Sunday, January 13, 2008

Soaking and Drying Raw Nuts and Seeds

Without processed snack food in the house, we eat nuts and seeds quite often, maybe every day. I make granola bars with them for Mikey. I soak our nuts and seeds overnight before eating them.

Here are two reasons to soak your nuts and seeds:
1) Unsoaked raw nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors, our bodies need enzymes, so we don't want to eat enzyme inhibitors.
2) Unsoaked raw nuts and seeds contain phytic acid which is indigestible and bonds with minerals in the digestive tract, leeching them out of the body and possibly causing mineral deficiencies.

The drying part of the process is to preserve the nuts and seeds and make them taste good. Drying the nuts and seeds preserves them for about four months. When I use them in a recipe within three days of soaking, I skip the drying.
1 cup raw nuts and seeds (ex. almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt

Cover the nuts and seeds with water and stir in salt. This is how to partially sprout seeds before eating, which decreases the enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. Soak for a minimum of 7 hours. Drain and rinse in a colander. Spread on a baking pan and put in a 150 degree oven or a dehydrator for 12 to 24 hours.

Read more about soaking nuts and seeds:

http://www.avenaoriginals.com/library/recipe_display.asp?a=Soaking_Nuts_and_Seeds
http://anniecrawford.com/2006/03/22/404/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nut_%28fruit%29

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