Why Bother Soaking Nuts Before Eating Them?

by DailyHealthPost

soaking nuts

A porcupine has quills, opossums act dead when threatened, and newts turn their ribs into spikes when in danger.

Talk about defense mechanisms!

But, did you know? Nuts have similar mechanisms, too? No spikes or death rays… but they do have a natural component that repels predators so that they can grow to full maturity. From almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts and everything in between.

Nuts have phytic acid. When something that contains phytic acid is eaten, the acid binds to minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, chromium, and manganese in the gastrointestinal tract, which inhibits our digestive systems’ ability to absorb these essential nutrients.

But, do not fear, phytic acid can be removed! All you need to do to deactivate this acid is to give your nuts a little soak!

How To Soak Nuts

While the basic method is the same with all nuts and seeds (soaking in a brine and drying afterwards) there are some slight variations. The following guidelines were taken from Sally Fallon’s cookbook “Nourishing Traditions“.

The basic method is as follows: Dissolve salt in water, pour over nuts or seeds , using enough water to cover. Leave in a warm place for specified time.

Then drain in a colander and spread on a stainless steel pan. Place in a warm oven (no warmer than 150 degrees, anything higher will destroy the good enzymes) for specified time, turning occasionally, until thoroughly dry and crisp.

Really make sure they are all the way dry! If not, they could mold and won’t have that crispy wonderful texture. The longer you soak a seed or nut, the longer it takes to dehydrate them.

Pumpkin seeds-Pepitas

  • 4 cups of raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • filtered water

Soaking Time: At least 7 hours, or overnight
Dehydrating time: 12-24 hours, until dry and crisp

Pecans or Walnuts

  • 4 cups of nuts
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • filtered water

Soaking time: 7 or more hours (can do overnight)
Dehydrating time: 12-24 hours, until completely dry and crisp.

Pecans can be stored in an airtight container, but walnuts are more susceptible to become rancid so should always be stores in the refrigerator.

Peanuts (skinless), Pine nuts, or Hazelnuts (skinless)

  • 4 cups of raw nuts
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • filtered water

Soaking time: at least 7 hours or overnight
Dehydrating time:12-24 hours, until completely dry and crisp

Store in an airtight container

Almonds

  • 4 cups almonds, preferably skinless- SF notes “Skinless almonds will still sprout, indicating that the process of removing their skins has not destroyed the enzymes….[they] are easier to digest and more satisfactory in many recipes. However, you may also use almonds with the skins on. “
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • filtered water

Soaking time: At least 7 hours, or overnight
Dehydrating Time:12 -24 hours, until completely dry and crisp

* You can also use almond slivers

Cashews

  • 4 cups of “raw” cashews
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • filtered water

“Some care must be taken in preparing cashews. They will become slimy and develop a disagreeable taste if allowed to soak too long or dry out too slowly, perhaps because they come to us not truly raw but having already undergone two separate heatings. You may dry them in a 200 to 250 degree oven-the enzymes have already been destroyed during processing. “

Soaking time: 6 hours, no longer
Dehydrate at 200 degrees F: 12-24 hours
Store in an airtight container

Macadamia nuts

  • 4 cups of raw macadamia nuts
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • filtered water

Soaking time: At least 7 hours or overnight
Dehydrating time: 12-24 hours, until dry and crisp.

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