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?