Strawberry season is in full-force in the northwest, where u-pick farms, farmers markets and farm stands positively burst at the seams with ripe red berries. We eat our fill of the berries fresh and by the handful before roasting in honey them for yogurt panna cotta, or slowly churning them into a refreshing Strawberry Mint Sorbet.
Lately, we’ve also blended them with mineral-rich tigernuts and almonds to make Strawberry Horchata, a milky and mildly sweet drink for summertime.
- Pour tigernuts and almonds into the pitcher of a high-powered blender (We used this one). Cover them with hot water, and allow them to soak overnight at room temperature, at least 8 and up to 12 hours.
- Add the strawberries to the blender, and blend the fruit, tigernuts and nuts together with the soaking water at two minutes.
- Strain the horchata through cheesecloth (available here) and into a pitcher. Stir in jaggery or honey to sweeten the horchata to your liking. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill, and serve over ice. Strawberry horchata will keep up to one week.
Why Tigernuts Make Great Horchata
Tigernuts arrived in Spain from Africa with the Moors. And they’re used in traditional preparations of the classical Spanish drink: horchata. White rice, less expensive and more widely available, has replaced tigernuts.
Tigernuts are particularly rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and potassium as well as vitamins C and E. They’re also a good source of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat thought to boost HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Tigernuts are also particularly rich in resistant starch which helps to build and support gut health, and may even play a role in reducing insulin resistance (read it here).
How to Use Tigernuts (And Where to Find Them)
Contrary to their name, tigernuts aren’t nuts at all; rather, they’re small fibrous tubers from the nutsedge family. They have a pleasant, mildly sweet flavor reminiscent of almonds or chestnuts.