Chufa or peanut, ground almond, tiger nut, syt edible (Cyperus esculentus) is an annual herbaceous plant of the sedge family. Young sprouts resemble chicken millet, and in a developed state can be confused with sedge. Chufa forms dense bushes, consisting of many narrow leaf plates about 80 cm long.
The rhizome is supplied with a large number of stolons, which are tied with nodules that are eaten. They are small (about 2 cm in diameter), oval or ovoid in shape, the flesh is white, the surface is dark brown. In appearance they look like almonds - chufu is called ground almond. One plant gives 300-1000 such "nuts". After drying, the surface becomes wrinkled: before use, they are soaked in water.
Our plant is called edible syt, the Arabs call the sweet root, the Brazilians and the Portuguese - tuber grass, in general, almost every country has its own national name chufa.
Chufa comes from the subtropics of North Africa, today it is grown everywhere. Despite the tropical origin, chufu successfully cultivated in our latitudes.
High nutritional value and calorie
- The use of 150 grams of ground almond will provide a person with a daily dose of fats and essential plant acids (even the performance of oily chuf exceeds 3 times).
- Contains starch, fiber, sucrose, tar, sodium, iodine, potassium, selenium, zinc, copper, vitamins A, E, C, vitamins of group B.
- Gluten free. People with intolerance to this substance can safely eat chufa nut.
- Pleasant refined taste. The nodules are consumed fresh and fried, as a substitute for almond nut.
Planting and care for outdoor chufa
How to plant chufu nuts photo
Chufy planting nodules immediately in open ground. Sometimes ground almond nuts are mistakenly called seeds. In the spring, when the soil warms up to about 15 ° C (estimated time is mid-May), you can start planting.
- Pre-soaked nuts for 2-3 days in warm water.
- Plant 2–3 pieces in the wells, capping to a depth of about 8 cm, and keep a distance of 30–40 cm between the individual “nests”.
- Shoots appear in 10 days. When they grow, they will form a solid green carpet. Some plant chufu to decorate alpine slides.
Sometimes gardeners recommend growing chufu through seedlings (the nodules are planted in individual cups in mid-March), but as verified by experience, this does not affect the yield. On the contrary - delivers additional trouble.
All care for planting chufy comes down to weeding and watering during the drought period. With excessive watering, the plant actively forms leaves, and the nodule is fastened a little. Vegetation remaining after weeding, give to feed the cattle.
Harvesting and storage
How to store chufu
For a plant, the first frost is not terrible. Earthen almonds ripen by the end of September, the harvest begins when the leaves turn yellow and begin to dry out. The later you collect, the better the nodules will ripen and the more they will accumulate oil. Harvest in dry weather.
- Dig, shake the soil, place on the grid, spill well with water, peel as much as possible (rather painstaking) and dry (wrinkles should appear on the tubers).
- If the harvest is large, you can send for storage in the peel.
- Place in a cardboard box with a layer of about 20 cm, store in a well-ventilated room, stir periodically.
For planting, select mature and largest tubers. For 15-20 minutes, hold in the solution of potassium permanganate, dry and place in glass jars (fill out about 75%). Cover with plastic covers, lay to the side, placing on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Can be stored on a cool windowsill, but protection from the sun will be required.
The use of chufa in cooking
What can be prepared from chufa tubers:
- Milled in flour, which is used for baking.
- Halvah and candy.
- Coffee substitute.
This drink is the national treasure of Spain. An annual festival is held in his honor. Cook it is not difficult. Crush fresh nuts, cover with boiled warm water (1k 4). Insist throughout the day. Then strain through a fine sieve, rubbing nuts through it to get milk. To taste add vanilla, cinnamon, sugar. Drink chilled. You can use dry nuts: soak in warm water, grind in a meat grinder, then the algorithm is similar.
Chufa in medicine
- Normalizes the nervous, digestive and cardiovascular systems.
- Regular consumption gives energy, contributes to the active work of the brain, tones the muscles, a person becomes emotionally more resistant to external stimuli.
- The consumption of tubers in raw form, as well as tea brewed from the leaves, remove toxins and radionuclides from the body.
- Tincture made from leaves and tubers is similar in beneficial properties to ginseng tincture.
