My whole family likes to snack on nuts. Thankfully they are good for us (read about why this is true below), and this recipe from Nourishing Traditions is an easy way to make them even more nutritious.
- 4 cups pecans almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts or even pumpkin seeds (I do pecans, almonds & peanuts most often) – NOTE: you can also use cashews, but only soak those for 6 hours. Find raw nuts online here.
- 1 Tablespoon sea salt plus extra to sprinkle on nuts after they've soaked
- Enough filtered water to cover
- Mix above ingredients together in a glass bowl, stir and leave on the counter overnight, at least 7 hours. Drain well in a colander and spread onto a buttered cookie sheet (4 cups are just right for one cookie sheet). Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 150* for 24 hours, depending on how crispy you like them. I keep them in the freezer (freezer baggie) and they are good for months. These are great to have on hand for a quick healthy snack, for school lunches, or for recipes.
- NOTE: Unfortunately my oven only goes down to 170*, so I was told in this case the phytic acid is still broken down, but any enzymes will be cooked off (so in that case, I may as well bake them at a bit higher temp for less time in the oven to save energy). If you have an oven that goes down to 150* or a dehydrator, that's much better, but soaked nuts are still MUCH preferred to unsoaked. As a matter of fact, if I eat regular nuts now (I ate them by mistake recently), I get a terrible stomachache.
Why are these healthier than just eating a handful of any old nuts?
Nuts contain phytic acid, which binds with minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.) and prevents them from being absorbed by our bodies. The same is true for all grains, here's more information on soaking, sprouting or fermenting whole grains to make them more nutritious. Nuts also contain something called enzyme inhibitors – read more about that at Kimi's post.
An example of a great snack would be nuts and cheese – you would be getting healthy fats, good protein, and all the calcium in the cheese can be absorbed and used by your body. (Note: raw cheese would be even better – then the healthy enzymes and all the nutrients in the cheese are still intact!)
NOTE: my sister in law loves eating raw almonds for the high vitamin E content. I did some checking to see if this recipe would destroy the vitamin E. Looks like vitamin E is fairly heat stable! It is destroyed with higher heat (frying, deep frying, etc.), but can withstand lower levels of heat well.
More you might like:
- Buy your own copy of Nourishing Traditions here
- Or even better, try these chili lime almonds.
- More on the benefits of soaking nuts & seeds
- This recent article explains the various health benefits of eating nuts
- Meatless/Lenten/Vegetarian Meal Ideas
- Have you heard of Weston A. Price?
I baked these tonight with raw, unsoaked nuts (patience isn’t my strong point!), and they were so good!
I have an older electric oven and can’t leave it on 24 hrs. Is there a good higher temp where I could still disable the phytic acid in them, but not burn or ruin the pecans? I may not get the benefit of the enzymes, but if I can at least neutralize the negative aspects, I’m happy. Also, what if I don’t like mine toasted dry and super crisp? Can undercooking them be a problem in this recipe?
If you can’t leave your oven on, you could just shut it off and then turn it back on to finish the next day.
Or you could do it at a higher temp if you’re just careful to watch them so they don’t burn.
If you don’t like them as dry/crisp that’s fine to just get them to where you like them best. 🙂
Jeanmarie Todd says
I like crispy nuts soooo much better than raw or regular roasted.
Megan Christian Cowan says
That sounds so good!
Hi. . Is that 150 temp ferenhite or Celsius?
It’s Fahrenheit. 🙂
Is it the length of time that is important or just them reaching the crunchy stage? I set my oven to 150 and they were burned in about 12 hrs! I had checked them about an hour before and they seemed nice and crispy but I thought I had to leave them in for the entire time. So if they seem crispy before the 24 hr period, is it ok to take them out? I’m still experimenting with the oven in our new place, it is electric and seems to cook about 25 to 50 degrees off, so maybe they were really cooking higher than I thought. Sigh, I wanted those pecans so bad! ha~ Thanks for any insight~
You just have to get them to the crunchy stage, I’m sorry yours burned!!!!!
Ashley R N says
If my oven goes down to 200* but has a ”warm” setting, how long do you estimate leaving them in the oven? Do you have to stir them at all, or could I set them going before bed and hope for the best?
So “warm” is lower than 200* or that IS the warm setting?
Either way, overnight they’d be fine. I usually do give them one stir, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Depending on your oven temp, overnight probably won’t be long enough to get them crispy. Just test them and see if they have a nice crunch in your mouth. If not, they need to go longer!
Tracey, I don’t know why not?! 🙂
Kelly, have you done an posts on omega-6? Isn’t there a concern about getting too much omega-6 from nuts. I’d love to hear what you know about this. Thanks, Sally
I’ve talked about omega 6/omega 3 ratios in my CLO posts mostly, but yes, too many omega 6’s aren’t good. Most people have a ratio that’s way out of whack due to all the vegetable oils, grain fed meat, etc. in our diets. To counter this, avoid modern vegetable oils and conventional meat, and just be sure you’re getting LOTS of omega 3’s from CLO, pastured meat & dairy, fish, etc.
Any thoughts on sun-drying the nuts after soaking?
I have begun making crispy nuts for my family and we are loving them. I recently purchased raw almonds at Trader Joe’s. When I went online, searching for how long I should dry them, I came across this thread: https://www.rawfoodtalk.com/showthread.php?t=36734
So now I’m wondering not only if it is impossible to get raw almonds in the States, but truly raw nuts anywhere? I’m at a loss, as TJ’s was my “source”. Where do you all get authentically raw nuts?
