Traditional Nut and Seed Preparation Methods
In her book, Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon Morell explains how soaking nuts/seeds in a saltwater solution reduces the naturally occurring enzyme inhibitors and phytates that can cause digestive issues. This process of improving the digestibility of nuts and seeds is called making “crispy nuts,” a reference you will find often in my recipes. Soaking and dehydrating times can be found below. You can also ferment them in a whey solution and then dehydrate for use. To use this method, place nuts in a bowl and cover with water and ½ cup whey. Soak for 24 hours and dehydrate according to the time listed below, or until dry. Please note that nuts expand over time so make sure they are completely submerged with plenty of extra water at the top.
Raw Pecans & Walnuts – Soak 4 cups pecan or walnuts in warm filtered water with 2 teaspoons sea salt for 7 hours or longer (up to 24 hours). Rinse and place in set at 105-150F for 12-24 hours, turning occasionally.
Raw Almonds – Soak 4 cups almonds in warm water with 1 tablespoon sea salt for 7 hours or longer (up to 24 hours). Rinse, place in dehydrator, sprinkle with salt/honey/other flavorings if desired and dehydrate at 105-150F for 12-24 hours, turning occasionally. (Note: Most almonds that are available have been pasteurized or otherwise treated. If they are no longer raw, soak them according the instructions for cashews.)
Cashews – Because “raw” cashews are not truly raw (heated to 350 degrees while in their shell to neutralize a toxic oil called cardol.), it’s not necessary to dehydrate them at a low temperature to preserve enzymes. Soaking still makes them more digestible, though! Soak 4 cups cashews in warm water with 1 tablespoon sea salt for no more than 6 hours. (Because they are not raw they do not contain valuable enzymes that prevent spoilage, so 6 hours is the max) Rinse, place on a stainless steel cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and bake at 200-250F until dry, turning occasionally.
Raw Peanuts – Soak 4 cups raw peanuts in warm water with 1 tablespoon sea salt for 7 hours or longer (up to 24 hours). Drain and rinse. Dehydrate at 105-150F for 12-24 hours, turning occasionally.
Raw Pumpkin Seeds – Soak 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds in warm water with 1 tablespoon sea salt for 7 hours or longer (up to 24hours). Drain and rinse (Or don’t rinse. They’re yummy salty!). If desired, sprinkle with flavorings such as salt and honey or chili and lime before placing in dehydrator. Dehydrate at 105-150F for 12-24 hours, turning occasionally.
Raw Sunflower Seeds – Soak 4 cups sunflower seeds in warm filtered water with 2 teaspoons sea salt for 7 hours. Rinse and place in set at 105-150F for 12-24 hours, turning occasionally.
Note: Turning is not necessary in my Excaliubur dehydrator, but it is helpful with other models. Do what works for you.
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