How To Grow Tiger Nuts Yourself
Everything you need to know about this superfood
In their North African homeland, tiger nuts have been cultivated for many thousands of years and are valued as a high-quality source of fibre. Since then, the advantages of this great tuber have been recognised around the world. They're a superfood that you can grow yourself in a garden or on a balcony without much effort. Read on to find out what to look out for.
What makes tiger nuts so great?
Knowledge from North Africa and Spain is spreading across the world - tiger nuts are a superfood! They have a high fibre and mineral content, easily digestible proteins and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Tiger nuts are also gluten-free and are considered basic foods. What more could you want?
Tiger nuts have great nutritional properties and a slightly sweet and pleasantly nutty taste. The taste unfolds both fresh and roasted, or when it's processed into flour. And since the tiger nut has nothing to do with almonds or nuts apart from its name and taste, it's perfect for anyone allergic to nuts.
Let's grow tiger nuts!
A plant with so many great properties should grow in every garden. The good news is that tiger nuts are considered to be extremely easy to care for and usually need no more than regular watering and some compost when planting out. However, they hate the cold, so choose a warm and sunny location. The soil should be sandy and loose.
We have summarised the most important steps:
- Before sowing, soak the seeds in lukewarm water overnight to improve germination.
- Plant the seeds about 2cm deep in the ground and then place the seed pots somewhere with a temperature of 20 to 25°C.
- When the first seedlings appear, move the pots to a cooler, but bright, place.
- After the last frost, put the plants in a bed or planters and put them outside. A little compost is recommended. Be careful: To prevent the tiger nuts from spreading uncontrollably, include a root barrier when planting out.
- If lower temperatures are to be expected during the night, we recommend covering the plants in beds or planters with fleece.
- In autumn, cover the bed with a layer of mulch. Then, tiger nuts should survive a mild winter in the bed and sprout again in spring.
How to process and enjoy tiger nuts
As the name suggests, tiger nuts are harvested from underground growing tubers. Dig them out from October and then process them in different ways.
- Soak them for a few hours and then simply enjoy them raw, dry them, roast them, boil them, or grind them like legumes.
- In principle, tiger nuts can be used like nuts, meaning that they are suitable, for example, as a snack on their own, as an ingredient in pastries and pastries, ground as gluten-free flour, as an ingredient in muesli and even as a coffee substitute.
- Tiger nuts are also a high-quality sugar substitute. As you can see, the tiger nut is a real jack of all trades that will soon have a permanent place in your kitchen.
Did you know that...
...the tiger nut has nothing to do with almonds or nuts? Therefore, it's an ideal substitute for nut allergy sufferers.
...the tiger nut, also known as chufa and belonging to the sour grass family (Cyperaceae), originally comes from northern Africa? From there, it spread to Spain, where it's mainly cultivated and processed in the region around Valencia. The sweet tiger nut milk Horchata de Chufa is a regional specialty of Valencia.
...the tiger nut spread from southern Europe to the Netherlands as a neophyte, where it is gradually displacing native plants? However, the cooler climate in more northern European climes naturally limits their spread.
...the tiger nut is not only valued as a high-quality food, but as a hyperaccumulator that absorbs and stores heavy metals. It's also used to phytosanitate polluted soils? Cool right?
With our tips, everything should go smoothly when growing your tigernuts. We wish you lots of fun and success!
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