I think Mark McAfee sells them at Organic Pastures, but they’re too pricey for me. 🙁
Mike in NJ says
I’m eating raw, soaked, sprouted organic nuts from a source I haev not been able to duplicate: Wilderness Family Naturals. Not cheap, buy in bulk to save on shipping, but they taste great – they have a great almond/walnut/acshew/pecan mix.
Can we dry them on stovetop?
Yes, but you’d have to watch them EXTRA carefully to be sure they don’t burn, and I’m not sure how long it would take.
Anyone know how long to do them in the dehydrator? I just recently purchased a dehyrator because I can see us using alot of these. My nuts are soaking now and I’m planning on putting them in the dehydrator tonight. If you do 24 hours at 150 degrees, I’m guessing it will be longer. Love, Love, LOVE this site!!!!
Penny, thanks ya big sweetie.
For the nuts, I don’t know on timing (can you believe I still don’t have a dehydrator?!), but what I do when they’re in the oven is just keep popping one in my mouth when I know they’re getting close and see if they’re crispy enough – yum!
I know what you mean, this whole thing is confusing for sure. Since my oven only goes down to 170* I don’t worry about whether the nuts are raw or pasteurized, but someday when I get a dehydrator, I’ll look into this more. (And then figure out which nuts are *really* raw and which aren’t – that whole thing makes me crazy. I’m sure the ones at Organic Past. are really raw, but I’m guessing they’re super pricey especially when shipping across the U.S. is figured in, so I’ll track down a local source.)
I rarely spend the money on organic nuts, either, so basically I just buy the nuts in bulk at my local health food store and soak those.
I haven’t tried Crispy Nuts yet for a couple reasons. I’ve been confused on what kind of nuts (raw, organic, unpasteurized…?) to buy and the expense of buying them if they are all of these things. Also my oven won’t go below 170, but that seems to be okay, other than the loss of enzymes. The biggest problem then is what to buy and where to buy it. Organic Pastures sells unpasteurized almonds on-line, but are other nuts unpasteurized? It appears it’s legal to label nuts “raw” when they are pasteurized. Still searching for answers, too…
You’ve caught me smack in the middle of trying to figure out all this about nuts, too. I want to make my own nut butters, but didn’t have good luck with peanuts, so I planned to try almonds. Now I can’t figure out what to buy or where to buy them, and Kimi’s recent post (https://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2009/09/q-a-should-we-soak-almond-flour.html) only confused me more! When I have a chance to do more research on this and figure it all out, I’ll do a post on it then. I’m buried right now so it may be a while! In the meantime, if you figure anything else out, let me know, OK?
Kelly — I’ve been looking hard for clarity on whether one must use raw nuts in crispy nuts recipes. Nourishing Traditions doesn’t provide the answer. Raw nuts are more expensive — and raw organic nuts are even worse on price. But if one buys organic nuts that have already been “processed” (i.e. heated) in some way…will the phytic acid still be largely eliminated by soaking? I end up grinding crispy nuts and using in baking a lot anyway….so I’m often going to lose the enzymes anyway….your thoughts or research on this???? Kirstin
I was reading a medical website and soaking and dehydration only eliminates some of the phytic acid, not in large amounts. Phytic acid only affects absorption of certain minerals if consumed at the same time. For better iron and Zinc absorption, add more garlic and onions to your diet. Endpoint is , this soaking and dehydrating nuts for 24 hours is total waste of time. You can still roast nuts for a few minutes if you want it crispy, not for any other reason. Keep your life simple, that’s the true way to great health.
Yes, but with cashews they are only soaked for 6 hours or they’ll get slimy. (Per Nourishing Traditions.)
What about cashews? Do they have to be soaked too?
YES! A dehydrator is even better because you can adjust your temp so that the enzymes aren’t destroyed when drying them! (Under 150* I believe.)
Could you use a dehydrator instead of an oven?
Kelly the Kitchen Kop says
We all LOVE the pecans the best, the kids included. You could try those instead.
I am a big fan as well…unfortunately my little guy is allergic to peanuts and walnuts. A very healthy snack indeed though! 🙂
Kelly the Kitchen Kop says
Look what I just found!!
(You’ll have to cut and paste.)
I used almonds and walnut and they were delicious! This even helped eliminate the bitter flavor that walnuts tend to have. Has anyone made a sweetened version?
Thanks Amy, and I wish MY oven had a “keep warm” feature!
Hi there, my oven won’t go below 170, BUT it has a “keep warm” function that I used to make these….just a thought 🙂
Keep up the great work – what I great site!
I have the same issue of sitting way too much at this computer. I’ve been keeping an eye on the scales since I began working on this blog last fall, and I also TRY to watch my portions…OK, and also my sweets consumption! But like you said, nuts are a great, quick, healthy snack when I don’t want to sit down to a full meal.
Kelly – your blog is truly a gem. Whenever I pop in I can read something interesting and be inspired to post. Speaking of nuts – almonds are arguably Nature’s perfect food. I might argue that milk is, but almonds rank right up there. My favorite breakfast for the past few years has been coffee/cocoa/cream & maple syrup sipped with a dozen raw soaked (3 days) whole almonds. This is nearly to sprouting and neutralizes the inhibitors you speak of above. As a person eats more nutrient-dense foods, quantity ceases to be necessary, I’ve found. Besides, my hips don’t need any more for breakfast – I spend too much time at the computer terminal to eat much more.