Nuts and seeds are nutrient-dense and easy to munch; they also contain enzyme inhibitors and plant toxins, like phytic acid. This is why it’s best to soak them in warm, salty water.
When this soaking step is skipped, the inhibitors inside nuts and seeds can prevent your gut from absorbing nutrients in an otherwise nutrient-rich food. These inhibitors weaken digestion, steal nutrients from you, and cause food sensitivities. If you already struggle with poor digestion or a health condition like osteoporosis then you want to do all you can to keep your gut strong.
The most efficient way to minimize these harmful enzyme inhibitors and toxins is to make your own nuts and seeds with the recipe below.
1) Choose raw, organic nuts or seeds.
2) Place in a large, glass mason jar or stainless steel container.
3) Add enough warm water (80-85 degrees F.) to cover nuts and seeds; shake jar gently.
4) Dissolve sea salt into water.
- 1 Tbsp. sea salt per 4 cups of almonds, hazelnuts, Brazils, pine nuts, macadamias, cashews
- 2 Tbsp. sea salt per 4 cups of pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
5) Cover loosely with a lid and put in warm spot (70-72 degrees) for 7-15 hours. If you soak cashews, they only need 6 hours tops, else they get slimy. According to Weston A. Price, the longer a nut/seed soaks, the more phytic acid is removed; up to 18 hours is recommended. I sell incubator kits to keep temperatures steady.
6) Drain in a fine-meshed strainer, rinse well.
7) Enjoy nuts and seeds as they are or sprout and/or dehydrate them.
- Dehydrating: Place nuts/seeds in single layer on tray in dehydrator (or in sun) at 115 degrees for 8-24 hrs until crispy. Dry 100% to prevent molding. The longer a nut/seed is soaked, the longer it takes to dehydrate.
- Sprouting: Do small batches at once; rinse/drain every 6-8 hrs until taste good. Place in clean, dry jar in fridge.
Tips & Tricks
The salty taste of the above soaked seeds and nuts recipe lends itself well to additional seasonings. Below are some of my favorite combinations. Such flavor! Note: add seasonings before they go in dehydrator (not at soaking stage).
- Savory: tamari, sea salt
- Sweet: cinnamon/stevia, vanilla/stevia
- Salt ‘n Vinegar: apple cider vinegar/sea salt
- Indian: curry powder, cayenne, garlic
- Italian: basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano
- Cajun: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne, oregano, thyme
Nuts, with the exception of almonds, are not recommended if you have a digestive issue (i.e. constipation, bloating) or are on The Body Ecology Diet. If you currently have an active viral infection, then it’s best to avoid all nuts/seeds due to their high levels of arginine.
Fallon, S. (2001). Nourishing Traditions. Washington, DC: New Trends Publishing, Inc.
Fallon, S. and Enig, M. (2000). Be Kind To Your Grains…And Your Grains Will Be Kind To You. The Weston A. Price Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/be-kind-to-your-grains
Nourished Kitchen. (2009). Sprouted Grain: Benefits, Preparation and Recipes. Retrieved from http://nourishedkitchen.com/sprouted-grain/
Wellness Mama. (2016). How (and why) To Soak Nuts & Seeds. Retrieved from http://wellnessmama.com/59139/soaking-nuts-seeds/
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May all bellies be happy!