Sunday, September 16, 2018

How to Activate Nuts... and Why!

If you notice a heavy feeling in your gut after eating regular commercial nuts, you are experiencing indigestion from the enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid that naturally occur in them. Soaking nuts and seeds 'activates' them and neutralizes the anti-nutrients in these plant foods.
Activated walnuts, macadamia nuts and pecans
Nuts and seeds contain 'phytic acid' also known as phytates which binds to minerals in the digestive tract, making them unavailable. Sprouting removes phytic acid which is found in most nuts, seeds, grains and legumes

Sprouting is the basis of all plant life, concentrating nutrients and unlocking the germ of the seed to reveal its inner life. Soaking and dehydrating nuts and seeds at low temperatures provides superior nutrition and digestibility. When substituting nut and seed flour in grain-free diets it is crucially important to prepare the nut and seed flours properly to avoid mineral deficiencies.

Nuts and seeds also contain enzyme inhibitors which prevents the seed from sprouting prematurely. This also forces the human digestive system to work overtime to break down this food. The perfect conditions to germinate include warmth and moisture. The way to reduce phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors is to soak, sprout and/or ferment the nut or seed. This also applies to grains and legumes.

May traditional cultures used salty sea water to soak nuts then dry them in the sun. At home, use a good quality sea salt and water to soak the nuts and a dehydrator at 135F or the oven between 135⁰F and 150F can be used to dry them.

Clearly most commercial nuts are not properly prepared, although 'sprouted' raw nuts can be found in health food stores. At home, you can do a lot of nuts at a time and freeze them, that's what I do!

A variety of raw nuts; pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts
Good quality sea salt

Place each variety of nuts in a separate large bowl with 2-3 Tbsp, of sea salt that is dissolved in water.
Soak for 10-12 hours or overnight *NOTE: if using cashews soak between 3-6 hours or they will become slimy. After soaking whole almonds, remove the skins before dehydrating. Pinch them between your thumb and first finger and the skin will pop off.
Drain nuts through a sieve, rinse thoroughly under running water and shake out excess water.
Place each variety of nuts on separate dehydrator trays
Dry at 135⁰F for 12-14 hours or until they are crispy and dry.
I have never liked the slight bitterness of walnuts... once activated they have become my second favorite nut, next to pecans!
Until next time... Bon App├ętit!

Photo by Sally Rae