Taste-Testing The New Tiger Nut Company Raw Chocolate Bar: Does It Roaarrr! or Does It Whimper?

As many of you will know from previous posts, I love homemade horchata or tiger nut milk. It is a sweet and creamy plantbased alternative to dairy milk and so very good for you. Tiger nuts are also a good nutfree alternative for all those allergic to nuts as they are in fact small tubers. (You can also buy tiger nut flour).

As you will also know, we are big fans of raw chocolate in our family: we use cacao in our smoothies, in our porridge, in our raw baking and of course we eat raw chocolate bars.

So, how happy am I that The Tiger Nut Company* has just brought out their first raw chocolate bar made with tiger nuts and cacao?! When I placed my order for tiger nuts the other day – calamities, I didn’t know we’d run out so no horchata this week! – the lovely Ani sent me a bar to try and as I write she is anxiously awaiting my review, knowing how much we love raw chocolate!

 I won’t keep her waiting any longer, I hope this will put her out of her misery and I’ll post as quickly as I can.

img_6316When I received the bar, our daughter’s family were visiting and there was no way I could have shared it between us all so I had to be disciplined and refrain from trying it until today. I had almost forgotten about it and then when I was nigh on knee-deep in Christmas (yes, it’s for overseas) and birthday wrapping paper, I felt I needed a break and the lightbulb went on! HB was doing a bike repair, so the coast was clear! (He’s a chocolate fiend).

The first thing you notice is the presentation: the crushed tiger nuts are pressed into the top of the chocolate rather than mixed in which is usually the case with nutty chocolate. It sets the bar apart, makes it visually arresting. The second is how dark the chocolate is and how lovely and chunky. It’s a good size, 55g, and sectioned into 5 pieces which makes it easy to break up (and share if you’re so inclined).

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This bar has a lovely crisp snap when you break it and a satisfying bite to it that doesn’t threaten to break your teeth but makes you feel it is substantial.

There are all sorts of tastes and textures going on in this bar! Ani tells me the bars are sweetened with dates and lucuma (a South American fruit powder that has a malted taste). So no refined sugar.

The chocolate is very dark, it is 80% raw cacao, a little bitter like good quality dark chocolate (no milk, dairy or otherwise) and this is offset by the lightly malted taste of the lucuma powder. I used to love Maltesers many moons ago and the use of lucuma reminded me of them, though it is more subtle here. The chewy texture of crushed tiger nuts also contrasts with the smooth creaminess of the chocolate.

My husband came in while I was on my second piece and I offered him a piece to try. To my surprise, he hesitated, saying he was just about to make his lunch! Then he quickly changed his mind. His first reaction was that the tiger nuts tasted a little like sesame seeds but he’s not known for his sensitive palate and I don’t think I would agree with him. They don’t have such a distinctive taste and have a mild sweetness. Then he said the chocolate was very dark, which I do agree with. He decided he liked it.

After the second piece, I felt satisfied, I didn’t want to gobble up the whole 55g bar as so often with commercial chocolate where you tend to eat mindlessly. I enjoyed what I had and wanted to save the remainder.

Overall, we liked this new take on raw cacao chocolate bars. We also like that it is a healthy raw snack.

Foods that are described as ‘raw’ have not been heated over 42C and this means they retain their nutrients. Cacao is full of vitamins, minerals, omega fats, micronutrients and is regarded as a mood enhancer and good for the memory. Dates are naturally sweet and contain minerals and fibre. Lucuma is labelled a superfood by the health industry, while tiger nuts are prebiotic (good for gut health), and contain vitamins, minerals, fibre and healthy omega fats.

These bars are organic, which is something I wasn’t aware of until I asked, it isn’t mentioned in the main part of the packaging or in the title on the Shop page of the website (you have to read the full description), so I would suggest the company advertise this a little better as I for one positively seek out organic treats and reject those that aren’t.

Would I recommend them? Yes, they are a little different, healthy, satiating, smooth and tasty. They are handmade, vegan, glutenfree, paleo, nutfree, organic and contain no refined sugar. And the customer service is always excellent! Well done!

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Ps Theobromine in good quality dark chocolate is an effective treatment for dry coughs! If that isn’t a good enough reason to eat chocolate, I don’t know what is! 50-100g of dark chocolate is the recommended dose.

