We love eating nuts and seeds around here. We snack on crispy nuts plain and in homemade trail mixes. We occasionally make homemade almond butter, which makes a divine dessert with some frozen berries on top!
We enjoy almonds, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds the most. (I’ve had allergic reactions to peanuts, pecans and walnuts, so that limits our nut choices.)
Nuts and seeds are delicious and nutritious, but they can be very difficult to digest. Soaking and sprouting them helps immensely in digesting them. Even with that, we still eat them in small amounts.
Why soak nuts?
“Nuts are an extremely nutritious food if properly prepared. Once again, the habits of traditional peoples should serve as a guide. They understood instinctively that nuts are best soaked or partially sprouted before eaten. This is because nuts contain numerous enzyme inhibitors that can put a real strain on the digestive mechanism if consumed in excess. Nuts are easier to digest, and their nutrients more readily available, if they are first soaked overnight, then dried in a warm oven. This method imitates the Aztec practice of soaking pumpkin or squash seeds in brine and then letting them dry in the sun before eating them whole or grinding them into meal. Salt in soaking water activates enzymes that neutralize enzyme inhibitors.”
I’ve noticed that sprouted nuts have become very popular in grocery stores these days and I gasped when I saw how expensive they were. Sprouting your own is so easy and you’ll save lots of money too!
Here’s what I do:
**Soaking and Sprouting**
First I take raw nuts (almonds, hazelnuts) or raw seeds (sunflower, winter squash, pumpkin) and cover them in warm water. I add some salt and stir it in to dissolve it. (Ratio about 1 tablespoon salt to 4 cups nuts.) Then I leave them in a warm place overnight. Sometimes I soak the nuts longer. I know they’re done when they’ve sprouted (shown on the inside of an almond in the picture above, see it starting to sprout on the top?) [Edited to add: not all seeds will sprout. Here is a good time guide in this post.] Then I dry them on a low temperature in the dehydrator, so they will remain raw.
Homemade trail mixes make such handy snacks on the go. This one had almonds, sunflower seeds, and dried fruit- blueberries, peaches, figs and plums. We’ve also used dried apples, pears and raisins, which were really good.
These were some treats Jeff made. He took sprouted almonds and ground them up with homemade applesauce, shredded coconut and dried blueberries. (The darker ones in back had other fruit mixed in.) Then he dried them in the dehydrator and we had incredibly delicious, ready-to-go snacks.
Here were winter squash seeds soaking last week. (We were steaming vegetables on the stove so the kitchen window was all covered in condensation.) We didn’t even dry them in the dehydrator, Jeff sauteed them in home-rendered lard and ate them right away.
Which nuts and seeds do you enjoy eating?
Do you soak them first?