Soaked and Dehydrated Nuts and Seeds for Better Taste, Digestibility and Health
According to Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions, nuts and seeds are “extremely nutritious foods if properly prepared.” What does properly prepared mean? Aren’t raw nuts and seeds, just as they come right out of the shell, best? As it turns out, they are not. These foods are seeds—each their particular species’ best strategy for reproduction and survival.
As such they have developed certain survival mechanisms—including the formation of chemicals that may deter faunal species (like us) from eating (or at least gorging on) them. From a human nutrition perspective some of these chemicals act as enzyme inhibitors, which according to Fallon, “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 in salt water overnight, then dried in a warm oven or dehydrator.” They taste a lot better too, some of these enzyme inhibitors are bitter on the tongue—especially in raw walnuts—and are completely eliminated using this preparation method—which is a modern version of some ancient cultures soaking and sun drying certain nuts and seeds.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Place one pound of your favorite nuts or seeds in a glass or ceramic bowl. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamias, filberts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds work best.
2. Cover with spring or filtered water to a level of 1 to 2 inches above top of the nuts.
3. Add one level teaspoon of high quality sea salt (Celtic or Lima) & stir.
4. Soak in brine solution at room temperature for 24 hours then drain without rinsing.
5. Place in dehydrator at 115 deg. F. or in the oven at its lowest setting until dry. Store in repurposed glass jars in the refrigerator.