- Extract helps cleanse the intestines of pests, has an antibacterial effect.
- Prepare a decoction for rinsing the mouth (chop nuts, cover with water and boil over low heat for 10 minutes, strain). Powder can be rubbed into the gum in the presence of the disease.
- The tops are used as a filler for a pillow - normalization of sleep is noted.
Chufa oil: useful properties
Chufa oil photo
For the first time Egyptians mined it more than 4,000 years ago - they started using it earlier than olive. It is produced by cold pressing, while maintaining its unique beneficial properties. The oil is golden brown in color, taste is not inferior to Provencal (the highest grade of olive oil).
It has an antioxidant and antiseptic effect. It is actively used in cosmetology: softens and nourishes the skin, helps to cope with many skin diseases, inhibits the aging of cells, makes the skin more elastic, nails, hair gives strength and strength.
Features of culture
Chufa is a perennial grassy crop that reaches 1 m in height. The terrestrial part is green narrow arrow-shaped leaves with trihedral shoots. At the very top of the plant are small inflorescences of white small flowers, resembling umbrellas. The underground part is the main kidney of a tuber (greens grow from it) and side tubers (shoots of a powerful root system leave them).
The plant is pollinated by the wind. In good conditions, the nut of chufa in the first year only forms nodules, but does not bloom. From one plant per year they collect up to 1 thousand good tubers, which can be described as follows:
- length - up to 3 cm
- oval shape
- the inner flesh is white
- when dried, the tuber becomes wrinkled.
Chufa peanuts come from North America and the Mediterranean. People were familiar with him many centuries ago, at the time of the pharaohs. Even in the famous works of Herodotus can be found mention of this nut. In Russia, the plant appeared in the XVIII century, but he had a different name - a winter house. But later it began to be called earthen almonds.
At the present time, chufa is very popular. India and Sudan are actively engaged in its cultivation in order to use in cooking. In Turkey, the plant is grown to attract game. Ukraine has created unique varieties of chufa called "culinary" and "confectionery." You can long list the countries in which this crop is grown, but the main thing is that it is popular for its benefits and versatility.
Ideal landing conditions
How does chufa sit down? Plant seeds are small tubers. To get a good harvest from any plant, you need to plant it correctly. For this we have to remember the climatic features of the homeland of this culture.
Ideal for chufa:
- The soil should be loose, and the land fertile. If the rock is clay, then in the autumn you need to do its preparation: add sand and peat to it. When the local soil has a high acidity, then lime will help.
- Humidity is something to pay attention to. Chufa peanut came to us from the tropics, which means that it needs water all the time. But you can not flood the plant, it will lead to decay of the rhizome.
- Tubers should be planted with the advent of heat, because this culture does not tolerate frost.
- If the bed is properly prepared (to make the necessary fertilizers), then the whole season the plant will not need additional feeding. Only in those cases when the soil is very poor, 2-3 times it is necessary to fertilize with organic infusions prepared by yourself.
Experienced gardeners know that any seeds need to be soaked before settling them in the garden. This also applies to earthen almonds. Tubers are soaked in clean water for several days, with daily need to change the water. If the fluid stagnates, the tubers will sour and become unsuitable for cultivation. During these days, the tubers will absorb moisture, which means they will sprout in the soil faster.
When to plant? May is the perfect time to land. The air and the earth have already been heated, but in the soil there is still a sufficient amount of moisture, so necessary for chufa. The beds should be small. Sometimes you have to plant tubers between vegetables in the garden and even in a flower bed, where there is too much space.
- To make grooves 6–8 cm deep with a chopper. There should be a distance of 25 cm between the ditches
- Dry soil should be watered, and after the water is absorbed, begin planting tubers.
- Between tubers in the same row there should be a distance of at least 20 cm.
- When everything is planted, you should carefully cover the seedlings with earth.
If you follow all the rules, then the first shoots can be seen after a week.
Chufa (earthen almonds), planting and caring for which require vigilance, will delight with its fruits, if you follow two basic rules:
- water the plant regularly, especially in dry weather,
- get rid of weeds at the initial stage of growth.
The main thing - do not overdo it with watering. Excessive moisture leads to the fact that the greens become more beautiful, but this reduces the quantity and quality of tubers. During the rainy season no problems with watering should arise.
