Why You Should Be Soaking Your Nuts
Posted on 22 Nov, 2016
You may have picked up a packet of nuts at the store and wondered how on earth they could cost as much as they did. The answer could be down to the latest extreme food trend: activating nuts. The good news is, you can save yourself a fortune by activating nuts yourself, and it’s really simple to do.
What are activated nuts?
Activated nuts is an ancient and traditional practice where nuts are soaked in water and salt for a period of time, which starts off the germination or sprouting process, then dehydrated at a low temperature. Soaking increases the nutrient value of the nuts along with breaking down the problematic compounds that help enhance their digestibility.
Why you need to activate nuts
Raw nuts are a fantastic healthy snack, loaded with protein, healthy fats, fibre and important minerals like zinc, magnesium and calcium. However, nuts also contain natural chemicals that can interfere with the absorption of these nutrients.
Raw nuts contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that are beneficial to nuts, as they prevent the nuts from prematurely sprouting, however they also act on our digestive enzymes, preventing their proper digestion and absorption.
Raw nuts contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that can reduce the body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients properly. Eating large amounts of raw nuts can put extra pressure on your digestive system and may cause uncomfortable digestive symptoms like bloating, heaviness and nausea.
The reason nuts are soaked in salty water is because the salt acts to awaken enzymes that are then able to break down and neutralise enzyme inhibitors. Sprouted foods become ‘alive’ again, and are able to be easily digested by our digestive systems, and their nutrients assimilated.
How to activate nuts
Activating nuts at home is very simple. But before you begin, you must know that different nuts require different treatments. This table shows you the different soaking times of nuts, the drying times, as well as how much salt to use for every cup of nuts.
|Nut/Seed||Salt per cup||Soaking Time|
|Almonds||1 tsp||12-14 hrs|
|Cashews*||1 tsp||3-6 hrs|
|Hazelnuts**||1 tsp||7-12 hrs|
|Macadamias||1 tsp||7-12 hrs|
|Peanuts||1 tsp||7-12 hrs|
|Pecans||1/2 tsp||7-12 hrs|
|Walnuts||1/2 tsp||7-12 hrs|
|Pinenuts||1 tsp||7-10 hrs|
|Pepitas||2 tsps||7-10 hrs|
|Sunflower Seeds||2 tsps||7-10 hrs|
* Cashews are particularly susceptible to going slimy, producing a disagreeable taste. Make sure they are not soaked for more than 6 hours, and are dried rapidly. The oven temperature can be turned up between 90-120C if desired.
** Skinless hazelnuts are preferable.
Next, follow these SIMPLE steps:
- Dissolve salt in enough water to cover the amount of nuts/seeds you are activating.
- In a large bowl place your nut or seed of choice.
- Cover with the salt water solution.
- Soak for the required number of hours.
- Strain and rinse the nuts.
- Spread over a dehydrator rack, or baking tray.
- Dry in the dehydrator for around 12-24 hours.
- If drying in the oven, set the oven at the lowest temperature possible, preferably no more than 65C. Stir or turn them occasionally, for the required drying time. Make sure the nuts are totally dry before you remove them from the oven, otherwise they can go moldy.
- And the result? A crunchy, delicious, totally bio-available and stress-free, nut!
Health Eating Books We Love
by Michael Pollan
by Michael Greger
by Thug Kitchen
by Joel Fuhrman