Tiger Nuts from Kwahu: The Nutty “Powerhouse”



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The question of why men, largely, never pass up an opportunity to indulge in Tiger nut, either bought at Nkawkaw as they descend the Kwahu mountains from a funeral or some other social event or in the urban areas when they are stuck in vehicular traffic whilst tigernut hawkers sing its aphrodisiac praises, still remains unanswered.

The reason being that Tigernuts have become synonymous with sexual performance enhancement, that is, longer and multiple sexual rounds, boosting of libido and increasing of sperm count. In fact, it has to do with everything and anything, sexual pleasure.

But really, is that all there is to tiger nuts, also known in certain communities as “body charge”? Let us find out together, so for instance, where is it mostly grown in Ghana, the different types, the varied uses to which it can be put, the nutritional value, amongst others.

So, the first shocker is that tiger nuts, obtained from a plant called yellow nutsedge -Cyperus Esculentus, are actually not nuts! They are tubers like sweet potatoes although much smaller in size and get their name from the stripes on the tuber’s exterior. They are chewy and taste a lot like almond and pecan with colors varying between yellow, brown, and black. The tuber crop is confused as weed sometimes as it grows in the wild. However, it has enormous nutritional and medicinal value that many people do not know about.

Tiger Nut Cultivation-A Proud Kwahu Moment Right there

Indeed, tiger nuts have been cultivated for centuries in many parts of the world, including Neolithic Egypt and North Africa. Infact in Spain, it has been used to make “horchata”- a creamy beverage since the 18th Century. And in Ghana, it is cultivated in many parts of the country such as Bodweasae, Techiman and Kwahu.

Nonetheless, among all these areas, Aduamoa in the Kwahu South District is recognised as the production hub of tiger nuts, indeed producing the sweetest and best variant in the country. It is where large cultivation of the tiger nut is done and the main reason why visitors to Kwahu ensure they buy it in large quantities either for personal use or as gifts for their family and friends. Tiger nut farmers at Kwahu cultivate the crop twice every year – during the second and third quarters.

Interestingly however, although tiger nuts are known to be consumed more by males than females, the cultivation is mostly done by women-making up about 70% of the total farming population. Also, the men farmers tend to be younger with 73% of them within ages 15-40 whilst the women farmers are older with about 70% of them within the ages of 41-65 years. According to a school of thought, it is quite challenging cultivating it and needs a lot of patience, a virtue that most men do not possess, for which reason it is more attractive to women.

Consumption

A very interesting fact about tiger nut, the antioxidant-rich superfood is that it can be consumed in any form. It can be consumed raw, roasted, dried, baked or as tiger nut milk or oil and there is no worry about constipation because it enhances proper digestion.

Dried raw tiger nut for instance has a smooth, tender, sweet, and nutty taste and can be eaten as a crunchy snack. The flour of roasted tiger nut is sometimes added to biscuits and other bakery products as well as in making oil, soap, and starch extracts. It is also used for the production of “atadwe” milk, a popular drink in Ghana, jam, beer, and as a flavouring agent in ice cream and in the preparation of kunnu– a local beverage in Nigeria.

There are also several recipes that it is included in. Some of these include, tiger nut and coconut bread,  carrot and tiger nut breakfast saladtiger nut flour chocolate chip cookies and tiger nut brownies. Infact, the possibilities are endless, being adventurous and innovative with it is all that is required.

Health Benefits of Tiger Nuts

If you are a regular consumer of tiger nuts, then you are not only “charging” certain essentials. This is because it is believed that it can prevent some health challenges such as cardiovascular diseases, prostate cancers, fibrosis, among others. According to some nutritionists, it contains a good quantity of vitamin B1 which assists in balancing the central nervous system and helps to encourage the body to adapt to stress.

It is believed that it also supplies the body with enough quantity of Vitamin E, essential for fertility in both men and women. In some countries, they are used in the treatment of flatulence, diarrhoea, dysentery, and indigestion. They are also a good source of fiber and has been shown to improve digestion by increasing the frequency of stools and relieving constipation.

The tiger nut milk contains higher magnesium, iron, and carbohydrates than cow milk. It has no lactose hence good for individuals who are lactose intolerant. Judging from the many health benefits of this healthy snack that research has shown, it will certainly be in the interest of women to also consume it a lot more than they currently do.

Need to “Charge up” for a Match? Try this Tiger Nut as An Aphrodisiac Recipe

So, with all the health benefits and various ways that tiger nut can be consumed that I have shared with you, I trust you are convinced and will now consume it for it other benefits. Or are you with the group of people who still believe solely in its aphrodisiac qualities, perhaps because you can testify of its efficacy?

Well then, I am that generous and will thus attempt to satisfy all my readers with information that they need, and which is just right for them. So here goes, a tried, true, and tested tiger nut aphrodisiac recipe! Pin it to that kitchen board so you do not lose it, it will come in very handy!

This drink is common in most African countries, but very popular in Nigeria and is consumed by both males and females. It is commonly referred to “Kayan Mata”-meaning “women’s property” and “men’s property. It is also believed to be a natural lubricant for women.

Tiger Nuts, Dates and Coconut Drink Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of Kwahu tiger nuts (soaked overnight)
  • fresh coconut
  • Dates (A handful of pitted dates)

Preparation

  1. Wash your already soaked tiger nuts very well.
  2. Then remove the seeds of the date, wash the flesh and soak for about 2 hours.
  3. Next, unshell your coconut and then chop the fruits into small chunks.
  4. Now pour all your ingredients into a blender or food processor with enough water and blend till smooth.
  5. Sieve to extract the juice.
  6. Serve with a few ice cubes or refrigerate before serving.
  7. To give it a final kick, you can add a generous serving of Irish cream before serving!

And oh, when you finally serve it to your spouse, do not forget to turn the lights down low and slot in one of Obuoba J.A. Adofo’s beautiful love tunes. Because after all, Kwahu Atadwe Milk is best served with love songs brewed in the Kwahu Pot! Enjoy!

Yaa Asamoah Boateng: The writer is a member of the Kwahu Professionals Network (KPN) and hails from Obo, popularly referred to as “Small London” in the Kwahu South District. She is a Communications Professional and a lecturer working in both the corporate and academic fields. 

Email: greypzat12@yahoo.com

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