If you know when to plant chufu, properly care for it, then the first tubers will appear only a month after the first leaves appear. Harvest time is autumn. During this time of year, the leaves of the plant turn yellow and dry.
With the help of garden pitch need to carefully pry the bush and gently get it to the surface of the earth. Manually collect all the tubers and place in a sieve to screen out excess dirt. Then you will need to wash the harvest and lay down to dry in natural conditions (lay on the table, which put in the sun). When dried, the “nuts” shrivel and shrink.
For planting next season, choose the largest fruits, and the rest are in use. Tubers are stored for a maximum of 4 years.
Where, in addition to traditional medicine, apply chufa (earthen almonds)? The use of this "nut" in cooking has been practiced for a long time. Most often, the tubers prepare the oil, which is like olive oil. It is used not only in cooking, but also for the lubrication of various tools. Refried tubers are suitable for making surrogate coffee.
The taste of this product reminds everyone familiar almonds or peanuts. Therefore, confectioners actively add chufu in sweets, cakes and other products. In Spain, cooking ice cream and a delicious drink from peanuts is practiced.
The leaves of the plant go to feed the cattle. It is even harvested for the winter, pre-well dried. Crushed nodules are also not thrown away, they are well eaten by birds.
- the stems are used for weaving very beautiful and strong baskets,
- leaves make paper, fuel, insulation material and ropes,
- this plant has been applied even in cosmetology - it is added to shampoo and toilet soap,
- anglers use the tubers as bait.
As you can see, chufa (earthen almonds) is very useful. Planting and caring for this crop should not be difficult for those who like to cultivate something unusual. And if everything is done correctly, then the harvest will be used for the treatment of ailments, in cooking and even in the household.
Useful properties of chufa
- The tubers of the plant contain 17–25% fat, about 20% starch, up to 4% protein and up to 28% sugar, and have a characteristic, slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
- Tubers are eaten both raw and fried.
- Since the nodules are quite hard, it is recommended to soak them in water before use.
- Crushed nodules are added to confectionery, make halvah out of them.
- In Spain, they are preparing a sweet soft drink - orchatu.
- Roasted ground nodules are used as a coffee substitute.
- The chemical composition of nodule chufy is close to olive oil. It does not dry out, thickens when oxidized, golden brown and pleasant taste. Used in the manufacture of confectionery and as table oil. Also used in the manufacture of high-quality soap.
- Green chufy pretty decorative, it can be grown in flower beds or as a curb plant.
The flesh of these nodules is white, has a sweetish taste, similar to the taste of almonds. These nuts are tasty raw and fried, and the drink made from dried and ground nuts is as good as coffee.
The composition of the vegetable oil nodules chufa includes essential fatty acids, the content of which in food products of animal origin is not enough.
Chufa tolerates frosts up to −1 ° С. But planting nodules in the ground must be done when the soil at a depth of 12-15 cm warms up to + 12 ° C. In the Urals, it usually happens at the end of the second decade of May.
Features of growing
The place for planting chufy should be well-lit by sunlight, with fertile, light loamy, moisture-permeable soil. Heavy clay and excessively moist soil for its cultivation is practically not suitable.
Before planting, the nuts must be soaked in water for 3-4 days, changing it every day. Planted nodules in the grooves to a depth of 4-5 cm after 20-25 cm from each other in a row and 55-60 cm between the rows. The emergence of shoots can last from 10 to 14 days, and in cool weather even up to 20 days.
When chufy bushes grow, they need to be slightly spud, almost like potatoes. Light additional hilling should be carried out after weeding, irrigation and heavy rain, otherwise the root system of the plant may be exposed.
Plant nutrition with complex fertilizer during the growing season is carried out after two weeks. Very useful slurry, diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 3 and wood ash.
By the end of the summer, the plants reach a height of up to 60 cm. But it is better to dig them out at the end of September, when the tops will begin to turn yellow. Such late harvesting contributes to the good maturation of the nodules and the accumulation of large amounts of oil in them, which mainly occurs at the very end of the growing season.
It is necessary to dig chuf very carefully, undermining each plant with a shovel. Dug out nodules shake off the ground on a metal grid, wash them on the same grid with water from a hose and manually pick up the nuts. Then they are dried in the sun or indoors so that wrinkles appear on their skin and are deposited in the basement. They are well preserved when stored in room conditions.
