With so much emphasis being put on clean diets, nuts and seeds are becoming more popular. They are a natural source of oils, vitamins and minerals. They are even being utilized as flour in our low carb recipes. Unfortunately, even though nuts are a power house of nutrition, much of it is underutilized. Why?
Nuts and seeds are, well, seeds. You plant them, they die, and the produce a plant that bears more seeds.
"Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:24
In order to keep seeds from germinating before the proper time, God created them with enzyme inhibitors. These inhibitors, or phytates, reduce the body’s ability to digest seed foods. This also includes beans and grains. In nature, seeds require 3 main ingredients to disarm the phytates and allow the seeds to germinate. Those conditions include moisture, warmth, and the right pH.
Since we want to eat our nuts rather than plant them, we can greatly reduce the phytates to increase their digestibility and available nutrition by soaking them before eating them. Nuts that have been soaked and dried are SO GOOD! It’s like roasted nuts without the extra oil. Some of my kids are so spoiled by this that they won’t eat them any other way.
To begin, place nuts in a half gallon jar.
Fill about half-way (or slightly over). Fill the jar 3/4 full of warm water and 1 tablespoon of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt (If you don’t like your nuts salty, you don’t need to use the salt). Shake around or stir to dissolve salt. Loosely cover and allow to soak over night, or at least 7 hours. The nuts will swell up with salt water. (I didn’t have as many almonds here, so I just adjusted my salt.)
The next morning, the water will be cloudy and look like this:
Pour nuts into a strainer to drain the water, but don’t rinse because you want to keep the salt. Place into a dehydrator.
If you want to keep enzyme activity within the nuts, dry on a living foods setting (105 degrees). If that is not a concern, you can use a higher setting. Dry until they are free of moisture and crunchy. Then cool and store in an airtight container so that they stay good and crunchy.
If you do not have a dehydrator, you can also place the nuts on a baking pan at a low temperature (170-200). This temperature will not preserve any enzymes in the nuts, but it will dehydrate them. Stir frequently until they are dry.
These make a wonderful gift in a canning jar with a pretty bow. 🙂
TIP: Because so many of the foods American’s eat have an acidic effect on the body, many people suffer from an overly acidic body pH, and those effects are evident by common health problems around us. For optimal body pH, it is recommended to eat a diet that is 30% acidifying foods and 70% alkalinizing foods. Most alkalinizing foods are fruits and vegetables; however, almonds actually have an alkalinizing effect on pH. If you eat a lot of meats and dairy products which have an acidic effect on body pH, almonds can be a good alkaline go-to for a protein snack.