Say hello to Tigernut Flour

In discussion with Ayesha, Founder of strp'd explaining the benefits of this new alternative.

 So strp’d is nut free, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free, surely this is a dream come true for everyone, what gave you the motivation to introduce Tigernut Flour to the world?  

Having experienced gut related issues throughout my life, I try to avoid dairy, gluten and refined sugars, whilst increasing prebiotics, probiotics and fibre. I discovered Tigernuts whilst working in Nigeria and from then on was addicted! Their naturally sweet taste, numerous functional health properties and positive effects on my digestive system excited me! Being a Leo, when I love something, I want to share it with everyone. I was surprised by the lack of awareness of Tigernuts in the UK. With dietary intolerances, gut issues and hormonal imbalances becoming increasingly common, a product that helps with these issues as well as tastes fantastic, surely deserved attention! 

We are finding that more and more individuals are having health and digestion issues, why is that?

I think it is a combination of the following factors:

  1. Increased stress – the gut and brain are very strongly connected so when you’re stressed, your brain gives the wrong signals to your gut and can cause inflammation.
  2. The modern-day diet – although we are becoming more health conscious, we are eating more packaged foods. Most packaged foods, even the ones that claim to be healthy are full of nasties e.g. stabilizers, gums, artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners. This can cause inflammation in the gut. One of my key motivations to launch Strp’d was to offer customers healthy products that are stripped of all nasties. It was important to me that customers actually benefit from the functional properties of the raw ingredients.
  3. Awareness – people are paying more attention to their body and are more aware of intolerances and foods that cause them digestive distress. In the past, people may have had upset stomachs after eating dairy or gluten, for example but they were unlikely to be able to pinpoint it. 

What has been your experience when it comes to starting Strp’d, as a female entrepreneur what are your short term goals and your long-term goals with this food and drinks brand? 

It has been very exciting. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and have always been inspired by my older brothers. There will be challenges but I believe that anything that didn’t work out the way I had planned, happened for a reason and to allow something even better to unfold. I think it is important to stay positive and to work on something you are passionate about, because that’s what keeps you motivated. For me, I get the most satisfaction when I hear about how strp’d has improved the lives of my customers. When I learn about a customer who hasn’t been able to eat a cookie in 3 years because she can’t tolerate grains and can now enjoy them daily, this is incredibly rewarding. My goal is to continue to develop delicious and nutritious, allergen free products stripped of all nasties that can be enjoyed by everyone, no discrimination!

I tend to see that more health driven products are only in wholefood niche stores, what are your thoughts when it comes to having such a divided way of shopping?

 his has started to change and will hopefully continue. 97% of UK households now regularly buy from the Free-From category with value sales crossing £2bn in 2019. Supermarkets are starting to respond to this increase in demand and are understanding that it is not only customers with intolerances who are seeking free-from alternatives. However, due to operational and financial constraints, it is still difficult for many challenger brands to get listed with the larger retailers, which does mean that distribution is limited. This is a shame. 

As a student how can we try to be healthier during the semesters when deadlines come in and unfortunately due to the pandemic we may not be able to fulfil a complete healthy lifestyle?

 I understand how tough it is to fulfill a 100% healthy lifestyle as a student. I strive for an 80/20 balance, which still allows me to indulge and feed the soul.

My five tips would be: 

  1. Eat a diverse, colourful diet with more plant-based foods and less sugar. (Our gut microbiome needs a wide array of microbes to function better so a diverse diet is important)
  2. Move for at least 20 minutes everyday, a brisk walk counts! 
  3. Get 7-8 hours of good quality sleep 
  4. Be mindful about your thoughts, stay positive and do one thing a day that brings you peace – whether that’s yoga, meditation, journaling, breathwork, time with nature or baking
  5. Don’t blame yourself and give up when you go off track.

What are the most popular recipes for using your Tigernut Flour? 

I am a chocolate chip cookie kinda girl so have developed various different recipes ranging from the classic chocolate chip cookie to ones with tahini, pumpkin and chai spice. I also love baking chocolate muffins and healthy pancakes. Check out some of my favourite recipes on the website www.strpd.com/recipes

I can see that there are also drinks coming into your collection, tell us more?

Yes!  The drinks were put on hold during the pandemic but we cannot wait to launch these as soon as things normalize. They come in three flavours: coffee and matcha for a refreshing pick-me-up and chocolate, which I prefer to enjoy as a sweet healthy treat at the end of the day. 

I feel as though Tigernut Flour would be ideal at restaurants, what alternatives do people have with such dietary requirements when going to a restaurant? 

It is hard to find a nice tasting gluten, dairy and refined sugar free treats at restaurants. The usual go-to alternative flour is almond, which I used to bake with myself. However it is over 20% higher in calories and over 40% lower in fibre than Tigernut Flour! 

As an entrepreneur in the food industry and starting this concept during such a difficult year with the pandemic what has been exciting for you so far? 

At the start of the year I was working on Tigernut  Drinks and was forced to pivot during the first lockdown. Like 49% of the UK population, I  first started baking during lockdown and I was not satisfied with any of the current flour alternatives on the market. This is what got me to try Tigernut Flour for the first time and I absolutely loved it. The exciting part is being able to share that discovery with so many other consumers who are looking for healthier alternatives and have never even heard of this incredible superfood! 

Where can we find you, follow you and buy Tigernut Flour? 

You can purchase strp’d at the following: The strp’d website, Amazon PrimeRevital stores and on their website

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