Dried nuts can be stored in a dry room at a temperature of + 10-18 ° C for 2-3 years, while maintaining their germination and their taste.
Chufa - plant annual, belongs to the family Osokovye. The spills tend to resemble chicken millet in many respects, while in their developed state chufa resembles a banal sedge. All elements are well developed. Another name is ground almond.
Bushes are dense plants, their height can be up to 0.8 meters, the leaves - sharp-trigranous. Rhizome branched, with stolons forming on it. It is on them that the tubers are tied. One plant can include from three hundred up to a thousand tubers.
These tubers are small sized nuts. Their color is dark brown, the shape is oval, the structure becomes wrinkled after drying. The size is approximately equal to the dimensions of the almond tree. Inside these nodules is the core of white.
Chufa is a subtropical plant, and North Africa is considered to be the place of origin, as well as the Mediterranean region. For industrial purposes, chufu is grown in Italy and Spain, as well as in South America and North Africa.
Today, it can be found everywhere, in almost every country. Interestingly, each state, as a rule, gives its own name to chufe. So, Italians and Germans call it ground almonds, Arabs - a sweet root, Portuguese and Brazilians - a tuberous grass and so on.
What is chufa
Земляной миндаль, съедобная сыть, земляной орех – все это названия чуфы. In appearance, this plant resembles a wild sedge - a medium-sized rather dense bush 30-90 cm high.
Stems thin, straight with a tuft of narrow leaves, inflorescences, umbels, inconspicuous brownish color. The whole value lies in a well-developed rhizome, covered with small nodules.
These processes, tubers of 3 * 1 cm in size are similar in taste to almonds, this is precisely the reason for the appearance of the second name chufa. The flesh is white, hard and has a sweetish taste. The color of the groundnut can be from yellowish to dark brown, there are several transverse stripes on the surface.
Moreover, these grooves become more distinct during storage.
Originally from Chufah from North Africa, 4,000 years ago this culture was a common delicacy of the Egyptians. It came to us from Spain and Italy.
In temperate climates, earthen almonds are cultivated as an annual crop, in more southern areas it is more like a biennial — the peak of yield comes in the second year of cultivation.
The benefits of earthen almonds
Edible rich in vitamins A, B, C and E, contains lipids, organic acids, oleic acid, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, potassium, iodine, sodium, calcium, phosphorus. Due to the high content of vegetable fats, chufa is a rather high-calorie product - 609 kilocalories will be contained in 100 grams.
Cold-pressed from this culture is prepared, not inferior in olive oil benefit, oil with a delicate aroma of almonds. It has strong antiseptic properties. In the cosmetic field has a beneficial effect on the skin, nails and hair.
Useful properties of chufa:
- It activates the activity of the brain and muscles,
- Tones the body
- Frees from toxins, radionuclides and heavy metal salts,
- Lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- Strengthens bone tissue
- Increases immunity
- Normalizes digestion,
- Calms the nervous system.
The most useful are plants grown in clean areas without the use of pesticides, not overloaded with fertilizer.
How to grow chufu
Earthen almonds can not be called capricious culture, it does not impose special requirements for the soil. But, of course, in fertile, loose soil, the harvest is much richer. Planted immediately in open ground, or, wanting to speed up the harvest, seedlings. For planting, it is advisable to choose larger nodules, always intact, without various damages.
Selected tubers are well washed, soaked in potassium permanganate and once again thoroughly rinsed.
Fully dried nodules are placed in a glass jar with a lid and transferred to a cool place with a temperature of 4-7 degrees above zero.
Plant chufu in open ground should be from mid to late May, after the threat of late frosts will not be terrible. At the same time, the air should warm up to 13-15 degrees Celsius, and the top layer of the soil should reach 12. For 2-3 days before planting, the tubers are soaked in water at room temperature, periodically changing the liquid to fresh.
- Landing should be open, sunny, with light, rich and fertile land,
- In the selected area make recesses (6-8 cm) with a distance of between 40-50 cm, the width between the rows - 60 cm,
- Pour each hole, letting the liquid flow in,
- In each hole lay three nodules,
- Cover the holes with soil, slightly tamping it.
