Don’t Eat Those Nuts!
Until you soak them for at least 7 hours. All these years I have opened a bag of nuts (pecans, walnuts, blanched almonds) and just eaten these tasty treats like nobody’s business.
I was fine, blissfully not knowing what I was putting inside my body. When hungry, nuts are a super snack source for on-the-go that is nutritious, convenient and yummy.
But then I learn! When we eat nuts, beans, grains, and seeds, we absorb phytates (which have a purpose). Phytates are antioxidants that bind with needed minerals such as iron, zinc, manganese. However, the bad part is that phytates prevent absorption of these minerals. Ouch! Especially important for the vegan and vegetarians since these foods are a primary source of protein, fiber, along with good fat-omega 3.
However, there are some studies that show if you have cancer; phytates can be useful! In some instances of chronic disease or cancer, more phytates may be useful. If you find yourself needing inositol, that is a clinical name for phytates. Source: Vucenik I & Shamsuddin AM. Protection against cancer by dietary IP6 and inositol. Nutrition and Cancer 2006;55:109-125.
There is always a need for balance. Chances are you are getting plenty of phytates and hopefully not fighting disease. In this case, let’s soak the nuts. You will be amazed at how much better the nuts taste.
And it is super easy to soak and crispy nuts!
The only down side is the day wait. We are in the habit of implementing the following when we get home with our nuts (or raw beans, seeds, grains).
- Open the bag or bucket and pour 3-4 cups of nuts (or others listed above) in a bowl.
- Heat a pot of filtered water until it just barely begins to bubble. Make sure to have enough water to cover the nuts.
- Put 1-3 tsp of good mineral salt into the bowl of nuts.
- Pour the warm water in the bowl filled with nuts and make sure it covers the nuts with a few inches extra for expansion.
- Cover with the lid or cellophane wrap.
- After 7 hours or overnight, simply pour nuts into a colander to drain out all the phytates and brown water.
- Rinse well.
- Now some like to eat the nuts at this point and you can make some delicious almond milk at this stage. We usually have a few munchies but we prefer to move on for crispy nuts. Roasting draws out the flavor.
Simply place these soft, soaked nuts on a cookie sheet and spread level. You can sprinkle salt or cinnamon. The oven needs to be at the lowest level in order to heat but not cook; this is around 150˚F, however most ovens start at 170˚F which works. Leave the nuts in the oven for 3-5 hours until completely dry. You could also use Nesco American Harvest Dehydrator and let them dehydrate for 12 – 24 hours. Keep checking every hour until you have the crispiness you prefer. These are very nutritious.
Take a cup or two of the crispy nuts and grind them until flour. I use the Blendtec Blender. Such a great kitchen investment!
Same as flour just blend longer and the oils start to be released. Use a knife (with the jar off the base, so no accidents!) to stir and get the nut flour down. You can add some ingredients to make it especially tasty! Try this delicious recipe we make.
1 cup almonds (sliced or blanched work best)
2 cups warm, filtered water
1 Tbsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
pinch of mineral salt
Put in a blender and blend well. Put through a strainer if you don’t want the pulp. Chill or drink warm. This is delicious.
Enjoy! This time I have made almonds. Walnuts, cashews and pecans are also great. These nuts are very tasty on their own, in a salad, as a milk, with yogurt or many other ways.