I want to tell you 2 things:
- It is important!
- And you — yes, you! — can do it.
Why is soaking and dehydrating your own nuts and seeds important?
As-is, nuts and seeds contain enzyme inhibitors. Enzymes are unstable, so they are locked up in the seed until they are needed. When are they needed? At germination and then as the plant grows.
So, that's what we need to mimic in our kitchens! A germination (aka soaking).
The water tells the seed to soften up and get ready to grow. Then, voila, the enzyme inhibitors go away and the enzymes are free to use. (I realize this isn't a scientific explanation of the process, but it does help us to imagine what happens.)
Dehydrating the nuts is optional. It not only helps to return them to their enjoyable crispy state, but if you keep your dehydrator below 115 degrees Fahrenheit, the nuts will be raw as well. And still rich with enzymes!
2 types of enzymes are at play here — digestive and metabolic. The human body cannot create a limitless supply of either type of enzymes. It's best to eat foods rich in digestive enzymes to reduce the burden on the body, and also free it up to make more metabolic enzymes — which run the systems of our body.
Guess what? Germinated, raw nuts and seeds are excellent sources of digestive enzymes!
In the book Enzyme Nutrition, Dr. Howell claims that when the body is too busy making digestive enzymes (that we could be getting from food) to make enough metabolic enzymes, we tend toward modern diseases.
How To Soak & Dehydrate Nuts And Seeds
Want me to show you how to do this on video? Sign up for my completely free Traditional Cooking video series -- you'll get this video tutorial plus 4 more!
Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt.
Fill with water to the top of the jar.
Swirl the water around to dissolve the salt. (The salt is for taste and has no effect on whether the enzymes become available or not.)
Let the nuts/seeds sit in the jar sit overnight, or for at least 7 hours.
Drain the nuts/seeds.
Rinsing is optional. Using a sprout screen with metal band really makes this easy.
Remove skins, if desired.
Spread the nuts/seeds in a single layer on a dehydrator tray*.
Dry at 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit until crispy.
Check by taste. Are they crunchy and free of moisture?
This usually takes about 24 hours, depending on dehydrator and other conditions, etc.
*If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use the sun during sunny months. Set out a tray full of soaked nuts/seeds in sunlight. Keep it covered with a light cloth to keep out dust and bugs.
Or, you can also use an oven above 115 degrees Fahrenheit to dehydrate nuts and seeds after soaking. Unfortunately, this does kill enzymes -- but you will also have nuts and seeds free of enzyme inhibitors.
If you don't want to (or can't) do it yourself, I highly recommend Wildly Organic's pre-soaked and dried nuts and seeds! Click here for more info.
Uses For Soaked & Dehydrated Nuts And Seeds
Anywhere you would use nuts, use these!
Use them chopped in all recipes that call for nuts. Remember that if it is a cooked recipe, you'll lose the enzyme benefit from the heat of cooking.
Grind them into nut and seed butters.
Snack on them! Mix them with dried fruits for a trail mix.
Add them into raw nut and fruit snacks, such as Amy's raw date truffles or my homemade enzyme-rich Larabars.
Eating raw, soaked and dehydrated nuts/seeds with a meal provides digestive enzymes to help the body digest that meal. Sprinkle them chopped on a salad, sprinkle on your morning (soaked) porridge, or eat a couple of whole nuts alongside any meal.
I keep quart size jars full of various nuts and seeds ready to go in my pantry cupboard.
Is A Dehydrator Really Necessary?
Yes, and no.
You can always soak your nuts and use them that way. Being able to dehydrate them returns them to the crispy state that is called for in most recipes.
So, a dehydrator of some sort is essential if you want your nuts/seeds crispy while keeping the enzyme benefits of raw, germinated nuts. (But remember if you use the raw, germinated nuts in a cooked recipe, the enzymes will perish from the heat of cooking.)
You can get around having a dehydrator if you live in a sunny area where you can dry nuts/seeds outdoors year round or can build a solar dehydrator.
And remember… If you don't want to (or can't) do it yourself, I highly recommend Wildly Organic's pre-soaked and dried nuts and seeds! Click here for more info.
What about you? How do you use raw nuts and seeds? If you haven't already, are you willing to learn how to soak and dehydrate nuts and seeds?
Want me to show you how to do this on video? Sign up for my completely free Traditional Cooking video series — you'll get this video tutorial plus 4 more!
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