*https://www.thetigernutcompany.co.uk/

Copyrght: Chris McGowan

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Raw Tiger Nut, Walnut & Chocolate Orange Cookies

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This is my version of The Tiger Nut Company’s Coffee and Walnut Cookies (see website for original recipe*). They are a great way to use up the pulp left over from making Tiger Nut Milk or Horchata. I have also adapted my original post to include the use of their new Naked Organic Peeled Tiger Nuts, which produce a much finer pulp.

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I don’t drink coffee but these looked so good, we decided to adapt them by substituting orange zest and a tiny squeeze of orange juice.

They are so easy to make.

To make Tiger Nut milk:

100g of pre-soaked Naked Organic Raw Tiger Nuts from The Tiger Nut Company* (almost a Cup) (these peeled tiger nuts give a finer pulp).

Soak overnight in 3x as much filtered water 

Blend with 1 Pitted Medjool Date and Half a tsp Vanilla Extract

Pinch of Pink Hamalayan Salt

Strain through nut bag and save pulp

Keep milk in airtight bottle in fridge.

Ingredients for Cookies

(All ingredients are organic, vegan and gluten-free. All measurements are approximate and may need adjusting, but that means you get to keep tasting and testing!)

Leftover Tiger Nut Pulp

3 Pitted Medjool Dates

Handful of Walnuts + some for decoration

2 Tsps Ground Organic Linseeds/Flaxseeds

2 Tsps Raw Chocolate Company Cacao Powder*

2-3 Tbsps Raw Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

1 Generous Tsp Orange Zest

Tiny squeeze of Orange Juice, be careful, it doesn’t want to be wet.

Splash of Organic Maple Syrup

 Method

Process all ingredients until it starts coming together.

Press together and roll into a ball

Dust a very little Tiger Nut Flour or Cacao Powder onto surface and rolling pin to stop the dough sticking

Roll out and cut into shapes

Freeze for about 15 minutes

(Eat any leftover scraps that won’t form another cookie and lick your fingers – cook’s prerogative!)

Icing

Either:

Gently melt some coconut oil with a splash of maple syrup, a couple of teaspoons of raw cacao powder and a squeeze of orange juice

or

Gently melt some Raw Chocolate Company Pitch Dark or Orange raw chocolate in a bowl over some hot water (but not boiling). You might like to add a drop of coconut oil or cacao butter to make it go a little further and drizzle.

Decorate cookies and top with broken walnuts. 

Freeze and Keep or Eat at leisure!

Ps At the request of Rachel @healthy&psyched, here is today’s video – don’t blame me, it was her suggestion! (I’m not quite sure this is what she meant 😂 Sorry, (not sorry).

*http://www.thetigernutcompany.co.uk

*http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Review: Taste-Testing The New Naked Organic Tiger Nuts from The Tiger Nut Company

I love Tiger Nut Milk or Horchata. It is sweet and creamy and full of nutrients: Tiger Nuts (tubers really, not nuts) contain protein, fibre, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, multiple vitamins and oleic acid, they’re also a prebiotic which makes for a healthy gut environment in which probiotics can grow (see here for recipe).

We usually make Horchata with unpeeled Organic Tiger Nuts from The Tiger Nut Company* and use the resulting pulp residue to make raw cookies or energy balls, but the pulp can be a bit coarse from the skins. So I was delighted when Ani recently announced their new product: Naked (ie peeled) Organic Tiger Nuts!

I couldn’t wait to try them and to see if they would make as good quality milk as the original Organic Unpeeled and also it would be interesting to see if the pulp was any finer or more versatile.

I used the same recipe for both milks, omitting the vanilla extract I usually add, because I wanted to taste them raw.

Here is the result:

On the left is the original unpeeled milk, on the right the new Naked milk. (Stored in my glass Grip and Go bottles).

Firstly, I noticed that the Naked made roughly 100mls less milk than the unpeeled – about 600mls compared with about 700mls – hardly anything (although it looks in the photos as if it’s the other way round, there was some left over that I put into small jars).

Second, the pulp from the Naked was lighter and slightly finer.

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On the left is the unpeeled, on the right the Naked and for comparison the Chufa de Valencia Tiger Nut Flour.

The milk from the Naked was infinitesimally thinner, but only a regular drinker could notice the difference, and only by tasting one after the other and really thinking about it! My husband couldn’t tell. It was still sweet and creamy.

