Tiger nut – great if you are allergic to nuts!

June 4, 2008 at 10:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Cyperus esculentus (Chufa Sedge, Yellow Nutsedge, Tigernut Sedge, Earthalmond) is a species of sedge native to warm temperate to subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It is an annual or perennial plant, growing to 90 cm tall, with solitary stems growing from a tuber. The stems are triangular in section, and bear slender leaves 3-10 mm wide. The flowers of the plant are distinctive, with a cluster of flat oval seeds surrounded by four hanging leaf-like bracts positioned 90 degrees from each other. The plant foliage is very tough and fibrous, and is often mistaken for a grass.

Chufa.jpg

History

Zohary and Hopf consider this tuber “ranks among the oldest cultivated plants in Ancient Egypt.” Although noting that “Chufa was no doubt an important food element in ancient Egypt during dynastic times, its cultivation in ancient times seems to have remained (totally or almost totally) an Egyptian specialty.” They were used to make cakes in ancient Egypt. Presently, they are cultivated mainly, at least for extended and common commercial purposes, in Spain, where they were introduced by Arabs, almost exclusively in the Valencia region. Tiger nuts are also grown in Ghana.

 Use as food

The tubers are edible, with a slightly sweet, nutty flavour. They are quite hard and are generally soaked in water before they can be eaten. They are sometimes known by their Spanish name, “chufa”.

Tigernuts have excellent nutritional qualities with a fat composition similar to olives and a rich mineral content, especially phosphorus and potassium. Tigernuts are also gluten- and cholesterol-free, and have a very low sodium content. The oil of the tuber was found to contain 18% saturated (palmitic acid and stearic acid) and 82% unsaturated (oleic acid and linoleic acid) fatty acids.

According to the Consejo Regulador de Chufa de Valencia (Regulating Council for Valencia’s Tigernuts), the nutritional composition/100 ml of a classical Horchata de Chufas, or Orxata de Xufes in Valencian language, is as follows: energy content around 66 kcal, proteins around 0.5 g, carbohydrates over 10 g with starch at least 1.9 g, fats at least 2 g.

It can replace milk in the diet of people intolerant to lactose. Also good for people with nut allergies! It is a seed.

Buy in ground up and use it for your smoothies, cakes, etc. So yummy!!

 

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The stinging nettle

June 4, 2008 at 5:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This time I want to introduce the stinging nettle…which is a wonderful plant, too…and very nutritious food that is easily digested. It is high in minerals (especially iron) and vitamins (especially A and C).

Only use young leaves (older leaves develop gritty particles called cystoliths which act as an irritant to the kidneys).  Old leaves can be laxative.

It is antiasthmatic; antidandruff; astringent; diuretic; calactogogue; haemostatic; hypoglycaemic; stings; tonic. All around a very good plant.

When picking it watch the video… Even if it stings you it will go away soon and is also used for arthritis. So, it only helps ;).

It is also good for your garden (use the soak water).

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