- After about two weeks, shoots will appear. In the event of a threat of lowering the temperature, young shoots are covered with polyethylene. The shelter must be periodically ventilated so that the plants do not overheat.
- When planting should take into account the occurrence of groundwater, as a high location can cause stagnant water, and hence the decay of root crops.
Growing ground almond seedlings
In areas with a cool climate, in order to get a crop, you will have to tinker with seedlings. Begin the procedure in early April.
- During the day, the roots are soaked in lukewarm water,
- In the tank for planting poured the soil mixed with fertilizer. One plant needs 10 grams of superphosphate, 2 grams of magnesium sulfate, 6 grams of urea, 5 grams of potassium sulfate,
- Prepared planting material is placed in a moist ground to a depth of no more than 6 cm, fall asleep,
- Capacity with crops is placed in heat, in the afternoon temperature should not fall below 25-20 degrees, and at night - below +15. Otherwise, the pots can be covered with polyethylene, occasionally airing the crops,
- With a short light day for seedlings it is better to install additional lighting lamps,
- Before sprouting, the soil is sprayed, and after - once every 3-4 days, the crops are watered, periodically carefully loosened,
- Before planting seedlings in open ground, it must be fed with organic matter. To do this, dissolve 7 kg of bird droppings or 3 kg of mullein in a bucket of water, add 15 grams of superphosphate, 7 grams of ammonium nitrate and 8 grams of potassium sulfate. Water this mixture should be very careful, an excessive amount of this solution can burn the delicate chufa roots,
- 10 days before planting in open ground, young seedlings begin to harden, lowering the temperature of the content to 15 degrees and reducing the number of irrigations.
Chufa care on the site
Peanut does not require special care - it only needs two waterings per week. If the weather is rainy, then you can do without it, replacing it with loosening the soil. Twice in the season is carried out hilling bushes, the first time this is done when the height of the stems reaches 10-15 cm, and the second - 30 cm.
Three times with a break in a couple of weeks, ground almonds are fertilized. Mineral supplements with a reduced nitrogen content are well suited, an excess of this substance will provoke a growth in leaf mass to the detriment of fruiting.
Pest control is best done independently prepared solutions from environmentally friendly means, for example, from laundry soap. With the appearance of the bear and ants, you can use special prophylactic powders. The most dangerous pest can be called a wireworm, the fight against which will not do without intecicides.
By the end of September, the groundnut leaves will begin to dry out and turn yellow - this means that the crop is ready for harvest. With the help of the forks, the tubers are dug, the ground is well shaken off.
Crop washed and left to dry in the sun until the grooves.
Store the nodules at home, in the basement or in the attic in boxes or linen bags. As a rule, whole nodules of medium size are selected for seeds, their germination is preserved for three years. Before laying them soaked in water.
The harvest process is overshadowed by the too dense chufy rind, and it also spoils the taste. To get rid of it, the freshly harvested crop is poured with clean water for several hours, and then the fruits are well rubbed with hands, trying to peel them from most of the skin.
If the crop is too much and the removal of the peel by hand is not possible, it is removed for storage in its original form. During storage, the tubers will shrivel, decreasing by about half. Before they are eaten, they will have to be soaked for 1-2 days.
Where chufa is used
This culture has found its application in many areas:
- Traditional medicine is widely used infusions, decoctions and tinctures of their chufa. The foliage of the plant is added to medicinal fees and teas. The plant has tonic, antibacterial, sedative, adaptogenic properties.
- Culinary experts are happy to include delicious ground almonds in the recipes of homemade goodies - baking, halva, desserts. From ground roasted nodules produce natural energy drink.
- Perfumery often uses extracts and chufa oil. They often give various cosmetic products an exquisite aroma of almonds.
- In cosmetology, chufa extract is used as part of creams, shampoos, lotions for rejuvenation and healing of the skin and hair.
- In the confectionery industry, tubers find frequent use, being used to make powders, bars, and chocolate.
- The foliage of chufa also did not remain unclaimed - with their help they make harnesses, paper, ropes, bedding and much more.
- In animal husbandry, groundnuts act as an additional raw material for feeding livestock.