The pulp from the Naked was much better for baking, easy to use with a much finer texture. We made some Dipped Tiger Nut, Mango & Orange Fruit Treats, which I’ll post later in the week, they were smooth and not at all gritty.

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My son asked if there would be a loss of nutrients, which is a fair point, but the Naked still retain a little of their skin and if it it makes the difference between discarding the pulp because it is too coarse or using the finer Naked pulp, I’d say it balances out pretty well.

All in all, I am delighted with this new product and highly recommend it!  

Ps There are other Tiger Nut Recipes here

Home-2016

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Tarty Tiger Berry Treats

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After making Tiger Nut Milk, there is always a lot of dry pulp left over and it is such a shame to just discard it, so I came up with these easy-to-make and nutritious raw treats.

(See recipe for Tiger Nut Milk here, but you could also use almond milk pulp or sweet apricot kernel pulp which would give a slightly different flavour).

They are tarty because they are made using golden berries* which have a sweet/tart flavour, giving these treats a sharp citrus taste, and ‘tarty’ because they are over-made-up with cinnamon-flavoured raw cacao powder!

Before beginning, it is a good idea to slightly moisten, ever so lightly, the goji berries, with water or fruit juice, as they can be reluctant to blend when processed and you can get little bits of hard berry in the mix.

Today’s accompanying music video is the very funny Mika and ‘We Are Golden’ – Golden Berries, get it? 😉

Ingredients

1 Cup Tiger Nut Pulp

1/2 Cup Raisins

1/2 Cup Mixed Goji Berries and Golden Berries in a ratio of 2:1

1 Tsp Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter*

Raw Cacao Powder mixed with sprinkling of Cinnamon for dusting

Method

Process all ingredients except Cacao Powder until it is blended enough to stick together when pressed.

Squeeze together and shape into balls. It probably won’t roll, but will press into shape.

Cover in Cacao and Cinnamon Powder.

Refrigerate for a while then gobble up!

Makes about 6.

*Tiger Nuts from http://www.thetigernutcompany.co.uk

*Goji Berries, Golden Berries, Cacao Butter and Raw Cacao Powder from http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Lemony Tiger Nut Truffles

Tiger nuts aren’t just tiny little balls of protein, they are also versatile in flour and milled form.* I decided to add some milled to these lemony truffles.

(While devising this recipe I found myself humming Mud’s Tiger Feet and discovered this youtube video of Mud live on ToTP 1974. It’s hilarious and can’t fail to make you smile! http://youtu.be/QZvPtzFyrSM)

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Continue reading “Lemony Tiger Nut Truffles”

Horchata (aka Tiger Nut Milk)

Pardon? Horchata! It sounds like something you would say when someone sneezes, but Horchata is actually Tiger Nut Milk! I was recently reminded of eating tigernuts as a child when I came across the lovely Ani from the Tiger Nut Company on Twitter (@theTigerNutCo).I haven’t had them since I was very young and it brought back all sorts of sensory memories. I decided to order some raw, organic tiger nuts and we have been making Horchata or Tiger Nut Milk with them.

So what are tiger nuts? Well, for a start they aren’t nuts! They are tiny super tubers packed with nutrients: protein, fibre, fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin E and potassium. They are sweet and when soaked and blended with water, they make a lovely sweet, creamy milk.

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There is no waste, as you can dry the pulp in a low oven and use it in making burgers, energy balls, sprinkle it on your breakfast or add to smoothies. (See also my recipes for Lemony Tiger Nut Truffles here and Raw Orange, Cacao and Walnut Cookies here). This recipe makes about a litre, the glass jug in the photo was almost full.

There is a recipe for Horchata on the company website http://www.thetigernutcompany.co.uk but here is my version:

Horchata

1 Cup Raw, Organic Tigernuts soaked overnight in filtered water

3-4 Cups Filtered Water, depending how creamy you like it

1 Pitted Medjool Date (optional)

1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

Drain soaked Tigernuts and add to high speed blender* with filtered water, date, vanilla and salt.

Blend on fast until smooth, about a minute.

Strain into a large jug or bowl through a nut milk bag or piece of muslin

Pour into an airtight bottle and keep in the fridge.

Keeps for about 4 days in my Grip & Go leakproof glass bottle.

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It is also nice slightly warmed with a sprinkling of cinnamon and served in a pretty pink cup!

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*See here for blender reviews

Copyright: Chris McGowan