Most people enjoy nuts like almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and peanuts (if there is no allergy present), as well as the creamy, rich buttery byproduct used on sandwiches, apples and bananas for what seems like generations.
Most people, however, aren't aware that proper preparation is key when it comes to actually getting the nutrients nuts carry, and to avoid any indigestion that may occur from mass-produced nuts and seeds that make their way onto grocery store shelves.
Sprouting, soaking and germinating nuts, seeds, grains and legumes has been going on for a very long time. Documentation has been noted as far back as 3000 BCE in China, and in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible.
More recently, sprouting and soaking nuts, seeds and grains has increased in popularity. One of the factors contributing to the increased popularity and knowledge of sprouting is due to a larger number of people who have become more food sensitive and need this process to make their foods more bio-available and easier to digest.
As a Nutritionist and Exercise Physiologist, I feel motivated to help educate people on the simple but highly important ways to prepare nuts and seeds so they can enjoy them and get the benefits from them. So, here are four reasons you need to soak your nuts!
Why take the time soak, germinate then dehydrate nuts?
Four good reasons it's worth the time:
1. If nothing else, you are cleaning them.
All nuts go through a lot before they get to you. Why not take some time and give them a good soak and rinse. They have been on a long journey.
2. They just taste better.
Isn't that reason enough?
3. Soaking increases nutritional availability.
According Gabriel Cousens book, Spiritual Nutrition, soaked sprouted and germinated nuts, seeds and grains have an increased energy charge. They're high in digestible proteins, essential fats, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins, (especially the B vitamin). Fats and starches are broken down, so they're easier for the body to use as energy and not store as fat. Soaking activates enzymes and neutralizes acids in order to increase the nutrition available in the nut.
4. The process helps to alkalize the body.
Why is this important? Bacteria and disease don't seem to flourish in alkaline environments. When nuts are soaked and germinated, their pH increases, which makes them more alkaline and in turn can be a part of an alkaline-rich diet that takes your body from more of an acidic state (think inflammation), to an alkaline state.
So, now that you know the benefits, here's how to soak and germinate almonds:
1. Soak almonds for 12 hours in enough filtered or spring water to cover nuts with about an inch extra on top. Add approximately 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt for every 1 cup of almonds. Almonds must be organic and raw or low temp steam pasteurized. You can soak in the fridge.
2. Rinse almonds well.
3. At this point you can do many things with your “activated” almonds:
- Dehydrate at low temp for several hours until crispy. Season as you wish.
- Make your own nut milk. Blend with a little water, then, using a nut bag, squeeze out the milk. Add some vanilla and drink up!
Enjoy the process of slowing down and taking the time to soak, sprout and germinate. It’s worth the time and your body will be better off.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com