Like most cultures, chufa has a number of contraindications:
- Liver disease
Moderate consumption, which is no more than 100 grams per day, makes this product harmless. But due to the fact that the tubers are very high-calorie people who are prone to obesity, should be treated with them very carefully.
Also, be careful and those who try the fruits for the first time - start with small portions. In order not to harm your body - carefully observe its reaction, overeating can cause diarrhea.
Nutritional value and calorie
If you take into account all the currently known nuts, then chufa will be among them the most high-calorie. Even the indicators of oily chuf nuts exceeded three times.
Per 100 grams of product accounts for:
The components of the nut include starch, fiber, sugar, tar, etc.
150 gr. Chufy fully meet the daily human need for essential plant acids, as well as vegetable fats.
If we talk about the chemical composition, in addition to high calorie content, chufa boasts a set of very important trace elements: iodine, sodium, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc. In fresh form, it will compensate for the lack of zinc in the body and prevent the development of atherosclerosis.
Vitamins of group B, A, C, E are also in her sotava.
Chufa does not contain gluten, so people with gluten intolerance can safely eat a nut.
Harm and contraindications
As we have already noted, the fruits of chufa have no contraindications and are practically incapable of harming a person. So you can select only two points:
- This product is not recommended for those who suffer from liver disease.
- In the presence of excess weight it is better to refuse chufy, because nuts are very high in calories.
Chufa is also obtained by cold pressing the oil. This allows you to save all the useful and unique properties of the plant.
For the first time, oil was extracted from earthen almonds about four thousand years ago in Egypt. He began to use much earlier than the olive.
In fact, this oil is the best in quality and safety, as well as beneficial properties than any other.
It has a golden brown color, rich taste. It is actively used in the manufacture of cosmetics. Due to the oleic acid content and low acidity, the oil has an incredible effect on the skin.
The benefits of oil is huge, because we call the main points:
- It has antioxidant effects,
- Slows down cell aging, keeps youth
- Acts as an antiseptic drug,
- Copes with many skin diseases
- Nourishes and softens the skin
- It makes the skin more elastic, eliminates wrinkles, fights against rough skin areas,
- Gives strength and strength to nails and hair.
For eating raw, you need to soak the nuts in water.
In cooking, chufu is used very often:
- Used as a substitute for almonds.
- Chufa is used in raw, roasted and dried form.
- It is used to prepare one of the most famous drinks in Spain - orshad. This is almond milk.
- Chufa oil is used in the confectionery industry, it is added to cocoa, chocolate, pastries, halva, candies and so on.
Ground Almond Milk
Separately, I want to talk about cooking orshad. This is a national treasure of Spain, in whose honor even a special holiday is held every year. On this day, anyone can try this sweet and refreshing drink.
You can cook it yourself.
For this you need:
- Grind nuts fresh and pour warm boiled water. The ratio should be one to four.
- During the day the mixture is infused.
- Therefore, it is filtered using a fine sieve, rubbing nuts through it.
- After receiving the milk, add there a little vanilla and cinnamon to your liking, as well as sugar.
- You need to drink chilled.
If it was not possible to get fresh nuts and only eat dry ones, no problem. They can be soaked in warm water, then grind with a meat grinder. Further, the cooking algorithm is the same.
The rich chemical composition makes it possible to successfully use chufa in medicine.
The main therapeutic properties of chufa include:
- Nuts provide energy, strengthen immunity, improve mood.
- Allow to stimulate the brain, increase efficiency.
- One of the Russian patents provides for the use of chufa tuber powder with adaptogenic properties. Per day is assigned to receive 600 mg of the drug before meals three times a day. According to studies, this drug increases the activity and efficiency of people and animals, protects against physical and emotional negative factors.
- The second patent involves the use of chufa as an antidiabetic drug.
- Studies in the United States have shown that chufa extract has the ability to fight pests such as staphylococcus and Escherichia coli, as well as pneumonia and pathogenic microorganisms.
- According to traditional medicine, cooked tincture of tubers and leaves of the plant has similar properties with ginseng tinctures.
- Tea made from chufa leaves as well as raw nuts remove radionuclides.
- If your teeth hurt, they recommend a decoction for rinsing, made from chufa roots. With gum disease, powder from the roots must be rubbed into the gums.