Why and How to be Soaking and Dehydrating Nuts?
Do you remember about phytic Acid and Lectins from the article I wrote last week? Proper way to cook legumes in order to neutralize its toxins and maximize its nutritional value and digestibility Read it here.
Yes. Nuts also have these anti-nutrients and a diet rich in nuts that are not proper prepared may contribute as a root cause of some common complaints as nutrient deficiencies and digestive problems.
The good news is that nutritional and enzymatic inhibitors found in nuts and seeds may be minimized by soaking them. Behind it, soaking has some extra benefits as:
. Turns seeds and nuts nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and beneficial enzymes more bioavailable;
. Removes anti-nutrients;
. Easier to digest;
. Makes protein more readily available;
. Taste much better;
The process is simple, and the same soaking process applies for all types of nuts and seeds you want to prepare.
The only differences are in the time soaking and dehydrating depending on the size and type of nut or seed you chose to prepare.
. Longer time soaking – 8 to 12 hours - pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts
. Medium time soaking – 6 to 8 hours - walnuts, pecans, pistachios
. Short time soaking – 2 to 4 hours - cashews, macadamia, pine nuts, brazil nuts are best for short soak because they do not contain inner skins - less enzymatic inhibitors
Dehydration time varies between 12 to 24 hours and a good tip here is to be turning nuts occasionally, until they are crunchy.
Temperature for dehydrating raw nuts needs to be very low, between 120-150 degrees F, in order to protect their enzymes.
Temperature to dehydrate cashews or any nut that are no longer raw can be between 200-250 degrees F. Cashews are heated to 350 degrees F while in their shell to neutralize a toxic oil called cardol. More detail below in the recipe.
There is an amazing book if you are interested in more detail about it called Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon, “(The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), non-profit organization dedicated to "restoring nutrient-dense foods to the American diet through education, research and activism."
Before learning how to be soaking your nuts, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
. The harder the nut, the longer it needs to be soaking;
. While soaking nuts, discard the ones that are floating on the top of the bowl;
. The longer the nuts are soaked the more they swell, and longer they need to be dehydrating;
. During soaking process rinse and drain several times to better remove enzymes inhibitors;
. To prevent mold, dehydrate or dry nuts completely, until they are crunchy;
. Allow nuts to cool completely before storing;
. Store nuts in sealed jars;
. Keep nuts into refrigerator.
How to be Soaking and Dehydrating Almonds
. 4 cups of raw, unsalted, good quality organic almonds
(sometimes I mixed different nuts to soak and them dehydrating together (Almond, pistachios, hazelnuts)
. 6 cups of warm filtered water
. 1 tablespoon sea salt
How to be soaking your Almonds
Place almonds into a large bowl
Cover them with warm filtered water
Add sea salt, stir well
Cover the bowl with a tea towel, and reserve it over a warm place
Soak nuts for 12-24 hours
Once soaking process is complete
Rinse nuts in a colander to remove salt residue
Spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet or dehydrator sheet
Dehydrate them at a low temperature, no higher than 150 degrees F (to keep their enzymes alive), turning occasionally, until completely dry and slightly crispy - from 12 to 24 hours
How to be Soaking and Dehydrating Cashews
Repeat the process above for soaking and dehydrating almonds, changing the time soaking and the temperature for dehydrate them as following:
Soak for 6 hours, no longer (preventing them to become viscous)
Dehydrate at 200-250 degrees F temperature, turning occasionally, until completely dry and slightly crispy - from 8 to 24 hours -
(raw cashews undergo 8 stages before they are commercialized and 2 of those stages are steaming and drying having their enzymes already destroyed during processing)
For that reason, you should use a higher temperature to dehydrate them.
Store in airtight container