can eat these bad boys straight out of the bag. A non-vegetable or jerky Paleo snack! Be careful not to eat too many too soon as the high amounts of fiber can upset a digestive system that isn't used to the roughage. Or, if you're trying not to snack but still want the prebiotic benefits, I've got you covered. Toast. Add to roasted veg. Easy. And hey, I even have a recipe for you. That's how much I love tiger nuts.
This is a super easy way to whip up some veg and add a little more fiber and nutrition while getting your prebiotic. I've toasted the tiger nuts for a little extra flavor, and let me tell you, it was a fab idea. They taste like roasted almonds but also like popcorn. Considering no caveman ate popcorn (as far as we know...) and nuts happen to irritate my stomach, this was a WIN for The No Grainer.
Toasted Tiger Nut + Broccoli Sauté
(serves 1-2, takes 15 minutes)
What you'll need:
1/4 c. slice tiger nuts (my favorite brand, purchased at Whole Foods)
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 tbsp. coconut oil or ghee
Handful of raisins or fruit juice sweetened cranberries
Rosemary, thyme, salt + pepper to taste (few shakes of each)
What you do:
- Start by lightly steaming the broccoli in a frying pan, over medium heat, by placing the florets in about 1" of water. Cover and let steam until they're bright green and slightly softer.
- Uncover, add the oil or ghee to the frying pan along with the spices and allow the broccoli to sauté further and absorb all the herbs.
- While the broccoli is cooking, toast the tiger nuts: Place them in a small frying pan over medium heat and let them toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Be careful not to let them burn, as this can easily happen quickly. Once they're golden and smelling fragrant, remove them from the heat.
- When the broccoli is tender to the touch and slightly crispy, take it off the heat, and set aside. Add the raisins or cranberries to the broccoli and mix to spread the seasonings.
- Sprinkle the broccoli with the toasted tiger nuts and enjoy as a side dish or snack.
I'm really digging these tiger nuts for their sweet, nutty taste and source of resistant starch. They are so versatile and can be used in baking (as a flour), added into smoothies for slower sugar absorption, or just eaten as a snack. I can't wait to do more experimenting with them and bring you even more recipes. I have a few ideas up my sleeve....
Have you ever tried tiger nuts? What do you think? Let me know!