Learn How to Soak & Dehydrate Nuts

nuts and seeds

Soaking and dehydrating nuts is a wonderful way to optimize their nutrient content. Many cultures soak nuts in seawater to enhance their digestibility and nutritional benefits. So why should you soak nuts before you  eat them?

Why soak nuts?

Nuts contain phytic acid. This is nature’s way of protecting the seed until the conditions are just right for it to germinate and grow. From a nutritional perspective this can be a problem, as  the phytic acid will bind to minerals and actually inhibit the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. As the phytic acid content of your diet increases, the intestinal absorption of zinc, iron and calcium decreases. This is why many people have a difficult time with eating nuts. By soaking and dehydrating your nuts you avoid the problems and reap the benefits.

The nutrient content of nuts also dramatically increases when they are soaked. According to Dr. Gabriel Cousens, in his book Conscious Eating states “Proteins, vitamins, enzymes and minerals increase 300 to 1200%.” (1)

 

Why dehydrate nuts?

Simply put, if you don’t dehydrate nuts after they have been soaked they will grow mold. Dehydrating also helps to increase their shelf life. I usually dehydrate my nuts at 115 degrees. This steady low heat will not destroy any of the natural enzymes and nutrients.

 

What’s the difference between sprouts and sprouted?

Sprouts refers to seeds or grains that are soaked and then germinated over a period of several days to a week. The end result is delicious nutrient rich greens that are great in salads, sandwiches, and smoothies.

Sprouted nuts, seeds, grains are soaked , but germinate for a shorter time period, anywhere from 1 to 3 days, or long  enough for them to grow a tiny tail (1/8-1/4 inch tail).  Although in this post we   are talking about soaking nuts to remove the phytic acid, make them more digestible and nutrient rich. Soaking grains and seeds for greens will be another article.

 

How to soak and dehydrate nuts

The directions for soaking nuts is basically the same for each variety discussed here, what varies is the soaking and dehydrating time. These time differences are reflected under each type of nut.

almonds1

Almonds

This recipe is based on using:  4 cups of nuts, 8 cups water and 1 Tablespoons of sea salt.

  1. Place almonds in a large bowl or pan and add salted water to cover.
  2. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth (if needed) to keep out bugs.
  3. Soak the almonds for 10-12 hours or up to 24 hours.
  4. Rinse and drain.
  5. Spread nuts evenly on a mesh sheet from your dehydrator. Set temperature for 115.
  6. Dehydrate for 18 hours or more, till nuts are completely dry and have a nice crunch.
  7. Allow to cool, store in labelled airtight container.cashews

Cashews

This recipe is based on using:  4 cups of nuts, 8 cups water and 1 Tablespoons of sea salt.

Follow basic directions for almonds.

Soak for 6 hours

Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 12-24 hours or more, till nuts are completely dry and have a nice crunch.

Allow to cool, store in labelled airtight container.

macademia

Macadamias

This recipe is based on using:  4 cups of nuts, 8 cups water and 1 Tablespoons of sea salt.

Follow basic directions for almonds.

Soak for 7 hours or overnight

Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 12-24 hours or more, till nuts are completely dry and have a nice crunch.

Allow to cool, store in labelled airtight container.

walnuts-and-pecans

Pecans & Walnuts

This recipe is based on using:  4 cups of nuts, 8 cups water and 1 Tablespoons of sea salt.

Follow basic directions for almonds.

Soak for 7 hours or overnight

Dehydrate at 115 for 12-24 hours, until completely dry and crunchy.

Allow to cool, store in labelled airtight container.

 

hazelnuts

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

This recipe is based on using:  4 cups of nuts, 8 cups water and 1 Tablespoons of sea salt.

Follow basic directions for almonds.

Soak for 7 hours or overnight.

Dehydrate at 115 for 12-24 hours, until completely dry and crunchy.

Allow to cool, store in labelled airtight container.

 

 

How to use your sprouted nuts

Use sprouted nuts as you normally would any nut.

Add them to your smoothies.

Use them in recipes that call for nuts.

Grind them into nut butters.

Add to your favorite salads.

Add them to  ice cream sundaes.

Just plain snacking!

 

Helpful Hints

Keep your soaked and dehydrated nuts in jars in your pantry so they are ready when you are.

Flavored nuts-After rinsing and draining, place in bowl and season with salt, your favorite herbs or spices. Place on mesh dehydrator tray and dehydrate according to directions.

 

Reference

  1. Conscious eating Gabriel Cousens – North Atantic Books – 2000  p. 763
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My Health Maven offers information on a wholistic approach to healthy lifestyle choices.

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