TigerNut Flour Muffins (Gluten & Grain Free!)
By Frances Hong, March 16, 2017, posted on www.heal-deliberately.com
On our last Afternoon Delights post, I mentioned going on a baking frenzy with TigerNut Flour. Well, my favorite gluten and grain free creation so far has been these muffins. I spent the last couple of weeks really perfecting the recipe so I hope you enjoy them. They are perfect as a quick on-the-go breakfast, mid-day snack, or post workout treat. Plus it only takes about 30 minutes to make them!
But before I go into the recipe…
What are Tigernuts?
The name is very deceptive. Tigernuts are not nuts, which is great for those of us that are especially sensitive to nuts. They are actually an integral root organ of the plant, Cyperus esculentus, responsible for nutrient storage. Historically, Tigernuts have been used in Spain to make the infamous horchata drink (Are you starting to understand why I love these muffins so much?). Of course several other countries, including the United States, considered these plants weeds until recently . The tide has started to turn because more studies are being done on the health benefits of Tigernuts.
So what are the health benefits of Tigernuts?
- Tigernuts are extremely high in fiber, higher than any other recommended fiber source in fact. Dietary fiber has been shown to decrease the risk of getting cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and type 2 diabetes .
- They are a great source of prebiotics. Prebiotics are essentially tough fibers (oligosaccharides) that your upper gastrointestinal tract cannot break down. Since they are still intact when they reach your colon, the natural gut bacteria there starts to ferment the prebiotics. Through this process, prebiotics “feed” your gut biome and allow it to thrive . If you are taking probiotic supplements, upping your prebiotic intake will only augment the positive effects.
- As a valuable side note, dietary prebiotics can also help improve the quality of your sleepand the way your body deals with stress. When your gut bacteria starts to digest the prebiotics, they release metabolic byproducts that can have a significant impact on your sleep cycles. When tested out on mice, they found the group that ate a diet high in prebiotics spent more time in non-REM sleep, which your body uses to restore itself. Additionally, stress is known to damage your gut biome, but dietary prebiotics mitigate or at least diminish that effect .
- Great Digestion = Great Health
- Lastly, Tigernuts help support your immune system in fighting off harmful bacteria. One study showed that Cyperus esculentus (the Tigernut plant) successfully inhibited activity of the well known bacteria strain – Salmonella . Another found that Tigernuts could potentially be used as treatment for certain bacteria that had evolved and gained resistance to our common antibiotic medications .
Ok enough science talk! For 6 muffins, here’s what you’ll need…
- 2/3 cup of TigerNut Flour
- 1/2 cup of Flaxseed Meal
- 1/3 cup of Coconut Flour
- 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp of baking soda
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 cap of vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup of grass fed butter
- 1-2 tbsp of honey (TigerNut Flour is naturally sweet so I usually lean towards the low end of this range)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine all dry ingredients (TigerNut Flour, Coconut Flour, Flaxseed Meal, baking soda, and salt) in a large bowl then set aside.
- In a small pot, melt the butter and the honey together. It helps to set the burner on low so the butter doesn’t start to brown.
- While the butter mixture is cooling, take another bowl and beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar.
- Then, gradually stir the egg and butter mixtures into the dry ingredients until you get a texture similar to cookie dough.
- I like to save some of the melted butter mixture to coat the muffin pan, but you can also use coconut oil spray or avocado oil.
- Once greased, start adding the muffin batter. Don’t be afraid to fill the batter up to the brim, TigerNut Flour doesn’t raise as high as traditional all-purpose flour.
- Place the muffins in the oven and let bake for 15 minutes. Once done, remove and let cool.
I usually make these muffins every Sunday to prep for the week and they stay good for about 5-6 days in the fridge.
For this recipe, I topped the muffins with shredded coconut to add a nice crunch in there, but get creative with it – Dust it with some ceylon cinnamon, make a coconut butter icing, add some blueberries, the options are really endless.
Please share your creations with me on Instagram and Facebook (#healdeliberately)!
 Sánchez-Zapata, E; Fernández-López, J; Angel Pérez-Alvarez, J (2012). “Tiger Nut (Cyperus esculentus) Commercialization: Health Aspects, Composition, Properties, and Food Applications”. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 11: 366–77.
 Lattimer, James M., and Mark D. Haub. “Effects of Dietary Fiber and Its Components on Metabolic Health.” Nutrients 2.12 (2010): 1266–1289. PMC. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.
 Slavin, Joanne. “Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits.” Nutrients 5.4 (2013): 1417–1435. PMC. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.
 Thompson, Robert S. et al. “Dietary Prebiotics and Bioactive Milk Fractions Improve NREM Sleep, Enhance REM Sleep Rebound and Attenuate the Stress-Induced Decrease in Diurnal Temperature and Gut Microbial Alpha Diversity.” Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 10 (2016): 240. PMC. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.
 Prakash, N, and B Ragavan. “Phytochemical Observation and Antibacterial Activity of Cyperus Esculentus L.” Ancient Science of Life 28.4 (2009): 16–20. Print.
 Seukep, Jackson A et al. “Antibacterial Activities of the Methanol Extracts of Seven Cameroonian Dietary Plants against Bacteria Expressing MDR Phenotypes.” SpringerPlus 2 (2013): 363. PMC. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.