How to Eat Nuts and Soak Nuts!

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.

Soaked Nuts

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).

  1. Open the bag or bucket and pour 3-4 cups of nuts (or others listed above) in a bowl.
  2. Heat a pot of filtered water until it just barely begins to bubble. Make sure to have enough water to cover the nuts.
  3. Put 1-3 tsp of good mineral salt into the bowl of nuts.
  4. Pour the warm water in the bowl filled with nuts and make sure it covers the nuts with a few inches extra for expansion.
  5. Cover with the lid or cellophane wrap.
  6. After 7 hours or overnight, simply pour nuts into a colander to drain out all the phytates and brown water.
  7. Rinse well.
  8. 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.

Soaked Nuts

Crispy Nuts

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.

Nut Flour

Take a cup or two of the crispy nuts and grind them until flour. I use the Blendtec Blender. Such a great kitchen investment!

Nut Butter

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.

Almond Milk

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.

 

 

Mandy
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Mandy

Mandy is the force behind the advocacy portal Real Food Recovery. Since losing a 4 yr old to cancer while fostering to adopt, Mandy founded a nonprofit organization recovering children at-risk using fun and real food. As a Mom to birth, foster, and adopted children, author, Nutritional Therapist, & NRT, Mandy shares simple, affordable ways to recover health and to have fun, while supporting your doctor... Connect with Mandy through Twitter and Facebook.
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10 thoughts on “How to Eat Nuts and Soak Nuts!

  1. Great post…thank you! Do you always start with raw, unsalted nuts or do you buy pre packaged nuts and just do the same process?

    1. Thank you, Abby. Great question. I try really hard to find raw and buy from farmers or in bulk at health food stores. Occasionally, the bins are empty and I have used the pre-packaged nuts and these are just as yummy! Soaking makes them much more digestible and flavorful whether pre-packaged or raw.

  2. […] 1-1/2 cup Almond flour (soaked and ground) […]

  3. Is this only for almonds? What about pecans, walnuts, filberts…?

    1. I just photographed almonds, but we have tried walnuts and pecans and they are great. Let me know if you try others. Certainly, I recommend soaking all nuts…unless you are needing inositol. 🙂

  4. For a creamy almond/nut milk I’ve been soaking the nuts, then freezing them (after draining and drying a bit). I also undress the almonds when that brown coat is ready to come off easily during the soaking. Finally, I’ve always used 6 cups of water to 1 cup of nuts so I’m rather awed about just 2 cups as that seems more like a nondairy creamer consistency . . . great in coffee, I bet.

    Making my own almond butter worked my Champion juicer and VitaMix pretty hard, so I guess I’d rather buy it than burn out my appliances.

    Why add salt to the soak?

    1. Lisa, girl, you have got it going on! {smile} I suppose we have spoiled ourselves…we may try adding more water bit by bit to stretch, thanks. And yes, it is good in hot chocolate too.
      We add the salt because phytates are attracted to minerals. So when you put a bit (tsp – tbsp) of good mineral salt to a bowl of soaking nuts, the phytates are pulled out and you get a lighter, more clean crunch.

  5. […] Butters…As you have seen from my post on how to prepare nuts [here] and my favorite store bought nut butter [here], our […]

  6. […] For us, right now, we have 2 children on a true Paleo (no peanuts!), GAPS inspired (broth daily), and Weston A. Price instructed diet. We are on a mission to heal and can’t have phytates. Read here. […]

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