1Tbsp.maple syrupor other sweetener, to taste (optional)
Soak the tigernuts for 8-12 hours in enough water to more than completely cover them. If you are able to, change the water several times throughout the process to get rid of any impurities. Once rehydrated, they should plump up and their volume will grow slightly.
Discard any bad tigernuts. That includes really dark tigernuts and those that remain floating on the surface of the water.
Blend the tigenuts with the water for several minutes, until they have released a bright white vegetable milk. If using an immersion blender, you can separate out part of the water, blending them in a tall, narrow container with as much of the water as comfortably fits.
Strain the liquid through a strainer into another container. You can also use a nut milk bag or a cotton cloth to strain out the liquid milk from the tigernut paste.
If you've separated out some of the water, add the tigernut paste back into the blending container. Add in the rest of the water and continue to blend for another minute or so.
Strain the liquid out once more, this time pressing out as much of the liquid as you can. You can use a spoon to press the pulp against the sieve or squeeze it through a cloth.
The liquid that you have strained from the tigernuts is the tigernut horchata or tigernut milk. You can now optionally sweeten it, to taste, with some maple syrup or another sweetener of choice.
To make a slushy horchata, blend the tigernut milk with some ice until it reaches the desired texture.
The traditional recipe for horchata de chufa calls for 250 g tigernuts, 1 liter of cold water, and 125 grams of sugar. I have adapted the recipe to make it paleo, lowering the sugar content. Because tigernut milk is already mildly sweet, you may not need to add any sweeteners at all. Homemade tigernut horchata should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few days. It will tend to separate (with the starches sinking to the bottom). So, mix it thoroughly before drinking. In ice cream parlors horchata is kept fresh in special machines that keep it cold while constantly stirring it. Store-bought horchata often has thickeners and added preservatives to lengthen the shelf-life.Consider rehydrating larger batches of chufas for future use. You can freeze excess rehydrated tigernuts to have them on hand for making horchata at the last minute.