Sardines are a healthy convenience food that is rich in omega-3’s, vitamin D, protein and calcium. They’re a cost-effective way to get in a whole host of nutrients! Plus, it’s fairly simple to make them taste good.
Have you ever tried sardines? Whenever I bring up sardines I get one of two answers…
You grew up eating them regularly and eat them often as a convenience food,
You can’t stomach the thought of them and have no idea how you would make them taste good!
Recently, when I was at the grocery store shopping for sardines a woman asked me, “excuse me, what do you do with those? I’ve heard that they’re healthy, but I don’t know how to eat them!” I could relate to her a lot, and I’m sure many of us can!
So, why are they so healthy? And how do you eat them?
The Benefits of Sardines
1.Packed with calcium
Calcium is vital for healthy bones and heart health. Sardines are especially high in calcium as they have tiny pin bones that contain calcium. Don’t worry about getting these tiny bones stuck in your teeth! They’re so small and soft that you truly won’t even notice them.
2. Protein rich
The average 4.4oz can of sardines contains up to 23 g of protein. As whole sardines also have the cofactors of healthy fats, calcium, vitamin D, and more, they’re a far healthier option than something like protein powder for getting a protein boost.
3. They’re a great source of Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful for our heart health, as well as supporting our bodies ability to naturally anti-inflame. Salmon is a popular source of Omega-3’s, but don’t count out sardines! They’re one of the best sources with up to 1.8 g of Omega-3’s in a 4 oz serving (source).
4. Lower in Mercury than other fish
Mercury in fish is indeed a concern, especially if we’re deficient in selenium, have blocked detox pathways, and consume a lot of large fish like tuna. I’ve had my own personal battles with mercury toxicity that you can read about here. Though metal toxicity can be complex and there are multiple factors, one of the biggest factors in my own healing journey was removing fish that were higher in mercury and replacing them with fish that were had less mercury, like sardines.
Generally speaking, the smaller the fish, the less mercury it will have. According to the FDA sardines have far less mercury than tuna, but a 3.5 oz serving will still have as much Omega-3’s as salmon (source)!
Regardless of the lower levels of mercury, it’s still always important to discuss fish consumption with your doctor if you’re pregnant, currently have mercury issues or other health concerns.
5. Great for travel & meals of the go
In 2016, sardines gained some popularity as venture capitalist Craig Cooper was quoted saying that they were his favorite travel superfood. I couldn’t agree more!
Though other travel foods like beef jerky are a great option, sardines are one of the best out there. Simply pick them up at a grocery store and bring them along in your suitcase, or pick them up at your destination and eat them straight out of a can for a nourishing protein option. Much better than airport food, right?
It’s also a great idea to keep a can of sardines in your pantry for when you need a quick meal on the go and don’t have time to cook.
6. Cost efficient
A can of sardines is far cheaper than many other convenience foods, and buying them from discount sources like Thrive Market, or buying them in bulk can help to cut down costs.
7. High in selenium
Selenium is vital for thyroid health and is something that I focus on as someone with Hashimoto’s. Sardines are a rich source of selenium that comes with the cofactors to make it easy to absorb.
8. Rich in vitamin D
Sardines are rich in vitamin D which is vital for our overall health. Many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency which can impact our immune system, hormone health, and health as a whole. Eating foods like sardines and getting more time in the sun can positively influence our vitamin D levels.
9. Sustainably fished
Farm raised fish can be less humane and nutrient dense than traditional fishing, and overfishing is harmful to the overall ecosystem of the ocean. Luckily, sardines are one of the most sustainably fished options and continuing to purchase sardines that from a good source helps to influence the process longterm.
10. They can taste good!
From what I’ve gathered talking to others about sardines is that they’re afraid to eat them because they don’t think that they’ll taste good. However, I assure you that they can taste good! With the right preparation, they’re honestly really yummy.
How to Eat Sardines
Fry them in a pan or grill them
Sardines taste great grilled or fried! Simple coat them with oil and heat them on a grill or in a pan.
When I first started seeing tigernut flour used in recipes, I was straight up confused. What the heck is a tigernut? Where does it even come from? Is it a nut? Where do I buy it? My bewilderment held me back from even trying it for months. I decided to take a chance and it completely changed the way that I bake! I know that you may have a lot of questions about Tigernut Flour too, which is why I decided to share The Ultimate Guide to Tigernut Flour!
The Ultimate Guide to Tigernut Flour
First, what is a Tigernut? Is it a nut?
Tigernuts actually aren’t nuts! They look like nuts, they kind of taste like nuts, but they’re not nuts. It sounds counterintuitive, but think of water chestnuts… those aren’t nuts either, right?
Tigernuts are actually a small root vegetable that originated in Africa. They come from the Cyperus esculentus plant and have been harvested for centuries! Yes, a legit paleo ingredient.
They’re totally gluten free, nut free, grain free, and tigernut flour is wonderful alternative for those who are following protocols like a paleo diet or autoimmune protocol. If you live in a house with lots of allergies and intolerances, it’s a great option.
What can you make from tigernuts?
Similar to how creative everyone has been getting with nuts, you can get very creative with tigernuts. You can get raw or slivered tigerntus by themselves to make things like tigernut granola, tigernut butter, or tigernut milk (which is delicious), or you can buy tigernut flour to make baked goods, which is our main focus here.
Where do you buy tigernuts and tigernut flour?
Generally speaking, a lot of tigernut based products can be found in health food stores and online. Availability always varies by location, so I would double check with a store locater before you hike out to a health food store near you, but when all else fails, the internet always comes through for us.
More and more brands are popping up for tigernut based ingredients, but here are some of my favorites and where you can by them…
Tigernut milk/horchata (you can make this at home or buy in some stores)
What can you make with tigernut flour?
Tigernuts themselves are incredibly versatile, as is tigernut flour. It’s quickly become my favorite flour for baking sweet baked goods, and I use it often. I wouldn’t necessarily use tigernut flour is a more savory recipe like
Here are just a few of my favorite recipes that use tigernut flour…
Why use tigernut flour over coconut flour, almond flour or cassava flour?
There’s no definitive answer to this, because different baking flours are all different. No one flour is better than the other, it’s just personal preference.
However, the positives to tigernut flour are that it’s lower in hard to digest fiber like coconut flour, less starchy than cassava flour, and unlike almond flour, it’s actually nut free. As someone who works with a lot of people with gut issues, I find that they have less issues with tigernut flour than the other flours above. Of course everyone is different, but that’s generally what I see.
What does tigernut flour taste like?
Tigernut flour is similar to almond flour. It’s slightly nutty tasting, and has a nutty texture.
What’s a good substitute for tigernut flour?
Honestly, every recipe is different. It’s hard to swap grain free flours 1:1 as the amounts are so dependent on the other ingredients in the recipe. However, almond flour is your best bet.
Tips For Baking With Tigernut Flour…
Don’t like the gritty texture? Use a sifter to give it a finer texture!
If you’re developing new recipes for baked goods, you’ll likely have to combine tigernut flour with a starchier binder like arrowroot starch or tapioca starch. See some of the recipes above for ratio ideas.
Keep an open mind, and enjoy!!
I'm Michelle Hoover. I'm a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and I live in Dallas, TX.
After being diagnosed with Hashimoto's as a teen, I turned to nutritional therapy, a real food Paleo/AIP template, and lifestyle changes to help manage my autoimmune disease and heal my body naturally. Here, I share how to make living a healthy, healing lifestyle fun with real food recipes and lifestyle changes!